A total of 66 players were sold in the Indian Premier League [IPL] auction on Monday, with 39 Indians and 27 foreign cricketers getting snapped up by the franchises.
Here, we look at the top five bargain picks of the auction.
JASON ROY (Gujarat Lions)
The hard-hitting English batsman was touted as one of the hottest properties at the auction, but had to reappear in the second round to find a suitor. With a base price of INR 1 crore [Dh550k], Roy had done his bit well, keeping him within reach of most teams. The surprise came when the Gujarat Lions got him for that base price.
Ruthless in his approach, Roy has been in tremendous form for England and has provided his team with sparkling starts over the course of his ODI and T20 career. He is currently giving enough evidence of his destructive powers in the Pakistan Super League [PSL] for the Lahore Qalandars, having notched up two fifties in six matches.
Jason Roy/Chris Jordan....couple of bargain buys in IPL auction .....😉😉🏏🕌👍— David 'Bumble' Lloyd (@BumbleCricket) February 20, 2017
COREY ANDERSON (Delhi Daredevils)
Delhi Daredevils, known for some ridiculous bids in the earlier auctions, made one of the smartest picks this time around in the form of New Zealand’s Corey Anderson for just INR 1 crore [Dh550k].
Anderson has been a key figure for New Zealand in the shorter formats of the game and put in a few decent performances during his time at the Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
Needing a finisher and someone who can take some seam bowling responsibilities (if Anderson gets back to bowling), the Daredevils have got the perfect player for a brilliant price.
Anderson boasts of a strike-rate of 137.57 in T20Is at an average of close to 23 and has 14 wickets to his name in 29 matches. In the IPL, Anderson betters his average to over 30 at a similar strike-rate, while he also has five wickets.
DARREN SAMMY (Kings XI Punjab)
Kings XI Punjab will be elated with the signature of former West Indies captain Darren Sammy. Boasting the ability to hit the long ball, Sammy can win games on his own at times. In addition, the Caribbean cricketer can also roll his arm over and at INR 30 lakh [Dh165k] is definitely one of the buys of the auction.
Sammy has a strike-rate of close to 150 in T20Is and an average of 15. Considering he bats quite low down the order for the West Indies, these numbers are pretty decent. He also has 44 wickets to his name. In the IPL, although not as destructive, Sammy bats with a strike-rate of 122.40 and has 11 wickets to his name.
He could well be great cover for David Miller and help the Punjab team finish higher than the last place that they have managed over the last two seasons.
MOHAMMAD NABI (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
SunRisers Hyderabad needed a spinner – check; SunRisers Hyderabad needed a lower order hitter – check.
Getting all of that for just INR 30 lakh [Dh165k] – an absolute steal! The defending champions scripted history by bagging the first player from Afghanistan in the IPL in the form of Mohammad Nabi.
A very good spinner and a big-hitter as a batsman, Nabi plugs the gap in the SunRisers’ ranks perfectly.
Nabi has a strike-rate of over 130 in T20Is and has 56 wickets in 52 games. Nabi was also very consistent in the Bangladesh Premier League for the Chittagong Vikings, playing useful knocks and picking up crucial wickets.
MARTIN GUPTILL (Kings XI Punjab)
Guptill faced a similar situation to Jason Roy. He couldn’t find bidders in the first round but was sold at his base price in the second as Kings XI Punjab were looking to add more power up top.
Guptill had a forgettable IPL 2016 for the Mumbai Indians, but that doesn’t take away the ability he possesses. One of the most aggressive batsmen in the game, the Kiwi can be fantastic on his day and single-handedly guide his team to victory.
The 30-year-old has over 1000 runs in T20Is at an average of close to 35 and a strike-rate as high as 131.44. To add to such stats, Guptill is a brilliant fielder. INR 50 lakh [Dh274k] for a talent as good as Guptill has to be considered a real bargain.