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Top 10 takeaways from the IPL auction 2018

Hindustan Times takes a look at the top-10 takeaways from the IPL auction 2018 held over the weekend.

cricket Updated: Jan 29, 2018 20:00 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Bihan Sengupta
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
IPL auction 2018,IPL 2018,Indian Premier League
VVS Laxman and Muttiah Muralitharan during the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in Bangalore.(BCCI)

The Indian Premier League (IPL) always throws up surprises. It has been that way for the previous 10 editions and will perhaps continue to do so because of the level playing field that every franchisee is subjected to. There’s a spending cap, a minimum and maximum quota of players fixed and so on. However, while it’s hard to understand the game plan behind the bids, a few trends that emerged out of the 2018 auction are: (Indian Premier League 2018: Full list of players of all eight IPL teams and their salaries)

Demand for India under-19 players

Several India under-19 players earned big bucks at the auction with Kamlesh Nagarkoti (₹3.2 crore) and Shivam Mavi (₹3 crore) leading the pack. Both were snapped up by Kolkata Knight Riders who also added batsman Shubman Gill (₹1.8 crore) to their side. Under-19 skipper Prithvi Shaw was the other to hit the 1-crore mark and was sold to Delhi Daredevils at ₹1.2 crore.

The Indian players taking part in the ICC U-19 cricket World Cup were sold for big bucks. ( ICC )

KXIP’s ploy to escalate prices

If there was a constant sight at the auction over the two days, it was to find Preity Zinta raising the paddle for almost every other player. Her side Kings XI Punjab, however, were the last team to complete the minimum squad list of 18 members. But owing to their bids, even on players most were sure of getting ousted because of RTMs, it forced franchisees to spend big on their targets.

READ | Kings XI Punjab seek name change ahead of IPL 2018

Old guards on the wane

When Chris Gayle gets sold at his base price after his name is brought out for the third time during an auction of a T20 tournament, it perhaps tells one the story. Once considered indispensable to a T20 side, Gayle was perhaps lucky in comparison to the rest of the lot. From Lasith Malinga to Dale Steyn, most veterans either went unsold or were snapped up at minimal amounts.

West Indies explosive batsman Chris Gayle was sold for his base price of Rs.2 crore to Kings XI Punjab. ( Getty Images )

Uncapped players rule

While under-19 players are also considered as uncapped, they often lack the experience that some of the veterans of the domestic circuit are able to provide. Mumbai Indians shelled out as much as ₹8.8 crore to bring back Krunal Pandya to their side while Jofra Archer was snapped up Rajasthan Royals for a mammoth ₹7.2 crore. In total, ₹103.4 crore was spent on uncapped players.

READ | Virender Sehwag explains Kings XI Punjab’s decision to buy Chris Gayle

RTM comes handy to keep core structure

The Right to Match had been used to good effect by a number of teams who wanted to keep their core players intact. Chennai Super Kings, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians were the most effective amongst the lot and brought back the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rashid Khan and Shikhar Dhawan respectively.

Chennai Super Kings officials used to Right to Match card quite efficiently during the IPL auction 2018 on Saturday and Sunday. ( BCCI )

T20 form matters

Karun Nair is yet to make his T20I debut but he went for a whopping ₹5.6 crore to Kings XI Punjab. For the uninitiated, Nair ended as the third-highest run-getter in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and had a strike rate of 173.85. Likewise, D’Arcy Short and Jofra Archer who were bought by Rajasthan Royals for ₹4 crore and ₹7.2 crore respectively are the top performers of BBL.

READ | Afghans add to the IPL flavour as cricketers from England, Sri Lanka miss out

No demand for SL players

Just two SL players were sold at the auction over the two days. While Malinga was the biggest name to go unsold from is island country, Akila Dhananjaya and Dushmantha Chameera were the only ones who found a franchise for them. It’s quite a contrast given that several big names, such as Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Angelo Matthews and so on have been associated during the previous editions.

Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga went unsold despite the presence of many compatriots who work in official capacity with IPL teams. ( AP )

Afghanistan and young talents

There will be just four Afghan players in the IPL this season but they cost the franchisees a whopping ₹14.6 crore. Rashid Khan was the pick of the four, to be retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad but young Mujeeb Zadran had his fortunes turned around as he was signed for ₹4 crore by Kings XI Punjab. Of the four, Rashid and Zahir Khan are 19, while Mujeeb is just 16-years-old.

READ | Was confident I would go to Mumbai Indians in IPL auction: Krunal Pandya

Demand for Windies players continue

Talk about T20 specialists and the Caribbean island would simply open their door for you. Both of KKR’s retained players hail from the land and while Gayle, Pollard and Bravo might be towards the latter stages of their career, with Evin Lewis, Archer and a few others in the bracket, Windies will have seven representations in the league who cost the franchisees a combined ₹27.1 crore.

As always, there was a big demand for West Indies cricketers at the IPL auction. ( AFP )

Big Bash has been a good scouting ground

From Archer to Short, performing well in a consistent manner in the Big Bash League has benefited a number of players in the two-day auction. All five highest-wicket takers of the league have found a place in the IPL with Rashid Khan and Bravo leading the pack. Glenn Maxwell, too, can credit his BBL form for forcing Delhi Daredevils to spend as much as ₹9 crore to bag his services.

First Published: Jan 29, 2018 17:01 IST