IPL Auction 2020: Australia stars Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell make hay on payday
IPL auction: Pat Cummins became the costliest overseas player ever bought in an IPL auction after being picked up for 15.5 crore by Kolkata Knight Riders. Glenn Maxwell was picked up for 10.75 crore by Kings XI Punjab.Updated: Dec 20, 2019, 11:17 IST
The IPL may be loaded heavily in favour of the batsman but it was the bowlers who were the flavour of Thursday’s auction here. Headlining the day when ~135.95 crore was spent on 61 players—including 33 Indians—was Pat Cummins who went for ~15.50 crore. “It is obvious bowlers are crucial in T20s,” said Kings XI Punjab coach Anil Kumble after the auction. Cummins was snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) who opened bidding at ~15 crore and ended the price war between Delhi Capitals (DC) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). That price is the maximum any team has paid for an overseas player after Ben Stokes was bought for ~14.5 crore by Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017.
Cummins, whose base price was ~2 crore, has over 6,000 international runs but that is a bonus for the Sydneysider whose fast bowling abilities have fetched him four fifers and nine four-wicket hauls in Tests, five four-for and one five-wicket haul in One-day Internationals (ODI). No bowler has gone for this much in the history of the IPL. Jaydev Unadkat’s price tag of ~11.4 crore in 2018 was the highest before this.
“We would have got in earlier but the prices were so high. We did at the first opportunity,” said KKR managing director Venky Mysore. After KKR breached the ~15-crore mark, RCB went up to ~15.25 crore but pulled out when Mysore raised the paddle again for the Australia quick.
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“His cricket has developed over the past couple of years. He is now the vice-captain of Australia and that alone is a reminder of his development as a cricketer,” said KKR coach Brendon McCullum.
Nathan Coulter-Nile’s price of ~8 crore was eight times his base price after Mumbai Indians (MI) prevailed over Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to get back the bowler who had represented them in 2013. At ~13.05 crore, MI had the least fund going into the auction which is why owner Akash Ambani said it was critical that they get the Western Australian quick.
Going for ~50 lakh more was West Indies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell who was bagged by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Cottrell’s base price was ~50 lakh and the left-arm quick whose lack of pace and variations fetched him KL Rahul and Virat Kohli in one over in the Chennai ODI had KXIP, DC and Rajasthan Royals in a bidding war.
That Dale Steyn too went at his base price of ~2 crore; RCB taking him back after the 35-year-old went unsold the first time around showed the kind of evening it was for the bowlers. CSK getting Josh Hazelwood at his base price of ~2 crore was the exception that proved the norm. “It will give us the firepower we didn’t have last year,” said CSK coach Stephen Fleming.
And not just the pace bowlers. Released by KKR, Piyush Chawla went for ~6.75 crore when till MI expressed interest at his base price of ~1 crore, it looked like the leg-spinner would go unsold. MI pulled out soon but KXIP and CSK kept raising the stakes till CSK got him.
“He is rated very highly by the captain (MS Dhoni) and has great relation with him,” said CSK coach Stephen Fleming. “He is different from (leg-spinner) Karn Sharma, is a quality option but we will have to see where we fit him,” said Fleming.
Spinner Varun Chakravarthy went to KKR, possibly as replacement for Chawla, and it cost them ~4 crore. That is less than half of ~8.4 crore KXIP spent on Chakravarthy but he played only one game and went for 35.
All-rounders Chris Woakes and Sam Curran fetched ~10 crore and ~5.5 crore respectively. “We had to be smart because we didn’t have much money. Sam played well against us and for England,” said Fleming. “We are happy we got Woakes because he can contribute with the bat too,” said DC owner Parth Jindal. Asked whether they got a like-for-like replacement for Trent Boult, Jindal said with Ishant Sharma available, they were looking for someone who could bowl at the death. Hence Morris, he said.
Aaron Finch was the first player at the auction and his going for ~4.4 crore to RCB seemed like normal service for batsmen. Indications of that changing came with Chris Lynn going to MI at his base price of ~2 crore. Carlos Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Martin Guptill and Evin Lewis went unsold and Jason Roy, David Miller and Saurabh Tiwary didn’t generate a second bid.
The exceptions were Glenn Maxwell, Eoin Morgan and Shimron Hetmyer. DC and KXIP fought over Maxwell before he returned to Punjab at ~10.75 crore, the maximum a batsman got. “He always brings that X-factor and having been with us, we know exactly what we are looking at,” said Satish Menon CEO KXIP.
Former KKR opener Chris Lynn became the first player to be sold. Mumbai Indians bought the Australian for his base price of 2 crore. England’s ICC World Cup winning captain Eoin Morgan attracted a lot of attention and was eventually snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders for 5.25 crore. Delhi Capitals were in the race temporarily but KKR eventually managed to get the player who was earlier a part of their squad. Morgan had a base price of 1.5 crore.
Australia’s limited overs captain and big hitting opening batsman Aaron Finch managed to put long time rivals Royals Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders in a big battle. RCB eventually bagged him for 4.4 crore, up from his base price of 1 crore.
Mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy attracted big bucks yet again, finally going for 4 crore to Kolkata Knight Riders. He was bought for 8.4 crore by KXIP last year and played only one match before getting ruled out of the season due to an injury.
Delhi Capitals made a smart buy as they bought Australian wicket-keeper batsman Alex Carey for 2.4 crore, up from a base price of 50 lakh. DC were locked in a three-way battle with Rajasthan Royals and RCB for the player.
Morgan will be a lieutenant to skipper Dinesh Karthik. We think he will be perfect for him. Also, he seals the No 4 spot for us and is a wonderful man,” said McCullum. Both Morgan and Cummins are returning to KKR. From a base price of ~50 lakh, Hetmyer was sold for ~7.75 crore to DC.
Rahul to lead
KXIP coach Anil Kumble announced after the auctions that KL Rahul would lead them in IPL 2020. With Nicholas Pooran too in the side, a decision on who will keep wickets will be taken later, said Kumble.