IPL auction completed, 60 players sold

On Tuesday December 18, the IPL 2019 auction took place, sending 60 players - including 40 Indians and 20 international players - to the squads they will represent in the upcoming tournament. Lets take a look at some of the top buys.

Two players found themselves clearly atop the list of most expensive bids, each of them going for INR 8.4 Crore. The first of them was Jaydev Unadkat, who effectively suffered a payout after the Rajasthan Royals released him after purchasing him for INR 11.5 Crore in the auction prior. The left-arm pacer had his best season in 2017, when he picked up 24 wickets at 13.41 and with the impressive economy of just 7.02. He took a step back in 2018, however, grabbing just 11 wickets in 15 matches at 44.18, and conceding 9.65 runs per over.

The second player to go for this price was mystery spinner Varun Chakaravarthy. Chakaravarthy was a wicket-keeper batsman as a junior, but eventually quit the game and became an architect. After a few years of that, however, he quit his job and transformed himself into a ‘mystery spinner’. Quite literally, this means that nobody has a clue what he is bowling. He’s not quite a leg-spinner, not quite an off-spinner, and in total he has seven different variations, including the carrom ball, flipper, and a slider aimed at the batsman’s toes. He will represent Kings XI Punjab, and no doubt his presence at the tournament will draw plenty of interest.

Sam Curran will join him at Punjab after he was bought as the most expensive overseas player for INR 7.2 Crore. At just 20 years of age, Sam Curran is one of the most exciting prospects in English cricket, the left-arm all-rounder already showing his wares both with bat and ball at the highest level. Though he has little experience in the IPL - obviously, given his age - his performances at an international level as well as in other domestic T20 events more than justify this expensive purchase.

Next came Colin Ingram, who will head to the Delhi Capitals for INR 6.4 million. Ingram, a 33 year old from South Africa, has very little IPL experience, having last played in the tournament in 2011 when he played three matches for a total of 21 runs. An explosive batsman, Ingram has been largely absent from the international circuit for the past five years, but he has become an integral member of his domestic side Glamorgan, where he is comfortably their most dangerous batsman.

A number of players found themselves purchased for INR 5 Crore, the fifth highest total at the auction. The first of these was West Indian Carlos Braithwaite. Perhaps best remembered for the four sixes he hit in the final over of the 2016 World T20 final to win West Indies the tournament, Braithwaite is an explosive hitter and capable fast bowler. His T20I record isn’t as impressive as it could be, and while his IPL career has been somewhat limited, he has shown what he can do at times. In 2016 he scored 83 runs in the tournament off just 38 balls, while last year his 75 runs in 4 matches came off 48. He will play for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

Axar Patel will head to the Delhi Capitals after five seasons at Kings XI Punjab, where he established himself as an important member of their squad. A bowling all-rounder, Patel picked up 61 wickets across five years at 28.93 and an economy rate of 7.52, while also adding 686 runs at 19.05 and with a strike rate of 126.56.  He found himself out of favour in 2018, when he played just nine matches after playing at least 14 in every season since, and will hope to revive his IPL career at a new franchise in 2019.

Mohit Sharma also leaves Kings XI Punjab after a number of years service, and was one of two players to be picked up by Chennai Super Kings at the 2019 auction. A medium pacer who burst onto the scene in 2013, Sharma picked up 20 wickets at an average of just 16.3 and a very impressive strike rate of 6.43. His 2014 season was also impressive, but since then he has struggled, and last year averaged 46 and went for nearly 11 runs an over.

Shivam Dude was the final player purchased for INR 5 Crore after being purchased at the price by Royal Challengers Bangalore. At 25 years of age, Shivam may be largely unknown to many cricket fans, but he will be looking to change that during the 2019 IPL season. A right-arm pace bowler and left-handed batter, he is capable of clearing the ropes with ease and has a knack for making important breakthroughs with the ball. Twice in his career he has hit 5 sixes in an over, while his consistency and variations with the ball have improved drastically in recent years. He will be one to watch for in the upcoming season.

Another 52 players were purchased in total during the auction, but unfortunately going through them all would take far too long. The squads, however, are now close to being set, and predictions for the season to come now have just over three months to be formulated. The tournament will kick off late in March, and though the exact location is at this point still up in the air due to the Indian general elections - which are set to be held around the same time as the event - the teams being almost finalised is more than enough to keep us all going for now!

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