IPL 2021 auction — Not Rs 22.9 cr, CSK’s remaining purse is now of Rs 19.9 cr: Chennai Super Kings(CSK) will be going into IPL 2021 auctions with seven slots available to fill. Out of these seven, it can only sign one overseas player on February 18 at Grand Chola Hotel in Chennai. However, it will be a big challenge to get big names with the purse they now have.
IPL 2021 auction: CSK Purse remaining
The Chennai-based team had released six players this season — Kedar Jadhav (Rs 7.8 cr), Murali Vijay (Rs 2 cr), Harbhajan Singh (Rs 2 cr), Piyush Chawla (Rs 6.7 cr), Monu Singh (Rs 20 lakh), and Shane Watson (retired – Rs 4 cr). With this they ended up adding Rs 22.7 crore to their purse, taking their total to Rs 22.9 crore which they will be allowed to spend at the auctions.
However, they post announcement of the retained players list, traded Robin Uthappa from Rajasthan Royals in an ‘all-cash deal’. The former RR batsman’s salary was Rs 3 crore and CSK would in all probability had to match his last drawn salary to get his services. This has brought down Chennai’s remaining purse to Rs 19.9 crore.
So with less than Rs 20 crore in their pocket, can they afford one of the two most in-demand players at the IPL 2021 auctions?
IPL 2021: Why Steve Smith or Dawid Malan?
If there was one thing which CSK struggled throughout the IPL 2020 season, it was their struggling top-order. Barring Faf du Plessis, the Chennai-side lacked a strong start from Shane Watson and the No.3 batsman, who was continuously changed.
But if they manage to buy Smith, the problem will more or less get solved. The Australian batsman is a natural No.3, but has on multiple occasions shown his versatility playing up and down the order.
It is likely he will be given his natural spot in the CSK starting XI, with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis taking the opening slots. Ambati Rayudu will be back at No.4 spot, followed by Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni taking up the middle-order duties.
However, Smith will not come cheap. Although his base price would start at anywhere from Rs 1 to 2 crore, he is expected to cross his last drawn salary mark of Rs 12.5 crore.
CSK can have Dawid Malan as their back up, if they miss out on Smith. The English T20 specialist is currently World No.1 in ICC T20 rankings, and is certainly be a hot property at the IPL 2021 auctions.
Although an untested force in IPL, given his track record in T20, and his hard-hitting prowess up in batting order, will make him a franchise favourite. And who knows he might just end up becoming the most expensive IPL player, a record currently held by Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) Pat Cummins.