Almost a third of the IPL 2021 campaign was completed at the start of the third week of the tournament. For the first time this season, midway through the group stages, teams can loan players. Players that are not getting game time at their current franchise. The window opened on April 26 and it will remain open until May 23. A player that has not played three or more games in the season is eligible to change teams during this window. The parent franchise will pay him the full amount that was decided during the auction. Meanwhile, the team that takes the player on loan would be paying for every match on a pro-rata basis.
At the start of IPL 2021, BCCI had confirmed that players can transport from bubble to bubble provided the right protocols are followed. During the mid-season transfer window last year, no team did business, so it remains to be seen whether if a similar situation happens in IPL 2021. Here are five possible players that could be in demand for loan moves.
Chennai Super Kings traded Robin Uthappa in a straight cash deal worth Rs 3 crores before IPL 2021 auction. However, the form of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis has ensured that Uthappa is not getting a chance to play for Chennai Super Kings. MS Dhoni and CSK tend to stick with the same team unless there are injuries, so there is a good chance that Uthappa remains on the bench for the entire IPL 2021.
A loan move for Uthappa could be handy for at least a couple of teams in IPL 2021. Both his former teams could do well with Uthappa at the top of the order. Rajasthan Royals and KKR have failed to get good starts throughout this tournament. Meanwhile, Sunrisers Hyderabad could also do with an experienced player like Uthappa in the middle order.
Delhi Capitals has a stable core and they unlikely to make a wholesale number of changes from game to game. Vishnu Vinod will find it difficult to get playing time for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021 as many players are ahead of him in the pecking order. The batsman from Kerala could turn out to be a very handy option for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
SRH has struggled to get runs from the middle order this season. Vinod had a very good Vijay Hazare Trophy before IPL 2021, so his recent form has been decent. He scored 236 runs in six games for Kerala in the one-day tournament at a strike rate of 96. SRH needs strong Indian batsmen in the middle order, so Vinod’s current form and strokeplay will make a handy option for them. (Stats courtesy: ESPNcricinfo)
While Sunrisers Hyderabad needs to add quality to their batting unit by getting one good Indian batsman, they do have a plethora of overseas options. Since all four slots in SRH’s lineup are the same for all games, Mohammad Nabi finds it difficult to get playing time.
Rajasthan Royals desperately needs overseas players as they have lost players to injury and bubble fatigue. Someone like Nabi can be a welcome addition to their squad. Nabi can be a pinch hitter or act as a floater in the batting lineup, while his spin bowling will improve Sanju Samson’s bowling options.
Rajasthan Royals is the only team in IPL 2021 that desperately needs overseas players for the rest of the tournament. They currently have only four overseas players in the squad. James Neesham can be a very handy option for Rajasthan to bolster both the batting and bowling department. The Kiwi can also open to fill the void left by Ben Stokes.
Neesham was picked up by Mumbai Indians during IPL 2021 auction for Rs 50 lakhs. The Kiwi has not played a single game for MI until now. It will be a big surprise if he manages to get a chance this season unless MI qualifies for playoffs inside ten games. On the other hand, Neesham could contribute a lot to Rajasthan in the rest of the campaign.
Apart from Neesham, KKR’s Ben Cutting is another option that can be explored by Rajasthan Royals. Cutting is yet to make an appearance for KKR in IPL 2021 after signing for Rs 75 lakhs during the auction. The Australian all-rounder can score quick runs down the order, while his medium-pace bowling can be handy on slow pitches.
KKR currently has Andre Russell as the pace-bowling all-rounder in the team. Russell is unlikely to be dropped since he can single-handedly win games. In such a situation, Rajasthan should be looking at Cutting to bolster their squad for the rest of the campaign.