Seam bowling all-rounders Sam Curran (Rs 18.25 crore to Punjab Kings), Cameron Green (Rs 17.50 crore to Mumbai Indians) and Ben Stokes (Rs 16.25 crore to Chennai Super Kings) emerged as the most expensive buys in the history of IPL auctions in Kochi on Friday. Curran and Green broke South African Chris Morris' record deal of Rs 16.25 crore from Rajasthan Royals in 2021.
Punjab went into the auction pool with a purse of Rs 32.20 crore, while Mumbai had Rs 20.55 crore in their bank, followed by Chennai, who used 80 per cent of their budget from Rs 20.45 crore to acquire England's World Cup hero Stokes.
On the other hand, franchises such as Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals made optimum use of their thinner wallets to fill the gaps. Sunrisers Hyderabad — with the highest bank balance of Rs 42.25 crore — picked a specialist batter in Harry Brook for Rs 13.25 crore and a potential captain in Mayank Agarwal for Rs 8.25 crore.
Here is a look at the smart purchases from the IPL auction, keeping the teams' purse and utility of the players into account.
David Wiese to KKR for Rs 1 Crore
The Kolkata Knight Riders went into the auction with Rs 7.05 crore — the least among all teams — to fill at least eight spots. Picking David Wiese for Rs 1 crore is a masterstroke since he is a seasoned campaigner in T20 cricket after gaining experience at The Hundred and the Pakistan Super League.
He even played the IPL for RCB in 2015, finishing with 16 wickets in 14 games. He took a four-for and scored 47 off 25 balls against the Mumbai Indians in one of the league games.
Wiese could get the role of Pat Cummins, who bowled fiery spells and smashed sixes while coming into bat. The Namibian has a deceptive slower ball too. Recently, he scored an 18-ball 43 to guide the Deccan Gladiators to the Abu Dhabi T10 title.
N Jagadeesan to KKR for Rs 90 Lakh
After parting ways with Sheldon Jackson, a power-hitter cum backup wicketkeeper, and the unavailability of Sam Billings, the Knights lapped up in-form Jagadeesan for Rs 90 lakh at the auctions. The Tamil Nadu batter has been in electric touch as he smashed five consecutive hundreds in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, including a double hundred (277) against Arunachal Pradesh.
Jagadeesan is a tried and tested opener with decent glovework in domestic cricket. He was with the Chennai Super Kings earlier and got limited opportunities in the IPL despite scoring in bulk at the Tamil Nadu Premier League.
The batter from Coimbatore has 1,064 runs in 51 T20 games at a strike rate of 118.61.
Shakib Al Hasan to KKR for Rs 1.5 crore
Shakib is a two-time IPL winner for KKR. His return to the Kolkata franchise may augur well for the team that released all-rounder Mohammad Nabi.
Shakib brings experience to the table. Though his batting average of 19.83 in the IPL doesn't spell consistency, the cricketing fraternity is aware of his exploits. The left-arm spin fetched him 63 wickets in 71 games at an economy of 7.44.
Shakib is perhaps past his prime, but he will remain a game-turner. He can use his international experience to good effect and leave a mark in the IPL for the third time with KKR.
Reece Topley to RCB for Rs 1.9 crore
RCB entered the bidding with a purse of Rs 8.75 crore. England left-arm pacer Reece Topley seems to have found his rhythm in the past few months and can be a potent option to share the new ball with Josh Hazlewood in the RCB jersey.
Topley can bowl lethal toe-crushers and use his towering presence of six foot, seven inches to generate bounce from the wicket.
Topley has 22 T20I wickets in as many games at an economy of 8.30. RCB trusts David Willey to deliver the goods, but if he is unavailable, Topley can fill in his boots.
Jason Holder to Rajasthan Royals at Rs 5.75 Crore
Jason Holder is Rajasthan's only genuine seam-bowling all-rounder. The former West Indies captain has been a consistent bowler in the tournament. He picked up 44 wickets in the last three seasons, the last one being for Lucknow SuperGiants. The KL Rahul-led franchise released him for his lack of performance with the bat.
After releasing all-rounders James Neesham and Nathan Coulter-Nile, Holder was the next viable option for Sanju Samson's franchise which had a balance of Rs 13.20 crore.
Joe Root to Rajasthan Royals at Rs 1 Crore
Joe Root was a crucial contributor for England at the T20 World Cup in 2016. He scored 249 runs and even dismissed West Indies openers Chris Gayle and Johnson Charles inside the powerplay in the final.
Root finally found a team in the IPL; the Royals picked him for his base price of Rs 1 crore. He could be a handy middle-order batter for the Royals, a position that Steve Smith enjoyed for a long time.
Root has 893 T20I runs at an average of 35.72, and he strikes the ball at 126.30.
Shivam Mavi to Gujarat Titans for Rs 6 crore
Mavi has been Uttar Pradesh's bowling spearhead in the domestic circuit and has only appeared for KKR in the IPL. He has 30 wickets in 32 outings and is known for generating good pace.
As Gujarat released Varun Aaron, and there is always a cloud of doubt regarding Mohammed Shami's fitness, Mavi can use the window to peak as a premium fast bowler for the defending champion.
He entered the auction pool with a base price of Rs 40 lakh but ended up landing a Rs 6 crore deal.
Ajinkya Rahane to CSK for Rs 50 lakh
Rahane has fallen out of favour with the national selectors despite being a Test batter and the former vice-captain of the Indian cricket team. But Mahendra Singh Dhoni may resurrect his T20 career by handing him the opener's role with Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Rahane has over 4,000 runs in the IPL with two tons under his belt. Recently, Mumbai won their maiden Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy under his captaincy.
He played seven games for KKR in 2022 before picking up a hamstring injury.