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IPL auction: Watson, Morris and Yuvraj headline major spends
Kings XI Punjab have made one massive purchase so far, that of seamer Mohit Sharma for Rs 6.5 crore from his reserve price of 1.5 crore. Other noticeable buys were Ashish Nehra (5.5 crore) to Sunrisers, Mitchell Marsh (4.8) to Rising Pune Super Giants and Sanju Samson and West Indies allrounder Carlos Braithwate for 4.2 crore each to Daredevils. Like Morris, the 27-year-old Braithwate - with 307 runs and 33 wickets from 37 T20 games - got 14 times his reserve price.
Other noticeable spends were on Jos Buttler (3.8 crore) by Mumbai Indians and Ishant Sharma (3.8) to Pune. Surprisingly, just one batsman has been acquired from three sets and not a single spin bowler sold.
Australian Watson, who for eight seasons has represented Rajasthan Royals until their suspension last year, attracted heavy bidding from RCB and Mumbai, but it the Vijay Malya-owned franchise that nabbed his services for 9.5 crore, from a base price of 2 crore. Watson recently scored the second-highest individual score in Twenty20 internationals, and apart from his all-round value he also offers RCB a strong leadership role.
After an initial moment of inactivity around the auction room in Bangalore, Sunrisers and Mumbai started a bidding tussle for Yuvraj, which eventually ended at 7 crore. From the pool of allrounders, the most bidding was for Morris, with Mumbai and KKR chasing the South African eagerly until the paddle went down at a huge Rs 7 crore by Daredevils, in their first bid of the round.
Sunrisers spent Rs 12.5 crore of their 30.15 purse on securing two proven T20 performers in Singh and Nehra during the marquee round of the auction, while new franchise Gujarat Lions shelled out 12.4 of their 27 crore budget in buying three pace bowlers in Praveen Kumar, Dale Steyn, Dhawal Kulkarni, a wicketkeeper in Dinesh Karthik and an opener to Dwayne Smith. With Brendon McCullum earlier acquired last year, Gujarat now have the successful former Chennai Super Kings opening combination.
The Hyderabad franchise also spent well on Nehra, whose base price was 2 crore. The pair was recently recalled to India's T20 side and featured in the 3-0 sweep of Australia, which earned them spots for the upcoming Asia Cup and ICC World Twenty20 in India.
Pune - with a purse of Rs 27 crore - purchased Kevin Pietersen for 3.5 crore and Ishant for 3.8 crore, adding to a squad which already contains MS Dhoni, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Steven Smith and Faf du Plessis. Australia' Mitchell Marsh was the second most valued allrounder at Rs 4.8, with Pune holding out over KXIP with the winning bid.
Daredevils made their first bid of the morning for Samson, who kicked off the wicketkeeper's round, and eventually got him for Rs 4.2 crore. Though he had a poor domestic season by the standards shown when he entered the scene a couple of years ago, the talented Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman netted a solid IPL pay packet. They later staved off serious waging from KKR to seal the deal for Braithwate at 4.2 crore too.
England's big-hitting Buttler found Mumbai and KKR vying for his services, but KKR - in their first bid of the day - were hesitant once the bid crossed 3.5 crore. Butter went to Mumbai Indians for 3.8 crore, from a base price of 1.5 crore. Gujarat needed a wicketkeeper and got Karthik for 2.3 crore, just 30 lakhs higher than his base price.
Irfan Pathan went to Pune for his base price of 1 crore and Stuart Binny to RCB for his of 2 crore, while New Zealand allrounder Colin Munro was KKR's first purchase at his base price of 30 lakh.
The fifth round, that of fast bowlers, saw intense bidding for two names, Mohit and Praveen KKR and KXIP tussled for Mohit - who previously has played only for Chennai Super Kings - until the 4.8 crore mark before late entrants SRH raised that past 5 crore. But KXIP, who until then had not purchased one player, were the keener franchise and won Mohit for 6.5 crore. KKR and Gujarat chased Praveen (base 50 lakh) and eventually he went to the latter for 3.5 crore. Gujarat also added Kulkarni to their pace attack for his reserve price of 2 crore. From the overseas lot, Mumbai picked Tim Southee for Rs 2.5 crore and John Hastings went to KKR for 1.5 crore.
Not a single batsmen was sold during the first round, with the franchises overlooking the likes of Usman Khawaja and Michael Hussey without so much as a second glance. No spinner was picked either, with Pragyan Ojha, Samuel Badree and Pragyan Ojha finding no takers. New Zealand's Martin Guptill and Australia's T20 captain Aaron Finch went unsold during the marquee round, but it is likely that by the end of the day they will have contracts.
As the afternoon wore on, the bids turned low-key. After two bid-less rounds, the first batsman to be sold was Australian Travis Head, going to RCB for 50 lakhs. Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman became Sunrisers' second left-arm seam bowling pick at 1.4 crore, and KXIP bolster their bowling by getting South Africa's Kyle Abbott for Rs 2.1 crore, significantly more than his base price of 30 lakh.
Marquee round
Shane Watson Rs 9.5 crore (base price 2 crore) to RCB
Yuvraj Singh 7 crore (base price 2 crore) to SRH
Ashish Nehra Rs 5.50 crore (base price 2 crore) to SRH
Ishant Sharma Rs Rs 3.8 crore (base price 2 crore) to PSG
Kevin Pietersen 3.5 crore (base price 2 crore) to PSG
Dwayne Smith Rs 2.3 crore (base price 50 lakh) to GL
Dale Steyn Rs 2.3 crore (base price 1.5 crore) to GL
Unsold: Martin Guptill (base price 50 lakh), Aaron Finch (base price 1 crore)
Batsmen round
1st set: All unsold
2nd set: All unsold
3rd set: Travis Head Rs 50 lakh (base 30 lakh) to RCB
Wicketkeepers round
Sanju Samson 4.2 crore (base Rs 2 crore) to DD
Jos Buttler Rs 3.8 crore (base 1.5 crore) to MI
Dinesh Karthik 2.3 crore (base 2 crore) to PSG
Allrounders round
Chris Morris Rs 7 crore (base 50 lakh) to DD
Mitchell Marsh Rs 4.8 crore (base 2 crore) to PSG
Carlos Braithwate Rs 4.2 crore (base 30 lakh) to DD
Stuart Binny (base 2 crore) to RCB
Irfan Pathan 1 crore (base 1 crore) to PSG
Marcus Stoinis Rs 55 lakh (base 30 lakh) to KXIP
Colin Munro Rs 30 lakh (base 30 lakh) to KKR
Fast bowlers round
Mohit Sharma Rs 6.5 crore (base 1.5 crore) to KXIP
Tim Southee Rs 2.5 crore (base 1 crore) to MI
Kyle Abbott Rs 2.1 crore (base 30 lakh) to KXIP
Dhawal Kulkarni Rs 2 crore (base 2 crore) to GL
Jaydev Unadkat Rs 1.60 lakh (base 30 lakh) to KKR
Mustafizur Rahman Rs 1.4 crore (base 50 lakh) to SRH
John Hastings Rs 1.3 crore (base 1 crore) to KKR
Barinder Sran Rs 1.2 crore (base 50 lakh) to SRH
Abhimanyu Mithun Rs 30 lakh (base 30 lakh) to SRH
RP Singh Rs 30 lakh (base 30 lakh) to PSG


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