IPL Auction: Pace bowlers make some fast buck

IPL Auction: Pace bowlers make some fast buck

Australian pacer Pat Cummins was bought for a record Rs 15.50 crore by Kolkata Knight Riders at the IPL Auction in Kolkata on Thursday. AFP

The demand for quality pacemen dictated strategy in the Indian Premier League Auction for the 13th edition of the tournament here in Kolkata on Thursday. And none reaped the rewards for the dearth as much as Pat Cummins did on the day. 

Kolkata Knight Riders, coming into this auction with a budget of Rs 35.65 crore, went all out when the Australian’s name was called out. Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils wanted him just as much but neither had pockets deep enough to afford him after a point. In the end, Cummins, who had earlier played for the Kolkata side, was picked up for Rs 15.5 crore - the highest ever for a foreign player in the tournament’s history.

Chris Morris (Bangalore), Coulter-Nile (Mumbai Indians) and Sheldon Cottrell (Kings XI Punjab) were the other foreign pacers. Bangalore, having lost on Cummins, had to go all out in pursuit of Morris (on the call immediately after), and ended with the South African for Rs 10 crore after warding off Punjab. 

Punjab, subsequently, spent a handsome Rs 8.50 crore on acquiring Sheldon Cottrell’s services. The West Indian was a late addition to the list but his recent showings against India in the ongoing series was enough to convince the side, who are going to be led by K L Rahul this season. Mumbai went into a bidding war against Chennai Super Kings for Coulter-Nile and came away with the Australian for Rs 8 crore. 

While the bowlers basked in the spotlight, Glenn Maxwell was the most expensive among batsmen in the auction with Punjab buying him back for Rs 10.75 crore. Maxwell, who has been in the headlines since coming out with his mental health issues, was backed immediately by Satish Menon, with the Punjab CEO saying: “Maxwell was on our radar the entire time. He has been with us for a while, and mental issues apart, we are sure he’ll come out of it and do well for us. We wanted him and there was nothing stopping us.” 

On the Indian side of the things, Piyush Chawla, the leg-spinner, was the costliest buy after he went to Chennai Super Kings for a whopping Rs 6.75 crore. 

Varun Chakravarthy, the mystery spinner who pouched a cool Rs 8.4 crore from Punjab last season, was the second on the highest-paid Indians list with Kolkata getting him for Rs 4 crore. Jaydev Unadkat’s fine run in the auctions seems to have petered out with him fetching only Rs 3 crore from Rajasthan Royals. Rajasthan’s love affair with the left-arm paceman clearly hasn’t ended but after having bought him for Rs 11.5 crore and Rs 8.5 crore the past two years, it must come as a relief to spend only as much on him.

Chennai and Sunrisers Hyderabad, coming in with Rs 14.60 crore and Rs 17 crore, were withheld during the course and made some shrewd buys along the way. Sam Curran (Rs 5.5 crore) and Josh Hazlewood (Rs 2 crore) went to Chennai, while Hyderabad, who didn’t bid for a good two hours, picked up Virat Singh for Rs 1.90 crore, Priyam Garg for the same and Mitchell Marsh at a steal for Rs 2 crore. 

In short, the Australians, who alongside the Englishmen, used to be viewed and bought with some apprehension hit pay dirt like never before. The West Indians didn’t fare too poorly either with Cottrell and Shimron Hetmyer (bought by Delhi Captains for Rs 7.75).

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