RCB make the right choices

Cricket Indian Premier League : With Watson and Binny coming in, Bengaluru will be able to present a balanced outfit

RCB make the right choices
There was a distinct change in their approach to bidding by the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the ninth IPL Players’ auction.

Team owner Vijay Mallya rarely took his eyes off his smart phone even as he dictated strategy. Unlike in the past when he appeared to have allowed his emotions rule over prudence while bidding for certain players, Mallya seemed to know what exactly he wanted this time. There was no manic bidding seen in the case of Yuvraj Singh in 2014 that left the franchise thin on purse to form a balanced side, nor was there a concious effort to outbid other franchises.

He pushed the limits when he wanted to have Shane Watson, who incidentally attracted the highest bid of Rs 9.5 crore on the day, and smartly pulled out of the race when someone like Kyle Abbott went beyond his expected bid.

Before Royal Challengers got Watson, they had only one genuine all-rounder in David Wiese but he isn’t in the same class as the Australian. The availability of Watson will allow skipper Virat Kohli to come in at No 3 which is his favoured position while AB de Villiers can come in as a finisher. Kohli had to open innings last season on many occasions to bring both stability and urgency at the top of the order.  

“I think Shane Watson is what we were looking for and I think we got him at a bargain price,” said RCB Director Amrut Thomas. “We wanted a quality all-rounder and we got him at a good price. His recent form shows how good he is.” 

Bangalore have beefed up the Indian component in terms of middle-order batting by roping in Kedar Jadhav during trading window to complement Mandeep Singh and Sarfaraz Khan. That perhaps explains as to why they didn’t even attempt to buy Karun Nair but the addition of Stuart Binny, who was bought at his base price of Rs 2 crore, will help strike balance. His cameos towards back end of innings and a couple of tidy overs, and a full quota of four overs on a good day, can provide a whole new dimension to the team. 

The Challengers did try to get Yuvraj Singh but once he crossed their set limit they let go of him. “We were really interested in him. We set a ceiling price for him, so all the best for the team that bought him but he is a marquee player and we hope he plays for us sometime in the future,” said Thomas.

The two-time finalists also got on board Aussie paceman Kane Richardson from the unsold category. Though they have two foreign fast bowlers -- Mitchell Starc and Adam Milne -- Richardson provides a perfect cover for the two tearaways who will be coming after a long lay-off from injuries. The local pace unit remains the same except for the adition of Delhi bowler Vikas Tokas. 

The one glaring shortcoming could be the absence of a local wicketkeeper-batsman unless de Villiers agrees to keep wickets in which case they can have a cushion of an extra batsman. Travis Head provides the wicketkeeping option but with only four foreigners allowed in a playing XI, it will be difficult to accommodate the rookie Aussie player at least in the initial stages.

On the spinners’ front, RCB have bought back Iqbal Abdulla while adding West Indies’ leg-spinner Samuel Badree and Karnataka leg-break bowler Praveen Dubey to go with another leggie already in the side,Yuzvendra Chahal.

By buying Binny and Dubey in addition to left-arm seamer S Arvind, who had been retained, the Challengers have also ensured some decent local presence in their set-up.

Delhi Daredevils

Auction buys (Base price in brackets)
Sanju Samson (2 crore)    4.2 crore
Chris Morris (SA, 50 lakh)    7 cr
Carlos Brathwaite (WI, 30 lakh)    4.2 cr
Karun Nair (10 lakh)    4 cr
Rishabh Pant (10 lakh)    1.9 cr
Pawan Negi (30 lakh)    8.5 cr
Sam Billings (Eng, 30lakh)    30 lakh
SK Ahmed (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Pratyush Singh (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Joel Paris (30 lakh)    30 lakh
Pawan Suyal (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Chama Milind (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Akhil Herwadkar (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Mahipal Lomror (10 lakh)    10 lakh

Retained players: Amit Mishra, Jayant Yadav, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammad Shami, Saurabh Tiwary, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreyas Iyer, Zaheer Khan (India); Albie Morkel, Quinton de Kock, Imran Tahir, JP Duminy (South Africa), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Travid Head (Australia), Quinton de Kock (South Africa).

Gujarat Lions

Auction buys
Dwayne Smith (WI, 50 lakh)    2.3cr
Dale Steyn (SA, 1.5 cr)    2.3cr
Dinesh Karthik (2cr)    2.3 cr
Dhawal Kulkarni (2cr)    2cr
Praveen Kumar (50 lakh)    3.5cr
Paras Dogra (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Eklavya Dwivedi (20 lakh)    1 cr
Ishan Kisan (10 lakh)    35 lakh
Pradeep Sangwan (20 lakh)    20 lakh
Pravin Tambe (20 lakh)    20 lakh
Shivil Kaushik (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Sarabjit Ladda (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Aaron Finch (Aus, 1 cr)    1 cr
Umang Sharma (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Andrew Tye (Aus, 30 lakh)    50 lakh
Shadab Jakati (20 lakh)    20 lakh
Aksh Deep Nath (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Jaydev Shah (10 lakh)    20 lakh
Amit Mishra (10 lakh)    10 lakh

Players bought in the draft:
MS Dhoni, Steven Smith, Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis, R Ashwin

Pune Supergiants

Auction buys
Kevin Pietersen (Eng, Rs. 2cr)    3.5cr
Ishant Sharma (2 cr)    3.8 cr
Irfan Pathan (1cr)    1cr
Mitchell Marsh (Aus, 2cr)    4.8cr
RP Singh (30 lakh)    30 lakh
Rajat Bhatia (30 lakh)    60 lakh
Ankit Sharma (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Ishwar Pandey (20 lakh)    20 lakh
M Ashwin (10 lakh)    4.5 cr
Ankush Bains (10 lakh)     10 lakh
Peter Handscomb (Aus, 30 lakh)    30 lakh
Thissara Perera (SL, 1cr)    1 cr
Baba Aparajith (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Deepak Chahar (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Ashok Dinda (50 lakh)    50 lakh
Scott Boland (50 lakh)    50 lakh
Adam Zampa (Aus, 30 lakh)    30 lakh
Jaskaran Singh (10 lakh)    10 lakh

Players bought in the draft:
Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja,
James Faulkner, Dwayne Bravo,
Brendon McCullum.

Mumbai Indians

Auction buys
Jos Buttler (Eng, 1.5)    3.8cr
Tim Southee (NZ, 1cr)    2.5cr
Nathu Singh (10 lakh)    3.2 cr
Jitesh Sharma (10 lakh)    10 lakh
KP Kamath (10 lakh)    1.4 cr
Krunal Pandya (10 lakh)    2 cr
Deepak Punia (10 lakh)    10 lakh

Retained players:
Akshay Wakhare, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jagadeesha Suchitch, Jasprit Bumrah, Nitish Rana, Parthiv Patel, R Vinay Kumar, Rohit Sharma, Shreyas Gopal, Siddhesh Lad, Unmukt Chand (India); Corey Anderson, Mitchell McClenaghan (New Zealand), Keiron Pollard, Lendl Simmons (West Indies), Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Marchant de Lange (South Africa)

Royal Challengers

Auction buys
Shane Watson (Aus, 2cr)    9.5 cr
Stuart Binny (2cr)    2cr
Travis Head (Aus, 30 lakh)    50 lakh
Sachin Baby (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Iqbal Abdulla (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Praveen Dubey (10 lakh)    35 lakh
Akshay Karnewar (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Kane Richardson (2 cr)    2 cr
Samuel Badree (50 lakh)    50 lakh
Vikramjeet Malik (20 lakh)    20 lakh
Vikas Tokas (10 lakh)     10 lakh

Retained players:
Abu Nechim Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Sreenath Arvind, Varun Aaron, Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal (India); AB de Villers, David Wiese (South Africa), Adam Milne (New Zealand), Chris Gayle (West Indies), Mitchell Starc (Australia).

Total number of players bought: 94.
No of Indians: 66. No of foreigners: 28.
Total amount spent: Rs 136 crore.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Auction buys
Colin Munro (NZ, 30 lakh)    30 lakh
John Hastings (Aus, 1cr)    1.3cr
Jaydev Unadkat (30 lakh)    1.6cr
Ankit Rajpoot (10 lakh)    1.5 cr
Jason Holder (WI, 50 lakh)    70 lakh
R Satish (20 lakh)    20 lakh
Manan Sharma (10 lakh)    10 lakh

Retained players: Gautam Gambhir, Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Sheldon Jackson, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan (India); Sunil Narine, Andre Russell (West Indies), Brad Hogg, Chris Lynn (Australia), Morne Morkel (South Africa), Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh).

Kings XI Punjab

Auction buys
Mohit Sharma (1.5cr)    6.5cr
Marcus Stoinis (Aus, 30 lakh)    55 lakh
Kyle Abbott (SA, 30 lakh)    2.1cr
KC Cariappa (10 lakh)    80 lakh
Armaan Jaffer (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Pradeep Sahu (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Swapnil Singh (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Farhaan Behardien (30 lakh)    30 lakh

Retained players: Axar Patel, Anureet Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Manan Vohra, Murali Vijay, Nikhil Shankar Naik, Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Wriddhiman Saha (India); David Miller (South Africa), Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh (Australia)

Sunrisers Hyderabad

Auction buys
Ashish Nehra (2cr)    5.5cr
Yuvraj Singh, (2cr)    7cr
Mustafizur Rahman (Bangla, 50 lakh)    1.4 cr
Barinder Sran (50 lakh)    1.2 cr
Abhimanyu Mithun (30 lakh)    30 lakh
Aditya Tare (20 lakh)    1.2 cr
T. Suman (10 lakh)    10 lakh
Ben Cutting (Aus, 50 lakh)    50 lakh
Vijay Shankar (10 lakh)    35 lakh

Retained players:
Ashish Reddy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Bipul Sharma, Karn Sharma, KL Rahul, Naman Ojha, Parvez Rasool, Ricky Bhui, Shikhar Dhawan, Siddharth Kaul (India); David Warner, Moises Henriques (Australia), Eoin Morgan (England), Kane Williamson, Trent Boult (New Zealand).

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