One player from each franchise who might be released before the IPL auction in 2021

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 October, 2020, 7:06 AM IST

There is a lot that happens in the Indian Premier League, apart from the cricket that is played on the field. Auctions, player swaps, contract termination, retentions, and other things related to a player's future. Players tend to get big money in the auctions while some might remain unsold.

Since the inception of the tournament, there have been multiple retentions and player releases. Similarly, this season also, several players were retained by their franchise. Some of them have worked while some players have failed to live up to their expectations. In that case, here are 8 players, one per team, who might get released by their franchise for lack of consistency, or for some other reason.

1. Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians)

After his release from KKR ahead of the IPL 2020, Australian opener Australian batsman Chris Lynn was roped in by defending champions during the auction. Lynn's release from KKR came as a shocker, but MI was quick to pounce on KKR's mistake, buying Lynn for INR 2 crore. However, Lynn is yet to make his season debut, largely due to the brilliant form of Quinton de Kock. So, in that case, Lynn is expected to leave Mumbai before next season's draft.

2. Shane Watson (Chennai Super Kings)

Veteran all-rounder Shane Watson has been one of the vital cogs for CSK in the past season, following his release from RCB in 2017. However, this hasn't been the case in the ongoing IPL 2020. The 39-year-old Queenslander isn't getting any younger. In fact, CSK has the most number of players, over the age of 30. Moreover, the way the team has misfired this season, especially the veterans, CSK are expected to invest more in the youth. Also, this might be Watson's last season in the IPL, as he way past his prime.

3. Moeen Ali (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Just like Watson, Moeen has been a vital player for RCB for the past 2-3 seasons. However, his case is a bit different. The England all-rounder has hardly featured this season, largely due to the arrivals of Chris Morris and Isuru Udana. Morris and Udana have been a vital part of the team's success, this season. Keeping all that in mind, RCB is most likely to release Moeen ahead of next season's draft.

4. Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab)

Despite his struggles over the last few IPL campaigns, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) bought Maxwell for a whopping Rs 10.75 crore at the IPL 2020 auctions. The Australian all-rounder had set the stage on fire when the IPL was held the last time in the UAE in 2014, scoring 300 runs in just 5 matches. However, this season, Maxwell has completely misfired with the bat as he hasn't been able to replicate the form he had shown in the BBL 2019-2020. It is highly unlikely that KXIP will offer him such a massive contract for the next campaign.

5. David Miller (Rajasthan Royals)

After playing for Kings XI Punjab over several years, David Miller was bought by Rajasthan Royals African for INR 75 lakh during the IPL 2020 auction. He's played just one game this season as RR has backed their main overseas players -- Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Jos Buttler, and Jofra Archer. With absolutely minimal playing time under his belt, so far this season, Miller is likely to get released by RR.

6. Ajinkya Rahane (Delhi Capitals)

Ajinkya Rahane is the first and only player on the list. After his release from RR, Rahane was roped in by the newly-improved Delhi Capitals, ahead of the IPL 2020. Though he has played just three games for DC, Rahane hasn't looked like a confident player. Considering Rahane's mediocre performances in the season, it seems quite realistic that Delhi will bid adieu to the veteran batsman.

7. Mitchell Marsh (SunRisers Hyderabad)

Mitchell Marsh is a kind of player who can win you games, with both bat and ball, when fully fit. Throughout his career, Mitchell has been an injury prone player, which has limited his growth, whether it's international cricket or franchise cricket. Marsh injured his ankle in the very first game of the season. Considering Marsh's injury problems. the SRH management will look for some better options to fill in their all-rounder slots.

8. Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Andre Russell's inclusion in our list might come as a surprise for many. The all-rounder hasn't lived up to the hype, following a brilliant IPL 2019 season, where he won the award for MVP of the season. He's been poor with the bat while his bowling prowess has also been abysmal. Also, one could've argued the case of Sunil Narine, who has also misfired with the bat. Sunil, however, still provides an excellent bowling option. KKR management will look forward to acquiring the services of a proper opening batsman, which has been an issue for them this season.

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Ruturaj Gaikwad reacts to MS Dhoni's 'no spark in youngsters' comment during IPL 2020

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 November, 2020, 4:52 PM IST

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni had to face the heat from fans and the cricketing fraternity after his 'no spark' comment for the youngsters in the side during the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020.

Dhoni's comments came after CSK lost their 7th game of the season against Rajasthan Royals (RR). CSK experienced an abysmal campaign in IPL 2020 as they failed to make it to the playoffs for the first time in the tournament's history. The franchise finished at the seventh spot on the points table after managing only 12 points from 14 games.

While the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman disappointed throughout the season, youngsters weren't given many chances, initially. However, towards the backend of the season, young batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad impressed with his willow.

After managing just 5 runs from his first three innings, Ruturaj went on to notch up three back-to-back half-centuries to finish the season with 204 runs from six games and cement his spot in the side as an opener for IPL 2021.

Recently, Gaikwad was questioned about Dhoni's 'no spark' comments for the youngsters in the CSK side. Interestingly, he was dismissed for a duck in the game against RR. However, the youngster said he never read too much into his captain's comment and it never got into his head, as many had speculated.

“I didn’t read much into what MS (Dhoni) had said and I never felt he intended that way. He must have thought of something and said, but people took it the other way."

"What he said didn’t matter to me or didn’t even get to my head. At nets, he would advise me regarding my batting and on top of that, he has always liked my batting," he told the Telegraph.

Gaikwad also revealed that Dhoni has always liked his batting and would keep advising him in the nets to not worry too much about the results and get the process right.

“At nets, MS used to tell me, ‘just make sure your process is right and don’t worry about the results.’ I just followed that,” he added.

Netizens react as Shikhar Dhawan gives a sneak-peek into new 'retro' jersey for Australia series

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 November, 2020, 4:24 PM IST

Team India has always sported jerseys which have become a huge hit among their ardent fans and followers. Among them, the jersey sported by players during 1992 has a great recall value among fans even in the modern era.

Earlier, it was reported that Team India is set to turn the clock back and go retro against Australia, by wearing a jersey similar to the one sported during the 1992 WC. Ahead of the three-match ODI series Down Under, veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan gave a sneak-peek of the jersey.

Dhawan on Tuesday took to Twitter and posted a photo and captioned it: "New jersey, renewed motivation. Ready to go."

After Dhawan gave a sneak-peek of the jersey, a plethora of Twitter users flooded the micro-blogging site with mixed reactions. Here are some of the reactions:

Earlier, the BCCI had announced Mobile Premier League (MPL) Sports as the team's official apparel sponsor after the deal with Nike ended earlier this year.

MS Dhoni's mentor Deobrat 'Deval' Sahay passes away in Ranchi after prolonged illness

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 November, 2020, 3:18 PM IST

Deval Sahay, mentor of former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, passed away due to multi-organ failure in the early hours of Tuesday in a hospital in the Jharkhand capital. He was 73 and is survived by his wife, a daughter, and a son.

Sahay, who is also credited with preparing the first turf pitches in Ranchi, was admitted to a hospital due to breathing problems and was laid low by a coronavirus. He was discharged from the hospital on October 9.

"After spending about 10 days at home, he was again admitted to a hospital when he developed complications. And today at around 3 a.m. he passed away," Sahay's son Abhinav Akash was quoted as saying by IANS.

Sahay's funeral will take place at around 1 pm in Ranchi. His daughter Meenakshi, who lives in the USA, is in Ranchi these days.

Sahay, an electrical engineer, was instrumental in preparing first turf pitches in Ranchi, first at MECON, where he was the Chief Engineer, and then at Central Coalfields Limited (CCL), from where he retired as Director (Personnel). MS Dhoni's father, Pan Singh Dhoni, also worked at MECON.

While Sahay was at CCL, hired a young Dhoni on stipend and provided him the first opportunity to play on turf pitches. His role has been portrayed by actor Kumud Mishra in Dhoni's biopic, 'M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story'.

Sachin Tendulkar comes up with a piece of advice for Indian pacers to tackle Steve Smith

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 November, 2020, 2:39 PM IST

Former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has urged the Indian bowlers to target "fifth stump" against Steve Smith as his unconventional batting style will warrant a slightly wider line. He had missed the last India-Australia series Down Under due to a ball-tampering ban and will be eager to make his presence felt.

Smith has always performed against India and has six hundreds and a 92, a statistic that cannot be taken lightly.

"(Steve) Smith's technique is unconventional...Normally, we tell a bowler in Test matches to bowl on and around off-stump or maybe fourth stump line. But for Smith, because he shuffles a lot, maybe that line (of delivery) moves further away by four to five inches," Tendulkar was quoted as saying by PTI.

"One has to aim between (imaginary) fourth and fifth stump for Steve to nick one. It's just a mental adjustment of line, more than anything else," the former captain said.

"Smith, I read, said he's ready for the short-pitched stuff...probably he is expecting bowlers to be aggressive up front with him. But I think he needs to be tested on and around that off-stump channel. Keep him on the back-foot and induce that early mistake," he added.

One being asked whether the in-swinging yorkers won't do the trick against Smith, Tendulkar said that depends on whether the ball swings much or not.

"For that to happen, you have to see how much the ball is swinging. All those things matter. You can't use saliva, so it's a different case if wickets have a lot more life. In England during the Test matches, on occasions, the Dukes wouldn't be swinging much," he replied

"I don't know if they will have greenish wickets for the ball to do a little bit. If the ball doesn't swing. That swinging yorker, you might not even see."

Sachin, while praising India's potent bowling line-up, advised the management to look for a defensive bowler.

"As I have always said, we have one of the best and most balanced bowling attacks India has ever had. Eventually, you have to pick 20 wickets to win Test matches. But 20 wickets shouldn't be too expensive either," he further added.

"...along with our attacking bowlers, we should also identify bowlers who can hold one end up on unresponsive pitches, bowl those continuous maiden overs to build the pressure."

Ravi Shastri backs pacers to overcome Day/Night Test Inexperience

Vedant Yadav Updated: 24 November, 2020, 1:52 PM IST

Team India head coach Ravi Shastri acknowledged his team lack Australia’s Day/Night experience but is convinced their “fabulous five” pacemen can overcome the experienced 'Baggy Greens', on their way towards a second-successive Test series triumph Down Under.

Tim Paine-led side have played seven pink-ball tests, the most by any country, since 2015 and won each of them. Virat Kohli's side, on the other hand, was late to embrace the innovation and played their only Test under the lights, against Bangladesh in Kolkata, last year.

“We begin with pink-ball cricket where we lack experience,” Ravi Shastri told the Sportstar magazine.

“We have played just one pink-ball test, but there is a qualitative difference between them (Bangladesh) and Australia. It is like cheese and chalk. Our boys have not played much of pink-ball in domestic cricket, but I just want them to go and enjoy their game.”

A mouth-watering four-match Test series between the top two teams in the ICC Test Championship standings starts will get underway at the Adelaide Oval, under the lights, from December 17.

India's all-format captain Virat Kohli will return home after the pink-ball Test as he's about to experience parenthood for the first time. He will miss the final three Tests, including the traditional Boxing-Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

ALSO READ: "It still annoys and grinds me a bit": Tim Paine on India's Test win Down Under

With Virat set to return, and Rohit Sharma still not cleared to feature in the purest format, Shastri has backed India's “fabulous five” pacemen to get the job down. The former all-rounder also added that the players will play fearless cricket as there's no pressure on the team.

“We have a fabulous five ... You put up runs on the board and watch these fast bowlers hunt the opposition. They can beat Australia in their own backyard,” he explained.

“Ask any international player and he will tell you that it is different. It is challenging. Toughest used to be the West Indies in the ‘80s and post that it has been Australia,” he concluded