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IPL 2021: What will Chennai Super Kings' auction strategy be after player retention and release day?

DNA logo DNA 21-01-2021 (DNA Web Desk)
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The IPL 2021 player retention and release day saw several surprises and some big names being released by several franchises ahead of the February auction. Steve Smith, Glenn Maxwell and Lasith Malinga were some of the major stars who were let go by franchises like Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians. Sanju Samson, who is currently the captain of the Kerala side in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, will officially lead the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021 after Steve Smith was released. After the end of the IPL player release and retention dates, the updated purses came up. Kings XI Punjab has the highest purse with Rs 53 crore while Royal Challengers Bangalore released the most players with 10.

However, the team that once again created a buzz before and after the IPL 2021 player retention and release were MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings. The side arrived with the least purse of Rs 15 lakh and they were determined to have a subsequent purse heading into the auction. Chennai Super Kings released some players, with Shane Watson not featuring as he had officially announced his retirement from all forms of cricket after the end of IPL 2020. Chennai Super Kings finished seventh in IPL 2020 and they will be determined to ensure they put up a better show in IPL 2021 with a new team. Here is the list of released players, updated purse and what will their strategy be heading into the auction in February.

Chennai Super Kings squad, released players and updated purse

Players released (6): Monu Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Shane Watson, Kedar Jadhav, Murali Vijay and Piyush Chawla.

Updated purse: Rs 22.9 crore

Updated Squad: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Karn Sharma, N. Jagdeesan, KM Asif, Sai Kishore, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi, Mitchell Santner, Imran Tahir, Sam Curran, Josh Hazlewood.

Overseas slot left: 1

IPL Auction strategy

Chennai Super Kings will have to once again buy smart in IPL 2021 auction. For the one overseas slot, they may be looking to go big for Dawid Malan in the auction. In IPL 2020, there was a rumour that Dawid Malan was replacing Suresh Raina in the team and the No.1 T20I batsman in the ICC rankings could boost Chennai Super Kings either at the top or in the middle order. If they are looking at stability in the middle order, they can either bid for Dawid Malan or they can go big on Steve Smith. Smith has played under MS Dhoni during his stint in Rising Pune Supergiant and nearly pulled off a win in IPL 2017.

For the domestic stars, they may be keeping a close eye on the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. It is not a far-fetched shot, but there could a possibility of Sreesanth trying to come into the Chennai Super Kings as he has performed well in the tournament. Chennai Super Kings will have to fill the vacancy of five local players and thus, they may not want to bid big for them. 

The plan of action would be to go big with either Dawid Malan or Steve Smith for the remaining overseas slot. For the domestic slot, they can go with someone like Sreesanth or any of the players who do well in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

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