IPL auction when it happened for the first time in 2008 felt like a circus. Respected players were going under the hammer, the franchisees didn’t have that tactical acumen back then to form a team. The auction was the trailer for the main event called the IPL. But many teams were clueless about the sort of players they wanted in their setup. This led to teams shelling out a bomb to buy a player who didn’t warranty that sum in the first place. But slowly the franchisees learnt their lessons and started spending wisely.
We at StumpsandBails bring to you the best and worst buys in IPL for every team:
#8 Rajasthan Royals
Best: Shane Watson
Shane Watson was surprisingly ignored in the first draft of player auctions in IPL 2008. But better sense prevailed and the owners of Rajasthan Royals chose to punt on Watson in the second round. Watson went on to justify the faith shown by helping the RR franchise win the inaugural IPL and also won the Man of the Series award in the process.
Worst: Jaydev Unadkat
This name wasn’t a surprise by any means. Unadkat was picked up by RR in IPL 2018 for an astounding INR 11.5 crores since he had a stellar previous season with Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2017. But Unadkat proved to a colossal disappointment and the owners regretted the decision to splurge on him.
#7 Chennai Super Kings
Best: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
MS Dhoni is IPL’s most sought after player. He is the single largest brand of the franchise. Dhoni was picked up by CSK in IPL 2008 for INR 6 crores which back then was the highest price paid to a player. But Dhoni has justified every ounce of the money spent on him.
Worst: Andrew Flintoff
The big built Andrew Flintoff was purchased by CSK for a whopping 7.5 crores in IPL auctions in 2009. But the star allrounder failed to deliver for the yellow brigade and remains a regretful signing.
#6 Kings XI Punjab
Best: KL Rahul
Kings XI Punjab bought KL Rahul in IPL 2018 player auctions for INR 11 crores. But the move paid off instantly for KXIP. As Rahul emerged the top scorer for the team in 3 consecutive seasons. He has scored over 575 runs in the last 3 seasons of the IPL. Rahul has even led the mercurial KXIP side with dignity.
Worst: Varun Chakravarthy
The mystery Tamil Nadu spinner was bought by KXIP for earth-shattering INR 8.4 crores in IPL 2019. But Varun Chakravarthy played just a single game for KXIP and was released from the squad post the IPL 2019 season. Chakravarthy went on to ply his trade with KKR in IPL 2020 and had a brilliant season with them.
#5 Kolkata Knight Riders
Best: Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir was acquired by KKR in 2011 for a whopping INR 11 crores. The KKR team was in disarray before Gambhir walked into the setup. He was appointed the captain and he led KKR to playoffs every time for four straight years. KKR won the title twice in 3 years under the outstanding captaincy of Gautam Gambhir. It was KKR’s golden run and Gambhir was Kolkata’s adopted son.
Worst: Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting had a great reputation to live with. But his ego was damaged at the IPL in the very first season. Ponting failed to deliver for KKR. He played just four games in the first edition of the IPL. Ponting mustered 39 runs at an average of 9.75. While his strike-rate (73.58) was way below par.
#4 Royal Challengers Bangalore
Best: AB De Villiers
AB De Villiers was bought by RCB in the 2011 auctions for a meagre sum of INR 5 crores. Villiers since then has been an RCB loyal. He has won them many games singlehandedly. He is one of the most valuable players in the league.
Worst: Tymal Mills
The England pacer was picked up in the 2017 IPL auctions amidst much fanfare. Mills was brought in for a huge sum of INR 12 crores but he failed to deliver on the promise. It was easily one of the worst signings of the IPL.
#3 Sunrisers Hyderabad
Best: David Warner
David Warner defines the Hyderabad, SRH franchise. He was picked up in the 2014 IPL auctions for a decent sum of INR 5.5 crores. But if you look at it now, then the SRH management did place their best bet on him. Warner has been an instrumental figure for SRH. He has led the team from the front and managed to bring home the cup in 2016. You will find it hard to come across a strong player and team combination than Warner-SRH.
Worst: Deepak Hooda
Deepak Hooda a lot riding on him when he was bought by the SRH franchise. But even after years of showing promise, Hooda failed to deliver on the big stage and is possibly the most disappointing signing for SRH.
#2 Delhi Capitals (earlier Daredevils)
Best: Rishabh Pant
Delhi Capitals started investing in youth post-Rahul Dravid came in as the team’s mentor. The move paid huge dividends as the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, and Rishabh Pant flourished for DC. Pant was bought for a miserly sum of INR 1.9 crores after his exploits at the U-19 level created a buzz. He is easily one of the better T20 batsmen not just in India but in the world.
Worst: Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh was bought by Delhi for a whopping INR 16 crores. This signing was the costliest disaster in the history of the IPL as Singh could just score 248 runs throughout the season. INR 16 crores, remains the highest a team has paid for a player in an auction.
#1 Mumbai Indians
Best: Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians were the costliest team in the IPL. They were valued at INR 480 crores when the league started in 2008. But until 2013 the franchise did not have a single title to its name. Then entered a certain Rohit Gurunath Sharma who won MI 5 titles in 8 years. Sharma was bought by MI in IPL 2011 player auctions for INR 9.2 crores and the rest as they say is history.
Worst: Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell was purchased by the Mumbai Indians for a stunning $1 million in IPL 2013. But Maxwell was drafted into the team for just 3 games and was later released from the squad. MI’s failure to use Maxwell and Maxwell’s inability to seal the deal for MI means he was one of the worst signings for the IPL’s most successful franchise.