Uncapped players found themselves in demand during the IPL 2018 player auction. A lot of the younger players who are yet to don the Team India uniform were sold for much higher than their seniors. Krunal Pandya was the pick of the uncapped players as Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad putting in bids. In the end, it was RCB that managed to out in the winning bid at Rs 88 million. However, no sooner did auctioneer Richard Madley ask approach them, the Mumbai Indians raised the Right To Match card, retaining the second Pandya brother in the process. Other uncapped players to attract bids include Jofra Archer who was acquired by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 72 million and Ishan Kishan who was picked up by the Mumbai Indians for Rs 62 million. Interestingly, teams seemed to put more might and money behind acquiring younger players, capped or uncapped. This means established players with a history of attracting the bigger bids like Yuvraj Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, and Gautam Gambhir went for less than the top uncapped players even as players like Ishant Sharma, Mitchell Johnson, Tim Southee and Lasith Malinga found no takers at all. Spinners find favour The franchises in the IPL player auction this year seemed to favour spinners as the category saw some heated action, especially when it came to Afghan youth Rashid Khan. The 19-year-old found takers in Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore. RCB did prevail in the end, only to lose the player when Sunrisers Hyderabad exercised the right to match card and retaining him. Others who caught the fancy of the teams include Yazuvendra Chahal (retained by RCB using the right to match card against Delhi’s bid of Rs 60 million) and Karn Sharma (picked up by the Chennai Super Kings for Rs 50 million). Indian spinner Piyush Chawla was sought after by both CSK, Rajasthan, Mumbai Indians and RCB in a heated bidding process, but was finally retained by Kolkata Knight Riders by using the right to match card against CSK’s winning bid of Rs 42 million. CSK however managed to pick up Imran Tahir at base price. Despite keen interest in the category, some players did go unsold. These include Ish Sodhi, Adam Zampa and Samuel Badree. No takers for Ishant Sharma, Lasith Malinga Fast bowlers did not seem to be on the must have list of the teams in the IPL 2018 player auction. Of the 11 fast bowlers up for grabs in the sixth round of the auction, only five found buyers. Players like Ishant Sharma, Tim Southee, Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson remained unsold. Of the five players who did find teams bidding for them, Pat Cummins was the most popular, fetching Rs 54 million as the winning bid by Mumbai Indians. Kagiso Rabada was fought over by Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, but finally was retained by the Delhi Daredevils for Rs 42 million. Umesh Yadav found interest from Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils and Rajasthan Royals, but finally was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 42 million. Mohammed Shami was also retained using the right to match card by Delhi after the Sunrisers Hyderabad placed a winning bid at Rs 30 million. RR picks up keeper Sanju Samson In a category that saw four players go unsold, Indian wicketkeepers Sanju Samson, Dinesh Karthik, and Wriddhiman Saha had the teams in a bidding war. While Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians were engaged in an interesting duel for Sanju Samson, the former prevailed and picked him up for Rs 80 million. Dinesh Karthik found suitors in Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians but finally went to the Kinght Riders for Rs 74 million.
Saha was sold to Rs 50 million to Sunrisers Hyderabad.Robin Uthappa was retained by the Knight Riders for Rs 64 million after they used the right to match card against Rajasthan’s winning bid. Ambati Rayadu went to the Chennai Super Kings for Rs 22 million. Parthiv Patel, Jonny Barstow and Sam Billings remained unsold. Earlier the first round of the auction featured marquee players from India and overseas. While Indian players like Ajinkya Rahane and R Ashwin were sought after, it was Englishman Ben Stokes and Australian Mitchell Strac who really got the franchises shelling out the big bucks. Stokes went to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 125 million, Rs 20 million short of last year’s record bid of Rs 145 million, while Starc will now don the purple and gold of the Kolkata Knight Riders, who placed the winning bid of Rs 94 million. Stokes attracts fierce bidding second year in a row. Four teams vied for the player, starting with CSK and KXIP. The Chennai team, however, bowed out at Rs 66 million at chick point KKR entered the bidding war and battled it out till the bid amount reached Rs 120 million. At this point, RR joined in and finally walked away with last year’s most expensive player for Rs 125 million. Starc saw a fierce war between two teams – Kings XI Punjab, with co-owner Preity Zinta at the table, and KKR. However, the team from Punjab bowed out at Rs 94 million. Four teams used the right to match (RTM) card to retain players after the winning bid was placed. These include Sunrisers Hyderabad to retain Shikhar Dhawan, Mumbai Indians to retain Keiron Pollard, Rajasthan Royals to retain Ajinkya Rahane and Chennai Super Kings to retain Faf du Plessis (see chart). Both Ashwin and Dhawan saw some heavy bidding, the former going for Rs 76 million while Dhawan fetched Rs 52 million. Contrary to expectations, Rahane saw tame bidding from two teams – Punjab and Mumbai Indians, before Rajasthan exercised their right to match. West Indies heavyweight Christopher Gayle surprisingly went without a bid in the first round of the auction. Players not sold in the first go may be recalled by the teams at the end of the auction when they will be re-presented for bidding. Of the total 1,000 plus players who signed up for the auction, a shortlisted 578 will be available for auction over the next two days.