With the IPL organisers deciding to arrange fresh auction, it was clear that all the teams would have a new look come IPL-4.
However, it was surprising that on Saturday, the first day of the auction, not many teams pursued to retain the players who had been on their roster for the previous three editions.
Of the 88 cricketers who went under the hammer - including the 16 unsold players - on the opening day, only eight will don the same colours as they had in IPL-3. While some of the teams, like Kings XI Punjab, tried to go for some of their former stars like Irfan Pathan and Mahela Jayawardene, they were outdone by the other teams.
"At the end of the day, it's the coach who decides the strategy," Kings XI Punjab co-owner Preity Zinta said when asked about her team's decision not to bid for Yuvraj Singh.
While the Delhi Daredevils lost Gautam Gambhir, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals could not retain Jacques Kallis and Yusuf Pathan, respectively.
The only team, which successfully held on to its old players was the Chennai Super Kings. The defending champions managed to retain four of their last season's key players. Add them to the top four they have already retained, and it means the CSK will be more or less similar to the previous three editions. "We wanted to retain most of our players," M. Gurunath, the CSK owner, said. "We have worked hard on the players and we did not want to disturb the unit."
CSK's desperation not to part with their local talent was evident during the bidding for R. Ashwin and S. Badrinath who they bought for $8,50,000 (Rs 3.8 cr) and $8,00,000 (Rs 3.6 cr), respectively. While Bangalore went after the offie before conceding defeat, Kochi gave CSK a torrid time over Badrinath.
However, with all the teams set for a near-complete reshuffle come April 8, the inaugural day of IPL-4, CSK might as well be the 'odd team' out.