IPL 2021 auction is just around the corner and like every year, the eight IPL franchises have released a few players. At the same time, the franchises have reserved their core for the upcoming season. Today, January 20 was the deadline day for the franchises to submit their respective list of retained and released players.
There have surely been a few surprises when it comes to the players released by their respective IPL Franchise. Teams are looking forward to start afresh this season and have huge purse remaining ahead heading into the IPL auction.
In this article, we will look at the 5 players franchises should not have released.
Steve Smith: Rajasthan Royals
In the biggest surprise of the day, Rajasthan Royals released it’s captain for the 2020 season, Steve Smith. The Australian did not have a huge impact in the last edition after he delivered poor performances with the bat. The former Australian skipper did not fare well with his captaincy either, after Rajasthan Royals finished last in the group stage.
However, releasing Steve Smith was a bold decision taken by the Rajasthan management considering the amount of experience and quality he adds to the Royals side.
Mujeeb ur Rahman- Kings XI Punjab
Mujeeb ur Rahman was released by Kings XI Punjab ahead of the IPL auction in what was another surprising decision. The Afghanistan spinner has already picked up 14 wickets in the ongoing BBL season that includes a five wicket haul against Hobart Hurricanes. Mujeeb is a dynamic spinner who can bowl a few crucial overs at the top and can also be handy during the death overs, if required.
Sheldon Cottrell: Kings XI Punjab
The West Indian pacer did not live upto his standards in the 2020 season as he played six matches for his franchise. Cottrell picked six wickets but was taken for plenty of runs in his outings. He had a nightmare performance against Rajasthan Royals after he was smashed for five sixes in an over by Rahul Tewatia. However, it would have been ideal if Punjab would have stuck with the pacer who has several variations up his sleeve.
Shivam Dube- Royal Challengers Bangalore
All rounder, Shivam Dube was released by RCB in a move that raised a few eyebrows. Dube is certainly not among the top all rounders available in the IPL, but the Indian has the ability to strike a few blows with the bat and has come handy with the ball on a few occasions. Moreover, having an Indian all-rounder in the squad is always an advantage given the rules only allow for four overseas players in the playing 11.
James Pattinson- Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians, arguably the most settled side going into the auction released four overseas bowlers. Lasith Malinga announced his retirement from franchise cricket after he was released by Mumbai Indians. In addition, the Australian duo of Coulter-Nile and Pattinson along with Mitchell McClenaghan were released by MI. However, Mumbai could have stuck with Pattinson given that he delivered reasonable performances last year. The Australian picked up 11 wickets in his 10 outings in IPL 2020.