From thrifty to prodigal
It appears as though Rajasthan Royals have genuinely started to embrace the “royal” in their name. A conventionally frugal team, RR ended up purchasing Ben Stokes for Rs ₹12.5 crore and Jaidev Unadkat for Rs ₹11.5 crore, who turned out to be the most expensive players in the auction.
Yes, the Royals did have truckloads of money, but this is typical of them, to say the least.
Numerous top-notch players were left without a team to play for.
What exactly did Hashim Amla do wrong in the last edition of the IPL? Was he unsold because he scored two centuries?
What wrong did Ish Sodhi do exactly? Was it his fault that he was ranked No.1 in the ICC T20I rankings before the auction?
It is not like these players wouldn’t fit in any team. Was Akila Dananjaya a better choice than Sodhi for MI? Only time will tell.
Other notable mentions: Joe Root, Shaun Marsh, Alex Hales, Travis Head, Lendl Simmons, Kusal Perera (unsold despite their fabulous innings against India recently) and Ashok Dinda (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA).
Ben Cutting, the all-rounder, known for destroying RCB’s hopes of winning the IPL 2016, by wreaking havoc at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, was sold to the Mumbai Indians at a meagre fee of Rs ₹2.2 crore. One would think that he would fetch far more considering the importance of all-rounders in T20s. Alas, it was not to be.
Sharma over Sharma
Kings XI Punjab exceeded expectations (at least mine) at the auction table and managed to assemble a balanced team. However, in my opinion, their most significant blunder was to use the Right to Match (RTM) in favour of Mohit Sharma and not the criminally underrated Sandeep Sharma.
Barring Axar Patel, Sandeep Sharma has been the only consistent performer for KXIP in the past few years. He has the unique ability to swing the ball both ways and is a decent death bowler too. Heck, he has dismissed Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle in the same game! He was stolen (yes, stolen) for a mere ₹3 crores by the smartest team, Sunrisers Hyderabad.
About Mohit Sharma? Let’s just say he’s the lesser of the two Sharmas.
Rahane remains undervalued
Let’s face it. Ajinkya Rahane’s faculties have always been underestimated. He was the talking point of the cricketing world after his blistering knock against South Africa in the final Test match. Somehow, he failed to make big buck.
Ajinkya was sold for a petty Rs ₹4 crore and was RTMed by the Rajasthan Royals. Such a shame that Karun Nair and Piyush Chawla fared better than him.
MI do not summon Buttler
It was anticipated that Jos Buttler would be the first choice of RTM for the Mumbai Indians, especially after his scintillating ton against Australia. However, MI had other plans for him.
Buttler was sold for only ₹4.4 crores, and MI didn’t even try to bring him back. Strange.
Nay nay, captain
Faf du Plessis, the skipper of the South African cricket team, is sold to CSK for ₹1.6 crores. Kane Williamson, captain of the Kiwis, is sold to SRH. Joe Root, the English skipper, is unsold.
You get the point. Teams like KXIP and KKR did not have a proper, settled captain and did not try hard enough to acquire their services. Teams with already established leaders purchased these players. Unforeseen.
Some teams may have been happy with their buys while some disappointed. Many players’ luck may have shone bright, others must have been disappointed. Come April, and the challenge to show their worth on the ground for their price tag awaits them because the margin for error in T20s is too small. You either make your career in the IPL (ask Pandaya bros or Bumrah ) or lose your identity in the foray of 2-month cricket that promises to be entertaining yet challenging.