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Indian Premier League 2021

IPL Auction 2021: An unsold XI that could challenge any T20 team

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

Fifty-seven players were sold after a long duel at the auction table. Here’s looking at an XI from the list of unsold players in the IPL 2021 auction.

With hundreds of players available and only so many slots up for grabs, some household names were always going to miss out at the the IPL 2021 auction. With the cream of the crop in terms of Indian players sold away, this team is dominated by overseas players and packs quite a punch.

Alex Hales

Five England players walked away with new IPL contracts, but Alex Hales wasn’t one of them despite his incredible success in the recently concluded Big Bash League, where he topped the run charts. Hales made 543 runs, striking at 161.60, and was the standout player for Sydney Thunder. However, with the IPL teams jammed full with top-order batsmen, Hales failed to attract any bids. He, however, opens the batting in the unsold XI from the IPL 2021 auction.

Aaron Finch (c)

Aaron Finch had an underwhelming IPL 2020 with Royal Challengers Bangalore and was promptly released ahead of the auction. The Australian limited-overs skipper was expected to sign a deal, however he had no takers at a base price of INR 1 crore. Owner of two of the three highest scores in T20I cricket, Finch is resigned to opening the batting, and skippering the side, for the unsold XI.

Glenn Phillips (wk)

The New Zealand wicketkeeper batsman cracked the fastest hundred in T20Is by a player from his country just two months back, but had no bidders for him at the IPL auction. The 24-year-old Phillips was priced at just INR 50 lakh to start with, but despite the low base price and excellent T20 numbers, he failed to make the cut.

Rassie van der Dussen

The South African middle-order batsman made a late entry into international cricket, but has since aced it with pretty good numbers across formats for the Proteas. A middle-order anchor who can tee off if required, Van der Dussen scored runs at an average of 48 and strike-rate of 140 in T20Is in 2020 and slots in at No.4 in this unsold XI.

Vishnu Solanki

An Indian middle-order batsman who can also double up as finisher is a rare asset and the IPL franchises perhaps missed a trick by not banking on Vishnu Solanki from Baroda. He was the fifth-highest run-scorer in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in 2020/21, averaging above 50 in the season. Importantly, he played a scintillating cameo in a run-chase against Haryana, slamming two sixes and a four to chase down 15 off the last three balls. Expected to be a good Indian domestic pick for most IPL teams, Solanki found no takers at the auction.

Thisara Perera

Among T20 batsmen to bat more than 20 times since 2018, Thisara Perera has the second-best strike-rate behind Andre Russell. Yet, the Sri Lankan found no bidders in the IPL 2021 auction. With all-round potential as another upside, the lack of interest around Perera was a tad surprising. He will be a sixth bowling option in this unsold XI.

Chris Green

A handy lower-order batsman and a tidy powerplay bowler, Australia’s freelance cricketer, Chris Green has had a great time in franchise cricket around the globe. With demand for overseas spinners slim in the Indian Premier League, Green found no takers this auction. He is zeroed in to bowl in the powerplay with the new ball in this unsold XI.


Naveen-ul-Haq is an up and coming Afghanistan fast bowler who has made a name for his slower variations and death overs bowling. He had a decent Caribbean Premier League and has shone for Afghanistan in the few limited-overs series they have played in India in the last couple of years.

Sandeep Lamichhane

Released by Delhi Capitals, Sandeep Lamichhane went in the category of unsold players in the IPL 2021 auction despite promising numbers in T20 cricket. In 96 T20s, he has 125 wickets at an economy of 6.79 and is a genuine wicket-taker who doesn’t leak a lot of runs. He will be the lead spinner in this unsold XI.

Ankit Rajpoot

A powerplay bowler with impressive numbers, Ankit Rajpoot was impactful with his new ball spells when teams did give him a chance upfront. After a poor season in 2020, where he conceded runs at 11.70 per over, Rajpoot found no takers in the IPL 2021 auction. But, his new ball skills remain valuable and he will be in the unsold XI to tackle the powerplay overs primarily.

Jason Behrendorff

With 16 wickets in 16 games and an economy of just over seven, Behrendorff had a good season with the Perch Scorchers. A good option at the top and in the death, Behrendorff would have been a good pick for franchises playing on quicker decks at home. However, he remained unsold at the auctions, but finds a place in the unsold XI as the premier fast bowler.

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