SA's Morris bags a million but day belongs to Indian uncapped players

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Surprise picks highlight third round of bidding

Australia allrounder Shane Watson became the IPL 2016 auction’s first million-dollar man, going to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 9.5 crore* after bidding for him began at Rs 2 crore. Yuvraj Singh was the second but the Rs 7 crore Sunrisers bid for him was far less than what he fetched at the last two auctions – Rs 16 crore last year. He looked like he might go unsold this time round after setting his base price at Rs 2 crore, but at the last moment he got a bid from Mumbai Indians, followed by Royal Challengers.

The day’s third dollar millionaire was also the big surprise – South Africa’s Chris Morris, whose value exploded to Rs 7 crore – 14 times that of his base price of Rs 50 lakh. Pune was involved in the opening rounds of bidding for him, before Mumbai Indians and Knight Riders went neck and neck. As bidding halted just one bid away from the million-dollar mark, Daredevils entered the fray, and no one challenged them.

The most unexpected million-dollar of the man, though, was uncapped left-arm spinner Pawan Negi. Negi, who was picked up by Daredevils for Rs 8.5 crore (base price Rs 30 lakh), had been named in India’s World T20 squad on the eve of the auction.

Another big surprise was seam-bowling West Indies allrounder Carlos Brathwaite, who had impressed with his quickfire fifties down the order and enthusiasm on the recent Test series in Australia. He got a winning bid of 4.2 crore from Delhi Daredevils, 14 times his base price of Rs 30 lakh.

There were a couple of early surprises among the unsold players too at the Bangalore auction: the in-form New Zealand and Australia batsmen Martin Guptill and Usman Khawaja.

Karnataka batsman Karun Nair was expected to be one of the big buys among the uncapped players, and so it was soon after the lunch break with Daredevils, Pune and Rajkot all bidding for him and bumping his price up to Rs 4 crore from a base price of Rs 10 lakh. Baroda allrounder Deepak Hooda‘s price went up from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 4.2 crore, secured by Sunrisers after a long round of bidding – he got 42 times his base price, the day’s biggest multiple from the base price. Rajasthan fast bowler Nathu Singh also earned big, getting Rs 3.2 crore from Mumbai Indians, from a base priced of Rs 10 lakh. Mumbai Indians had made the winning bid after a long back-and-forth between Daredevils and Royal Challengers.

Seventeen-year-old India Under-19 captain Ishan Kishan was picked up by Rajkot for Rs 35 lakh. His U-19 team-mate Rishabh Pant was fought for by Pune, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers and Daredevils, bumping his base price up from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1.9 crore before Daredevils snapped him up. A wicketkeeper-batsman, Pant is in fine form in the on-going U-19 World Cup.

Kevin Pietersen was the first player to be auctioned, bought by Rising Pune Supergiants for Rs 3.5 crore after a bidding war with the other new team in the tournament, Gujarat Lions. His base price was Rs 2 crore. The two teams also faced off for West Indies opener Dwayne Smith, who was eventually secured by Lions for Rs 2.3 crore after bidding began at Rs 50 lakh.

Ishant Sharma was the first Indian player to go under the hammer, and his bidding opened at Rs 2 crore from Kings XI Punjab, but Pune won out again, winning his services for Rs 3.8 crore. Ashish Nehra later sold to Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 5.5 crore.

Australia opener Aaron Finch went unsold in the first round of bidding. Dale Steyn was the last man to be auctioned in the first marquee round. Royal Challengers, Pune and Rajkot bid for him before Rajkot secured him for Rs 2.3 crore.

South Africa batsman Rilee Rossouw opened the second round – the batsmen’s round – and went unsold. Two big Test names followed, Cheteshwar Pujara and Hashim Amla, and they went unsold too. A bit more surprisingly, there were not bids for Mahela Jayawardene or Michael Hussey either.

Kerala’s Sanju Samson opened the round for wicketkeepers, and he looked like he might not get a bid but a late call from Daredevils – the franchise’s first of the day – triggered a fight between them and Rajkot. Daredevils won, picking Samson up for Rs 4.2 crore – his base price was Rs 2 crore. Dinesh Karthik was picked up by Rajkot for Rs 2.3 crore.

The bidding for England wicketkeeper Jos Buttler was much-anticipated, and he went to Mumbai Indians for Rs 3.8 crore after setting his price at Rs 1.5 crore.

In the allrounders’ round, Irfan Pathan was the first player to be bought, going at his base price of Rs 1 crore to Pune. West Indies’ Darren Sammy went unsold soon after, but Australia’s Mitchell Marsh picked up Rs 4.8 crore from Pune.

Mumbai seamer Dhawal Kulkarni opened the fast bowlers’ round, and he was picked up by Rajkot at his base price of Rs 2 crore. Knight Riders were quiet active in the round, winning Australia’s John Hastings for Rs 1.3 crore, before engaging in a tag-of-war with Rajkot for Praveen Kumar. Rajkot won this bid though, paying Rs 3.5 crore for him, seven times his base price of Rs 50 lakh.

Knight Riders, obviously keen to bolster their pace stocks, were at it again when Mohit Sharma came up for bidding, but Kings XI Punjab – who had as yet not secured a single player on the day – aggressively outbid them. Sunrisers tried a late swoop, but Kings XI would have none of it, picking him up for Rs 6.5 crore (base price 1.5 crore). He was the 45th player to be auctioned, and their first buy. Tim Southee went to Mumbai Indians for Rs 2.5 crore.

All eleven spinners lined up in the morning round of bidding went unsold, including India’s Pragyan Ojha and Rahul Sharma, the in-form Australian Nathan Lyon, Sri Lankan mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis and West Indies’ legspinner Samuel Badree. None of the Sri Lankan’s who came up in the morning rounds were bought: Mendis, Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thisara Perera and Sachchitra Senanayake. The only Bangladesh player who came up, wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim, went unsold as well.

World Cup semi-final hero, New Zealand allrounder Grant Elliott went unsold when bidding resumed in the afternoon. Australian Marcus Stoinis got Rs 55 lakh from Kings XI.

When the second round of fast bowlers came up, the first Bangladesh buy of the day happened with Mustafizur Rahman (base price Rs 50 lakh) going to Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 1.4 crore. India and Saurashtra seamer Jaydev Unadkat went soon after, for Rs 1.6 crore to Knight Riders, before a prolonged bidding war for South Africa’s Kyle Abbott ensued. Bidding began at Rs 30 lakh for him, by Royal Challengers, but Kings XI eventually won out, getting him for Rs 2.1 crore.

Left-arm bowler Barinder Sran, who had debuted for India on the limited-overs tour to Australia last month, went to Sunrisers for Rs 1.2 crore.

A big gainer among the uncapped players was Uttar Pradesh wicketkeeper Eklavya Dwivedi, who went to Rajkot for Rs 1 crore (base price Rs 20 lakh). Mumbai wicketkeeper-batsman Aditya Tare’s base price also multiplied several times over, as he went for Rs 1.2 crore to Sunrisers after setting a base price of Rs 20 lakh. Legspinner Pravin Tambe became the first specialist spinner to be bought on the day, for Rs 20 lakh to Rajkot. Soon after, little known 20-year-old left-arm spinner Shivil Kaushik was bought for Rs 10 lakh, also by Rajkot.

For a full list of players who were sold and unsold, click here.

*INR 1 crore = INR 100 lakh = INR 10000000 = USD 148 thousand approx
INR 1 lakh = INR 100 thousand = INR 100000 = USD 1480 approx

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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