The Board of Control for Cricket in India recently announced that the mini-auction ahead of the 2021 Indian Premier League will be held on February 18 in Chennai. A lot of big players have been released by their respective franchises and chances for some of them are very slim when it comes to finding any buyers in the upcoming auction.
The likes of Aaron Finch, Moeen Ali, Steve Smith, Jason Roy, Umesh Yadav, Glenn Maxwell, Kedar Jadhav and many more were let go. While there are some players on the list who would attract a large number of bidders, there are also some who might not get picked by any of the eight teams. Squad composition, availability, form, age factor, fitness issues -- there are various factors when it comes to why a player doesn't get picked in the auction.
Here are the five big names who might go unsold in the auction:
Base Price - 1 crore
The Australian white-ball captain is the only player to play for eight franchises, including a couple of now-defunct ones, in his IPL career and has never done justice to his reputation. Finch has a phenomenal T20I record for Australia but averages just 25.38 in the IPL. The right-handed opener has scored 2005 runs in 87 encounters and has been far from consistent.
He played for Royal Challengers Bangalore last season but could only manage 268 runs at an average of 22.33 and a strike rate of 111.20 in 11 games. Finch was also horrible in the recently-concluded Big Bash League, scoring just 179 runs at 13.76 in 13 innings. Finch might be the fourth-ranked batsman in T20Is but his IPL record is mediocre at best. The franchises must have learned lessons from the past and might not bid for him at all.
Base Price - 2 crore
The right-hander from Maharashtra, who was bought by Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 auction for a whopping INR 7.8 crore, was criticised heavily for his batting style in the last two editions. Jadhav has a strike rate of 95.3 in the 22 IPL games that he has played since 2019 and that forced Chennai to release him ahead of the auction. He has also stopped contributing with the ball and has got fitness issues as well.
There are teams like Sunrisers Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab who have a vacancy in their middle-order but Jadhav hasn't done anything fruitful in the last two events. The middle-order role demands you to be aggressive from the word go and Jadhav failed to do that. The 35-year-old had a pretty decent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but is likely to go unsold on February 18.
Base Price - 2 crore
The offspinner hasn't played any competitive cricket since May 2019 and just like Jadhav, was released by Chennai Super Kings ahead of the 2021 auction. The 40-year-old missed the entire IPL 2020 because of personal reasons but was pretty good in the 2019 edition. Harbhajan, who has 150 IPL wickets to his name, lacks match practice and picking him is always going to be dicey. Harbhajan has the experience but could be a liability on the field, and there are many better options available anyway.
Base Price - 1 crore
Kings XI Punjab paid a hefty amount of INR 8.5 crore to Cottrell for his services last season but the left-arm paceman failed to deliver. Cottrell picked up only six wickets in as many games and leaked runs at an economy 8.8. The Jamaican was also whacked for five sixes in an over by Rahul Tewatia and was later replaced by the young Arshdeep Singh. Cottrell has played only three T20s since the end of last season and this could go against him.
The 31-year-old doesn't have an extraordinary record in this format and doesn't offer much apart from his left-arm seam. And, it's very likely that he might not attract any bid in the auction.
Base Price - 50 LAKH
The Karnataka batsman, who was released by Kings XI Punjab, hasn't scored a single century for his state since the start of 2018. The underperforming right-hander was recently relieved of his captaincy ahead of the upcoming Vijay Hazare Trophy. The 29-year-old has been in a horrible form of late and that could go against him.
Nair only managed 93 runs in six games in the just-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Nair featured in four IPL encounters last year and could only score 16 runs. And, he hasn't done much since then.