The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday confirmed that the players’ auction of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 will take place on Thursday (February 18). All the eight franchises will participate in the mini-auction. The team owners had already submitted their list of retained and released players on January 20.
Meanwhile, in the mini-auction, every franchise will look for some specialist all-rounders who could act as a balance in the side. One such player who might attract teams is Australian superstar Glenn Maxwell.
Maxwell has had a terrible season in the United Arab Emirates as he couldn’t even score a single six for KXIP, who failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Maxwell has played for three franchises – Mumbai Indians (2012, 2013), Kings XI Punjab (2014-2017 and 2020) and Delhi Capitals (2018). He played just five games across two seasons for MI but since 2014, he has been a regular starter in the XI.
The last time Maxwell was in the auction, he was bought for INR 10.75 crore by Kings XI Punjab in 2020. However, he turned out to be a liability throughout the seasons and his bat never did the talking. Thus, it was no surprise that KXIP decided to release him ahead of the next season.
With the hard-hitting Victorian all-rounder back in the auction pool, let’s look at four teams who might well be in contention to buy Maxwell.
1.) Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had the disappointing season in the United Arab Emirates. They failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time in their IPL history. One of the prime reasons for CSK’s failure was their batting. They especially missed a power-striker for the slog overs in order to score quick runs.
In such a case, MS Dhoni-led side would look for an all-rounder who could slam some boundaries down the order and help the team with few overs in the middle of the innings, and Maxwell could be the perfect choice for Chennai Super Kings.
2. Delhi Capitals
Delhi Capitals might go for Glenn Maxwell this year too. There is no doubt that Ricky Ponting has quite a bit of time for Maxwell and he wanted him in the side the last edition as well. In the 2020 auctions, DC went all out for him but pulled out in the last time as he went out of budget. Maxwell was a part of the Delhi side in 2018, it was the year that Ponting became the head coach at the Delhi Capitals.
Shimron Hetmeyer have had a hot and cold season in the UAE and his bat never did the talking, Maxwell could well add some firepower to the middle-order. He could form a lethal combination alongside his Melbourne Stars and Australia teammate Marcus Stoinis. Yes, Delhi doesn’t have a big purse left ahead of the auctions for the 2021 season but they already have 17 players in the squad. They could go all out for Maxwell unless like last time, he fetches big bids and his price goes over 9 or 10 crores. Moreover, DC have three overseas spots remaining.
3. Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League made it to the second round of the league for the first time after 4 years. However, that doesn’t affect the franchise as they released 10 players ahead of IPL 2021 auctions.
RCB have released Chris Morris, and now the Virat Kohli-led side does not have a proper all-rounder who could contribute equally in both the departments. In this situation, Maxwell is such a player who could be their ideal buy for RCB.
The pitch at the Chinnaswamy Stadium might suit him and we might get to see the best of Glenn Maxwell in the IPL. Just imagine a batting line-up of Virat and ABD with Glenn Maxwell to follow. Any one of them can take the game away from the opposition and it would work in RCB’s favour. RCB has enough money to target a player like Glenn Maxwell in the upcoming IPL auction.
4. Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals released their captain and middle-order batsman, Steve Smith, ahead of the IPL 2021 auction. In such a case, RR will be desperate to fill in that gap and Glenn Maxwell is the perfect player for that role. RR has the likes of Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler, and Ben Stokes and if you add a player like Glenn Maxwell in the mix then the batting looks really dangerous.
The ground size won’t matter to a player like Maxwell as he can clear any fence once he hits off the middle of the bat. Glenn Maxwell can bat anywhere in the order and so he would be a great buy for the Rajasthan Royals. They should look at this explosive Australian batsman to replace Steve Smith.