Costliest Indian’s sold in the 2018 IPL Auction
January 30, 2018
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5 of the costliest Indian players sold in the 2018 IPL Auction

-Raj Kiran

#5 Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)- Rs 8.00 Cr:

The baby-faced wicket keeper batsman from Kerala has been around the IPL for some time displaying his talent to the cricketing fraternity with some solid batting displays for the Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Daredevils in the past few seasons.

Samson had a  great  2017 IPL season where he amassed 386 runs in 14 matches at an average of 27.58 with a strike rate of 141.4 and a high score of 102. His overall IPL stats are also quite impressive 1426 in 66 matches at an average of 21.7 with a strike rate of 124.40.

Coming into auction Samson had a splendid Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy campaign with the bat where he plundered 175 runs in 6 matches at an impressive average of 35. He also had two 50+ scores in the tournament.

Starting at a base price of Rs 100 lakh, Samson was the 6th player out of the bag in the wicket keepers category. The bidding was initialized by the Rajasthan Royals who were joined by the Mumbai Indians as they started out a bidding war for the young keeper. RR and MI went neck and neck until Rajasthan grabbed him up at the 800 lakh mark, about 8 times more than his base price.

#4 Krunal Pandya (Mumbai Indians)- Rs 8.80 Cr:

From being recognized as Hardik Pandya’s brother to making a name for himself, Krunal Pandya has come a long way in his cricketing journey. Picked up by the Mumbai Indians for Rs 2 crores in the 2016 IPL auction, Krunal has become a household name due to his exploits in the IPL.

Krunal played a huge part in Mumbai Indians success during the 2017 IPL season where he scored 243 runs in 13 matches at an average of 18.7 with a stunning strike rate of 135.80, he also snapped up 10 wickets at an miserly economy rate of 6.82 during the tournament.

He was a pre-auction favourite to go for big bucks and teams went in with a no-holds mentality when Krunal Pandya came up on the screen. Royal Challengers Bangalore started the bidding at 40 lakhs as Rajasthan Royals joined the action inflating the price to 600 lakhs before accepting defeat. But that wasn’t the end as Sunrisers Hyderabad swapped places with the royals and continued the bidding war with RCB till 880 lakhs before surrendering to the high price ask.

Krunal initially got sold to the Royal Challengers Bangalore for a sum of 880 lakhs but Mumbai Indians used their Right To Match card to retain the services of the all rounder making him the highest bid uncapped player in IPL history.

#3 Manish Pandey (Sunrisers Hyderabad)- Rs 11.00 Cr:

Manish Pandey was part of the first batch of U-19 players to be selected in the IPL auction. He was part of the Virat Kohli led U-19 World Cup winning squad in 2008 and since then has moved on from strength to strength becoming a regular member of India’s limited overs squad.

Manish came to the limelight when he became the first Indian to score a century in the IPL while playing for RCB.  Since then he has been a solid player in the IPL with a record of 2215 runs in 103 matches at average of 21.5 with a strike rate of 120.10. He had a successful IPL 2017 where he scored 396 runs in 14 matches at an average of 28.29 with a strike rate of 128.6.

Manish was part of a 5-way bidding battle between Kings XI Punjab, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad. Starting at a base price of 100 lakhs, Chennai Super Kings were the first to lift their baton for the karnataka player as Kings XI Punjab initiated a bidding war, CSK bid hard till 460 lakhs before waving the white flag. Mumbai Indians decided to join in the frenzy continuing the bidding war for Pandey till 620 lakhs before they too collapsed under budget pressure.

KXIP looked set for Pandey at 640 lakhs but RCB thought otherwise as they raised the baton for their state player and continued to match KXIP bid for bid until the 820 lakhs mark where they swapped roles with SRH. KXIP and SRH continued to battle till 1100 lakhs before KXIP decided it was a lakh too many.

Kolkata Knight Riders declined the Right To Match and SRH got their man at 1100 lakh.

#2 KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab)- Rs 11.00 Cr:

KL Rahul was part of the group of Karnataka players who had a windfall at the 2018 IPL auction. He is also a part of the players who have benefitted heavily from the IPL and have become a permanent member of the Indian cricket team.

Rahul has an impressive record in the IPL with 725 runs in 39 matches at an average of 19.6 with a strike rate of 125.6.

Starting at the maximum base price of 2 crore, Rajasthan Royals initialized the bidding war with Mumbai Indians. Mumbai Indians could not go the distance dropping out at 600 lakhs, SRH took on the challenge and got the player at their very first bid 620 lakhs but for a last minute bid by Kings XI Punjab. The bidding war continued between the two till 1100 lakhs before SRH finally ran out of gas.

Royal Challengers Bangalore were presented with a chance to Right To Match but decided not to match the hefty price.

#1 Jaydev Undkat(Rajasthan Royals)- Rs 11.50 Cr:

A fast bowler with a whippy action, Jaydev Unadkat grabbed headlines when he took 3 wickets and won the man of the match award in just his second match in the IPL. He earned high praise from his then-KKR coach Wasim Akram which led to him being fastracked into the Indian squad.

Unadkat had an impressive 2017 IPL campaign with the Rising Pune Supergiants where he managed to grab a last over hattrick maiden against the Sunrisers Hyderabad in a winning cause.

Coming off a great performance in the series against Sri Lanka, Unadkat was expected to be a popular choice among the franchises.

With a base price of 150 lakhs, Unadkat’s bidding was started by the pace-deprived Chennai Super Kings who were countered by the Kings XI Punjab which eventually triggered a huge bidding war till the 1100 lakh mark before CSK surrendered their pursuit for the Saurashtra-native.  Unadkat looked all set to be a part of Punjab’s pace attack but only for the Rajasthan Royals to swoop in with a last minute bid of 1150 lakhs to steal him right under Punjab’s nose.

With the price tag of 1150 lakhs, Unadkat became 2018 IPL Auction’s highest bid Indian player.

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