Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, the ‘most expensive player’ in the last two Indian Premier League auctions, was robbed of his title while South African pacer Chris Morris was rewarded for his past heroics in the 2016 auction.
In 2014, Yuvraj was sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for a whopping Rs 14 crore, and in 2015, he was sold to Delhi Daredevils for Rs 16 crore, the costliest buy in IPL.
This time though, he fetched a mere Rs 7 crore, half of last year’s bid, from Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik did worse. After being picked up for Rs 12.5 crore in 2014 and Rs 10.5 crore in 2015, he fetched just Rs 2.3 crore from the Gujarat Lions on Saturday.
The loss of faith in these two batsmen is reasonable considering their faltering performance in the shortest format of the game.
To better understand how the performance-bid equation affected the players’ price tag, we took a look at the past two IPL seasons, comparing the two cricketers’ batting records to the auction bid.
How to read the graphs
1. Only players auctioned in the years 2014 and 2015 have been included in the graph. Retained players have been discounted as the amount was not disclosed.
2. The X-axis shows the price paid for each player in the auction in millions. The Y-axis shows the player’s batting index – the batting average multiplied by the strike rate.
As can be seen from the first graphic, Yuvraj Singh and Dinesh Karthik, the two most expensive buys of 2015 are the two worst performing batsmen among those auctioned that year.
Players like Christopher Morris, Sarfaraz Khan and Hardik Pandya who were bought for less than 20 million, topped the batting index, proving their worth. This explains why Morris fetched Rs 7 crore from the Delhi Daredevils this year.
The second graphic captures the difference even more. As can be seen, Yuvraj and Karthik, the two most expensive buys, are way down in the batting index axis compared to other batsmen who were bought for dirt cheap prices.
It appears franchises have not thrown their money on household names and previous price tags but made cautious and calculative bids to avoid consistent under-performers.