While IPL 2021 may have been called off due to the covid upsurge, it doesn’t change the fact that the tournament brought some enthralling performances during three weeks since April 9. There was a clear divide in the points table as Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, and Chennai Super Kings were delivering clinical performances. Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians were picking up the form to cement the top four position before the season was suspended.
Before the start of IPL 2021, there were some interesting buys made by various franchises in the auction. In the first half of the seasons, some of them turned out to be successful. They managed to repay the faith shown by team management by delivering big performances. Here are the top five signings during the truncated IPL 2021.
Glenn Maxwell (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Base Price: Rs 2 crores
Final Price: Rs 14.25 crores
Maxwell was a common name for many years in Punjab Kings, but after a series of disappointing seasons in IPL, the franchise decided to move on from the explosive Australian batsman. Royal Challengers Bangalore managed to win the bidding war against Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, and Kolkata Knight Riders to buy Maxwell in IPL 2021 auction.
The 32-year-old hit the ground running for RCB with a breezy 39 in their tournament-opening win against defending champions Mumbai Indians. He followed this performance with another fluent half-century against Sunrisers Hyderabad on a tricky pitch in Chennai. The Australian batsman notched up another half-century against KKR when RCB was in a state of bother while batting first. Even though there were a couple of poor performances, Maxwell managed to provide the right balance by batting well at number three during seven matches.
Moeen Ali (Chennai Super Kings)
Base Price Rs 2 crores
Final Price: Rs 7 crores
Chennai Super Kings bounced back in IPL 2021 after a dreadful last season. They delivered dominant performances after suffering their first defeat at the start of the season. Moeen Ali provided them the right balance by providing fireworks at the number three position. In the very first match of IPL 2021, Ali scored fluent 36 runs from 24 balls, providing impetus to CSK’s jolted innings.
CSK was looking for signing a big-hitting all-rounder who could bowl off-spin. They tried for Maxwell but eventually settled for Ali. The Englishman didn’t CSK as he scored 108 runs in his three outings with a strike rate of 144, including one good half-century against Mumbai Indians. His bowling has been a bonus. Three of his four wickets came against Rajasthan Royals where he took two wickets in one over. Numbers may paint a different picture, but Ali’s presence made the team much stronger in both departments.
Kyle Jamieson (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Base Price Rs 75 lakhs
Final Price: Rs 15 crores
RCB was one of the best teams in IPL 2021. For years, the bowling department has been an issue for them, but the expensive acquisition of Kyle Jamieson helped RCB to be much better with the ball. He attracted bids from Punjab Kings and Delhi, but RCB eventually made him the third most expensive player in IPL history.
During IPL 2021, Jamieson was bowling tight spells in the powerplay overs to give RCB an ideal start while defending targets. He also managed to show batting prowess in few games down the order. By the halfway stage, Jamieson had provided RCB much more balance in the bowling department by taking nine wickets in seven games.
Chetan Sakariya (Rajasthan Royals)
Base Price Rs 20 lakhs
Final Price: Rs 1.2 crores
Rajasthan Royals are known for giving opportunities for young players. During IPL 2021 auction, the franchise showed faith in young Chetan Sakariya. For an uncapped player, Rajasthan sure dished out big money paying six times the base price for Sakariya.
The 23-year-old repaid the faith shown by the think tank with lion-hearted performances on the field. He picked seven wickets in seven matches for the team including wickets of some big players. While RR struggled with injuries to Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes, Sakariya took this opportunity to shine for Rajasthan Royals. He was well on course to have a good breakthrough IPL season.
Harshal Patel (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Traded from Delhi Capitals for Rs 20 lakhs
While Patel was not one of the expensive buys during IPL 2021 auction, he surely was value for money for RCB. Patel made his IPL debut for RCB in 2012, but after a stint with Delhi Capitals, he was traded to RCB at the start of IPL 2021 before the start of the season. RCB decided to utilise Patel in the death overs and in most games, it worked like a treat.
In the first game of the season, Patel managed to do what no bowler has done in IPL history. He became the first bowler to take a five-wicket haul against Mumbai Indians. He kept on taking wickets in the death overs. Even though he went for runs, Patel managed to take 17 wickets in seven matches, making him the best signing any team made in IPL 2021.
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