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Jaydev Unadkat, seen as priceless asset, trumps Mitchell Starc as biggest bowler buy in IPL auction 2018

Jaydev Unadkat was the second highest wickettaker of IPL 2017 for Rising Pune Supergiant and was picked up by Rajasthan Royals, who have the top two expensive buys in IPL auction 2018.

cricket Updated: Jan 28, 2018 19:14 IST
N. Ananthanarayanan
N. Ananthanarayanan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
jaydev Unadkat,IPL auction 2018,Indian Premier league
Jaydev Unadkat (centre), who turned out for Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017, will play for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2018. He got a whopping Rs 11.5 crore in the IPL auction 2018 on January 28, 2018.(BCCI)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 player auction has showcased the depth of talent in India for Twenty20 cricket and the trust franchise owners have in them. (LIVE UPDATES OF IPL AUCTION 2018)

Still, left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat jolted a seemingly weary bunch of team bosses 90 minutes into Day 2 of the auction in Bangalore on Sunday. He not only became the most expensive Indian buy this time, Unadkat is also one of the biggest Indian buys in IPL auction history. Unadkat was also picked in the India team for the three-match T20 series against South Africa.

Rajasthan Royals splashed out Rs 11.5 crore for the 26-year-old, who had finished IPL 2017 as the second-most successful bowler playing for Rising Pune Supergiant. That made him the second most expensive buy this year, after Ben Stokes was also picked up by Royals for Rs 12.5 crore.

IPL 2017 HIGH

Jaydev Unadkat’s 24 wickets last season were only two less than leader Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but what straightaway announces his quality is he pushed Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians), the toast of Indian bowling, to third in the top bowlers’ list.

Unadkat attracted frenzied bidding between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. Unadkat has not only added pace, but also his ability to swing the ball, control and variations made him an asset to any team. And CSK coach had seen that first hand while guiding Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017. And MS Dhoni, back to leading CSK, was keeping wicket.

AKRAM’S WARD

The left-arm pacer was picked by Wasim Akram six years ago as a player to watch for the future after working with him in 2010 as Kolkata Knight Riders bowling mentor. Although he struggled after being rushed into the Test team on the 2010 South Africa tour, Unadkat’s career-graph has soared in the last few seasons.

On Sunday morning, he zoomed past batsmen KL Rahul and Manish Pandey, who both had fetched Rs 11 crore on Saturday when they went to KXIP and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.

Not just that, the next most expensive bowler in the IPL 2018 auction is Aussie left-arm pace spearhead, Mitchell Starc, who went to Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 9.4 crore. Afghan spin sensation Rashid Khan was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 9 crore while R Ashwin, bracketed among all-rounders in the auction, fetched Rs 7.6 crore (Kings XI Punjab).

Udatkat finishing as the second most expensive player in the IPL 2018 auction means he will share the bowling responsibility with the league’s most expensive player, England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 12.5 crore on Saturday.

The bowler has taken 56 wickets in the IPL, but interestingly has achieved the rare feat of taking two five-wicket hauls. And unlike pace bowlers, he is also an excellent fielder.

First Published: Jan 28, 2018 12:48 IST