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.
Some big international names as well as some highly-rated local talents were up for grabs in the Indian Premier League [IPL] auction in Bengaluru on Monday.
A few teams did good business and made some smart buys, while others seemed to have been caught on the back foot and although most teams seemed content, there were a few surprising names that were left unsold and could have bolstered any side without too much of a hole in the pocket.
Putting all this into perspective, here are five key talking points from the IPL 2017 auction.
While this was obvious given that it wasn’t the mega auction we’re used to and most teams were out to fill a few gaps rather than rebuild their entire squads, each franchise contrasting strategies in the auction.
For instance, Kolkata Knight Riders wanted to bank big in the bowling department and went all out for the signatures of Trent Boult, Chris Woakes and Nathan Coulter-Nile. They turned out to be the only side that looks bowling heavy and chosen to put faith in their Indian batsmen rather than foreign imports.
Kings XI Punjab were more tilted towards players available at low cost and, with the exception of Varun Aaron, pulled out of many bids despite having the most money available in the bank.
Delhi, on the other hand, were in for more all-rounders despite having plenty of them already in the squad.
The Sunrisers didn’t go for big names and were looking at utility players which was evident in the purchase of the two Afghanistan players.
The Gujarat Lions preferred Indian talent, while Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiants went after the big names, splashing the cash on international stars.
DOING YOUR HOMEWORK
While few of the star names broke the bank, there were quite a few local Indian players that made it big in the auction.
Tamil Nadu paceman T Nagarajan was rewarded for his performances in the domestic circuit. Mohammed Siraj too reaped the benefits of impressing for Hyderabad.
SOME FLAWED TACTICS
While the IPL allows for teams to have a squad of anywhere between 16-27 players, not many of them get a chance to play and the core team mostly comprises of a set of 16-18 players.
Given these players are going to be at their current teams for just the one year with the retention policy still not clear, a lot of players will simply occupy seats on the bench. The teams could have done away with filling up their squads with 27 players and instead gone bigger on players they desperately needed.
A fully fit Corey Anderson > Ben Stokes in T20 #value— Scott Styris (@scottbstyris) February 20, 2017
Gujarat Lions missed out on a spinner, while DD added too many all-rounders without much need. KKR banked mainly on bowlers when their batting could have done with some reinforcement.
All-in-all there are a lot of teams without too much balance in their squads.
TOP STARS UNSOLD
While teams splashed out on a few select players, there were quite a few names that remained unsold despite them possessing some real quality.
Despite a dearth of Indian fast bowlers, Ishant Sharma, RP Singh and Irfan Pathan remained unsold.
Among the international players, No1 ranked T20I bowler Imran Tahir couldn’t find a suitor at INR 50 lakh while the Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan bagged INR 4 crore.
West Indians Marlon Samuels and Evin Lewis who are big T20 players too couldn’t find a team. And this is when a lot of teams needed reinforcements in those departments.
A few other names that many thought would get bids but missed out were Ross Taylor, Brad Hogg, Alex Hales, Prithvi Shaw, Manvinder Bisla and Michael Klinger among a few others.
FEEL GOOD STORY FOR AFGHANISTAN CRICKET
In the midst of some crazy bids and also some bargain buys, there was history made. Just as the clock struck 11.15 am IST, auctioneer Richard Madley called out Mohammad Nabi’s name. No previous Afghanistan player had found a suitor in the IPL and this was to be a historic moment.
With a base price of INR 30 lakh, SRH decided to go for the all-rounder and having been successful with the bid, not only did they create history but also made one of the bargains of the season.
Nabi became the first Afghanistan player to be bought in the IPL and was soon followed by countryman Rashid Khan who too will ply his trade for the David Warner-led outfit.
This year’s Indian Premier League will be graced, for the first time ever, by a UAE player; Chirag Suri.
That’s right, a UAE international will be mixing it with the big boys on Twenty20 cricket’s grandest stage.
And for those not familiar with Suri, we profile the UAE star bound for the IPL.
Are you looking forward to watching him in action?
IS HE EMIRATI?
No, Suri is actually a Delhi native but moved to the UAE in Grade Six aged six-years-old.
Now 22, Suri lives in Dubai with his family who headed to the UAE back in 2001, his dad establishing the RMF family firm that specialises in marble, granite and timber supplies.
WHICH SCHOOL DID HE GO TO?
When Suri arrived in Dubai, he first went to Dubai Modern High School in Nad Al Sheba.
He then moved next door to Repton School three years later in year nine.
WHAT CLUB DOES HE PLAY FOR?
Suri turns out for Sharjah Club, where he has enjoyed a stellar year with the bat.
WHAT DOES HE DO WHEN HE’S NOT PLAYING CRICKET?
Still in education, Suri studies at Heriot-Watt University in Dubai.
He graduates in November of this year from a BBA in Business and Administration.
WHEN DID HE MAKE HIS UAE DEBUT?
Suri’s full international debut came against Kenya as an 18-year-old in the UAE’s World Cup Qualifying campaign in New Zealand in the Super Sixes stage.
An under-19 World Cup followed, giving Suri the chance to be a future star across all formats.
Since then, it has been a trickier time for the cricketer on the international stage, where he has played just two more official UAE games.
WHAT KIND OF PLAYER IS HE?
Essentially, an elegant stroke-maker with resolute defence and sound technique.
Suri has long been seen as the UAE’s most promising four-day player and his game certainly lends to the longer formats.
As proven by a number of international players, however, a good technique can bring success in any aspect of the game.
WHO BOUGHT HIM AT THE AUCTION?
The Gujarat Lions took a punt on Suri, where he will join the likes of Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, Jason Roy and Aaron Finch.
That is some company to keep!
HOW MUCH DID HE COST?
An absolute bargain, Suri cost the Lions 10 lakhs (Dh55,000).
They should recoup that money in shirts bought in the UAE alone!