Marnus Labuschagne is among the most exciting cricketers from Australia and the batting all-rounder has made a name for himself as a reliable batter who puts a price on his wicket. He is a part of the national team in the ODIs as well as Tests and his record in T20 while playing in the Big Bash League (BBL) hasn’t been bad either. His part-time leg-spin was in fact, supremely effective in the BBL this year.
Labuschagne is one among 1097 players who have registered their names for the auction of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. Thanks to his talent and effectiveness with his all-rounder abilities, it would be no surprise if the Australian goes for big money in the auction that is set to take place on February 18 in Chennai.
These are the 5 teams who could sign Marnus Labuschagne in the auction.
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) had a good IPL season in 2020 where they recovered from a bad start to finish 3rd and qualify for the playoffs. They emerged victorious in the Eliminator but were ousted after a loss against Delhi Capitals (DC) in the second qualifier. They’ve now retained a huge chunk of their squad from 2020 for 2021 as well.
The acquisition of Labuschagne at the auction could prove to be a valuable addition for SRH despite the fact that the side has a settled look with regard to its overseas options. The Australia can be used as a backup option for injuries or for rotation purposes.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) had a horror season by their standards as they finished outside the playoff spots for the first time ever in their history. The batting line-up did not come together as a unit to notch up consistent performances while their bowling looked decent at best. CSK haven’t released a lot of players and have only 1 overseas spot to fill.
That spot might go to Marnus Labuschagne who could be the perfect replacement for the retired Shane Watson. He could be tasked with holding the middle-order and can also be used as a sixth bowling option.
Rajasthan Royals (RR) finished with the wooden spoon in the IPL last season after failing to capitalize on a good start. With an eye on the auction, they’ve now released their captain Steve Smith while also elevating Sanju Samson as captain and appointing Kumar Sangakkara as Director of Cricket.
Now, Labuschagne could be the perfect replacement for Steve Smith in every sense. The two are considered similar batters and persons in real life and the former also has the added benefit of being a handy bowling option.
Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) had a topsy-turvy IPL season in 2020. After a horrific start, the team came together as one and fired on all cylinders to get back in contention for the playoff spots. However, a loss in the final league match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) ended their hopes of making the playoffs. Ahead of the auction, the big news from the KXIP camp was that Glenn Maxwell had been released.
Labuschagne could be a like-for-like replacement for Maxwell in the KXIP side. Although he might not be as explosive as Maxwell, Labuschagne can hold the innings together and be more reliable and consistent. He can also chip in with wickets and some tight overs like Maxwell does.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
In 2020, it was another case of so near yet so far for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as the side found consistency and was in contention for a top two finish before going through a rough patch to finish 4th and subsequently get eliminated in the Eliminator against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). RCB were the most active side in the retention window as they chose to release a huge part of their squad, retaining just 12.
A plethora of middle-order batsmen were released by the franchise and the release of Aussie batter Aaron Finch leaves a hole to fill with regard to an overseas spot in the line-up. This is where Labuschagne could be a good fit to play at No. 3 or 4, with Kohli being promoted to open.