The Indian T20 League auction for the 2021 season is scheduled on Thursday, February 18, and a rich Australian contingent of 35 players are set to go under the hammer.
Steve Smith, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, and Jhye Richardson are some of the biggest players who will be up for grabs, and SportsAdda’s Brand Ambassador, Brett Lee, highlights the ideal destinations for them ahead of the next edition of the Indian T20 League.
Steve Smith to Chennai
“Team Chennai have lost a lot of older players and I think they need someone like Steve Smith with experience and is solid at the top of the order,” says Lee.
Smith has stacked 2333 runs in 95 appearances in the Indian T20 League, of which, 1070 runs have come as a Rajasthan player. Smith’s availability offers an opportunity for the teams to sign a top-order batsman, who can comfortably hold his ground in pressure situations and steady the ship after a batting collapse.
Considering his style of play, Chennai seems like an ideal destination considering that they need someone like him who comes with an experience.
Aaron Finch to Kolkata
“Finchy I think will be a great partner along with Shubman Gill,” Lee said.
“Also the fact that Eden Gardens is generally one of the quickest wickets in India and that will be the closest to an Australian wicket that he will find over there and suits his play.”
Australia’s limited-overs captain, Aaron Finch has featured for eight teams in the Indian T20 League, with his last stint coming as a Bangalore player. Finch has aggregated 2005 runs at a strike rate of 127.70 in 10 seasons and is one of the highest Australian run-scorers in the competition’s history.
Finch could only tally 268 runs at an average of 22.33 last season, but it is safe to say that he is far from done. With Kolkata struggling to get a strong opening partnership last season, one can expect them to go hard for an opener like Finch.
Jhye Richardson to Rajasthan
“Richo might be a good combination up front with someone like Jofra Archer,” Lee said while suggesting that Jhye Richarson would be a good fit for Rajasthan.
“He is in a really good form at the moment so there might be a couple of franchises that will go hard for him.”
Australian pacers, right from James Pattinson, Jason Behrendorff, Pat Cummins to Josh Hazlewood, have always been in demand in every Indian T20 League auction.
In Jhye Richardson this coming season, teams will get a bowler who has a knack of scalping wickets almost at whim and someone who can keep the economy rate well within the considerable limit.
The 24-year-old is coming off a splendid season in the Big Bash League, where he bagged 29 wickets in 17 matches at an average of 16.31, including two four-wicket hauls.
It is rightly expected that Richarson will find himself in the middle of a stern bidding contest.
Glenn Maxwell to Delhi
“Maxi would be a great inclusion to the Delhi lineup,” said Lee.
“He’s a freak of a player and can play the role of a batsmen, bowler and is excellent in the field. Also, the fact that Ricky Ponting being the coach could sort out his form.”
Glenn Maxwell needs no introduction in the Indian T20 League. He has been one of the most exciting Australian players to play in the tournament.
The last season, however, wasn’t his best, to say the least. As part of team Punjab since 2014, Maxwell has smashed more than 1500 runs with six 50-plus scores, which makes him a lethal option in the lower middle-order.
Maxwell was part of the Delhi team in 2018, and while it wasn’t his best tenure, the unexpected nature of his play is worth taking a gamble on.