IPL 2019: How the 8 Most Expensive Players Have Fared So Far
Soon after a season of the Indian Premier League ends, franchises begin planning and discussing for the next – what changes to make to their squad, what kind of players would improve their team’s performance and which players they don’t need anymore. And all this plays out at the auction, where teams have the opportunity to add more players, to build a complete and balance squad.
The 12th edition of the league was no different, with teams filling 60 of the 70 empty slots available, and spending a total of Rs 1,06,80,00,000.
We’re about halfway into the tournament and – interestingly – none of the eight most expensive players played in all their team’s matches so far. But how have these names fared so far? Here’s a look.
1. Varun Chakravarthy (KXIP)
The joint-most expensive to be sold at the IPL 2019 auction, all eyes were on Varun Chakravarthy, the mystery spinner from Tamil Nadu ahead of the season. But 9 games into their campaign, and the Kings XI Punjab’s Rs 8.4 crore-bid has played just one match so far.
The uncapped 27-year-old, who is known to bowl seven different variations, returned with 1/35 in their KXIP’s second game of the season against Kolkata Knight Riders, dismissing a well-set Nitish Rana for 63. But in the next game, Varun was replaced by Murugan Ashwin and he never found his way back into the team.
2. Jaydev Unadkat (RR)
After being the most expensive Indian player at Rs 11.5 crore, Rajasthan Royals’ Jaydev Unadkat had ended the IPL 2018 season with just 11 wickets in 15 matches. But his franchise kept their faith in the pacer, again spending a whopping Rs 8.4 crore on him at the 2019 auction – making him the highest paid Indian player two years in a row.
But yet again, Unadkat has not made any great contribution to the RR bowling line-up in the 12th edition of the IPL so far. He was dropped after the first three games, having picked up just two wickets at an economy rate of 12.40. After missing two games, he was brought back into the side, and has since picked up three wickets, returning with figures of 1/23 in three overs, 1/36 in four overs and 1/48 in four overs.
3. Sam Curran (KXIP)
Now for the big buy that has relatively been more impressive this season – the young Sam Curran.
The English left-arm quick had emerged as the costliest overseas buy after being snapped up by the Kings XI Punjab for a whopping Rs 7.2 crore at the auction. And so far in the season, the 20-year-old has picked up 7 wickets in the 6 matches he has played, including figures of 4/11 against Delhi Capitals.
After returning with 2 for 52 in KXIP’s opening game of the season, Curran was dropped for two matches. He found his way back into the team in place of an injured Chris Gayle, and became the youngest player in the season to take a hat-trick.
4. Colin Ingram (DC)
Delhi Capitals’ biggest buy at this season’s auction was South African top-order batsman Colin Ingram. Bagged by the revamped Delhi franchise for Rs 6.40 crore, the 33-year-old had scored an unimpressive 138 runs in 7 matches before he flew back home to meet his newborn daughter.
Nowhere in South Africa’s scheme of things for the ICC Cricket World Cup, Ingram is expected to join the team soon. And when he does, the cricketer would be hoping to get some runs on the board and improve his current highest score of 47 this season.
5. Carlos Brathwaite (KKR)
The Windies cricketers have been having a cracker of a season so far with names like Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Chris Gayle and Alzarri Joseph winning matches for their respective franchises. But one name from the Carribean who has got close to little chance to prove his worth this season has been Carlos Brathwaite.
He’s played just one game this season, coming in as an injury replacement in KKR’s match against Delhi Capitals on 12 April. He managed to score just 6, and bowled one over but couldn’t pick any wickets in it.
West Indies is yet to announce their World Cup squad, but if he isn’t called on for national duties, Brathwaite may be able to get more chances to play a bit later into the tournament.
6. Axar Patel (DC)
Released by Kings XI Punjab and bagged by Delhi Capitals for Rs 5 crore at the auction, Axar Patel has picked up four wickets in seven games at an economy rate of 6.72 so far.
He was left out for two games, but has been part of Delhi’s playing eleven in their last five games, and returned with 1/17 against Mumbai Indians on 18 April – his best figures in IPL 2019 so far.
Axar would have been happy to find his name in the list of India’s standbys for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, and can hopefully use that as inspiration to up his game in the IPL season ahead.
7. Mohit Sharma (CSK)
MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings had retained 22 of their 25-member winning squad of 2018, and hence had just two spots (both Indian) to fill at the auction this year. And one of their two picks was bowler Mohit Sharma. The three-time champions bagged the 30-year-old bowler for Rs 5 crore, and have played him in only one game so far.
The right-arm medium-fast bowler had returned with a 1/27 in three overs in their match against Mumbai Indians that eventually resulted in CSK’s first loss this season.
8. Shivam Dube (RCB)
Just a day before the 2019 IPL auction, Mumbai all-rounder Shivam Dube had smashed five sixes in an over during a Ranji Trophy. And while this wasn’t the first time he had punished a bowler in such a manner, Dube definitely attracted some attention with this performance with Sunil Gavaskar even going as far as comparing the explosive batsman to the likes of Saurav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh.
Jump to auction day, and Royal Challengers Bangalore decided to invest a whopping Rs 5 crore on Dube – 25 times his base of Rs 20 lakh. They fielded the 25-year-old in their first three games of the season, but after scores of 2, 9* and 5, dropped him from the playing eleven.