It was a matter of time that the two of the most expensive teams in the Indian domestic Twenty20 league met each other in the final. But Mumbai Indians would especially be vexed by the fact that despite pouring in the money, they have never won the trophy.
At the players auction earlier this year Mumbai chose to add on expensive players to their already bloated roster. Chennai were more selective.
Mumbai added Ricky Ponting for $400,000, Glenn Maxwell for $1 million and Nathan Coulter-Nile for $450,000. But while Ponting chose to sit out after six fruitless outings, Maxwell has played just three matches and Coulter-Nile has played just one. Jacob Oram, bought for $50,000 too got one match while Philip Hughes ($100,000) played none.
Chennai Super Kings on the other hand, had spent $600,000 on Dirk Nannes and $625,000 on Chris Morris but bought Ben Laughlin, Akila Dananjaya and Jason Holder for $20,000 each. Barring Dananjaya, who has not featured in this meet due to diplomatic issues, and Laughlin who got only one match, everyone else has been integral to Chennai’s plans. More significant were the 2011 auctions when all teams were disbanded. Mumbai and Chennai retained four players each.
You can’t put a price tag on MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar but both were reportedly retained at $1.8 million each. Apart from them Mumbai Indians retained Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga while Chennai Super Kings retained Murali Vijay, Albie Morkel and Suresh Raina. Almost all the retained players have had significant roles to play in this edition of the T20 league. That left both teams with around $4.5 million each to spend on other players.
Chennai however trumped Mum-bai in this area. Among others, they bought Michael Hussey ($425,000), S Badrinath ($850,0-00), R Ashwin ($850,000) and got a great bargain out of the $200,000 for Dwayne Bravo. Con-sidering the fact that Bravo and Hussey now top the bowlers’ and run-scorers’ list, Chennai would feel vindicated in the calculations that prompted them to pick them.
And even though Rohit Shar-ma has showed he is worth the $2m that Mumbai had spent on him the same can’t be said for Munaf Patel ($700,000) or for Andrew Symonds ($875,000) who retired just before the start of this edition. That didn’t deter Mumbai from buying a few more this year but they have had little or no impact on this tournament at all. Chennai however will vouch they have got their money's worth.