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In Bowler-Friendly IPL Auction, Focus On Batsman Steve Smith

IANS News
By IANS News
February 17, 2021 • 21:38 PM View: 1431

The Indian Premier League (IPL) mini-auction on Thursday could see a huge demand for bowlers even as Australian batsmen Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne, and Glenn Maxwell, England's Dawid Malan, all-rounders Chris Morris of South Africa, and Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan could be the hottest properties.

Smith, the Australian batting mainstay was released by Rajasthan Royals recently after he failed to put up big scores for them. He may, however, find interest from Punjab Kings (PK), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), or Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who all are looking to strengthen their batting.

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Labuschagne could also evince interest from the three franchises, especially from KKR or CSK. KXIP has a heavy purse left with Rs.53.2 crore and they could go in for Smith (base price: Rs 2 crore) or Labuschagne (Rs.1 crore) or both.

At the moment, they have a settled top three but with uncertainty over Chris Gayle's availability for all matches, they could be looking to include Smith whose price could challenge both KKR (remaining purse: Rs 10.75 crore) and even CSL (remaining purse: Rs 19.9 crore).

Maxwell (Rs 2 crore), who cost Punjab a whopping Rs.10.75 crore the last time but was released, could also be in line to picked again by Punjab at a much lower price. This could be true of Chris Morris (Rs 50 lakh) also, who was bought for Rs.10 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) but was released ahead of this auction.

"If the player is overpriced then franchises can let go off a top player and buy him back at a lower price," an official in the know of things told IANS.

Both Maxwell and Morris could also find some interest from either CSK or KKR. Both franchises are looking for a finisher. KKR's Andre Russell failed with the bat last time and was exposed against short deliveries.

Rajasthan Royals, whose batting is already settled, will look to shore up their fast bowling and find support for Jofra Archer, who is with them. They have Rs.37.85 crore available.


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