IPL auction 2018: Jaydev Unadkat steals the show, Chris Gayle gets lifeline
Jaydev Unadkat was the show stopper on day 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 auction after he was bought for Rs 11.5 crore by Rajasthan Royals. On the other hand, Chris Gayle -- snubbed twice -- was finally bought by Kings XI Punjab.cricket Updated: Jan 28, 2018 19:38 IST
On Sunday, when Richard Madley brought the gavel down for the last sale of the 2018 Indian Premier League auction, there were smiles all around the hall. Some teams exchanged high-fives while the conservative ones just shook hands. It was a sign they were relieved at the end of the gruelling two days of non-stop action with their nerves and intelligence tested to the hilt. (IPL AUCTION 2018 DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS)
Ifs and buts are always there, but it didn’t look like anyone was complaining. There were different strategies and the eight teams stuck to them. And as expected, there were quite a few surprises too.
The main men had been picked on the opening day, but as predicted by team owners, there was lot of action on Day 2 as the auction lived up to the billing of being the biggest since the inaugural edition.
Biggest Indian buy
Jaydev Unadkat became the most expensive Indian player this auction after Rajasthan Royals got him for Rs 11.50 crore. Unadkat beat KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab) and Manish Pandey (Sunrisers Hyderabad), who bagged Rs 11 crore contracts on Saturday.
Experts had bet on surprises in the auction and it came in the form of Rajasthan Royals turning the spotlight on themselves with the two biggest buys of the auction. On Saturday, they had grabbed England all-rounder Ben Stokes for an eye-popping Rs 12.50 crore.
They started the second day with a bang, picking Karnataka all-rounder K Gowtham for Rs 6.20 crore, from a base price of Rs 20 lakh.
RR chairman Ranjit Barthakur was thrilled at Unadkat’s pick as his team made a late entry after a bidding war between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. “There are many things. If you look at his performance last year for Pune, he was the highest wicket-taker. We have two wicketkeepers. We have a good batting line-up. We were lacking in death bowling and spin. We did pick a Chinaman bowler yesterday.
“Our analytics people have done a good job. We’ve been very clear about who we wanted. We didn’t get emotional about it,” said Barthakur.
Gayle’s fresh lease
Twenty20 legend Chris Gayle got a late life when Kings XI Punjab picked him up for his base price of Rs 2 crore in what was the last auction of the day, saving him the embarrassment of going unsold.
The 38-year-old had two below-par IPL seasons. However, his form picked up later in the 2017 season. Recently, the left-handed opener had served a reminder by hammering 146 not out off 69 balls in the Bangladesh Premier League final to power Rampur Riders to the title in December, and that seemed to have saved him.
There were quite a few surprises though. Hashim Amla, who did so well for Kings XI Punjab last season, went unsold. New Zealand strike bowler Trent Boult also failed to attract much interest with Delhi Daredevils picking him up for just Rs 2.2 crore.
First for Nepal
Sandeep Lamichhane became the first Nepal player to bag an IPL deal when he was bought by Delhi Daredevils for his base price. Leg-spinner Lamichhane is known to have a classical action and had caught the eye during the U-19 World Cup in 2016, where he finished as the second highest wicket-taker with 14 wickets.
The impact of Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan’s success opened the doors for fellow tweakers Mujeeb Zadran and Zahir Khan. Kings XI Punjab paid Rs 4 crore to get 16-year-old Mujeeb and Rajasthan Royals bagged Zahir for Rs 60 lakh.
Delhi were the first to complete the maximum squad number of 25. Kings XI were the last to reach the minimum of 18.