IPL auction: Christian top draw on a day of tactical bidding

Bangalore, Jan 9 (IANS) The two-day Indian Premier League (IPL) auction concluded here with little-known Australian Daniel Christian being the top money grosser Sunday at $900,000. The 10 franchises resorted to tactical moves on the second day without much money left in their purses after the first day’s agressive and intense bidding.

Unlike the drama of the opening day, the franchises picked only selected players to fit into their team combinations, leaving the ‘Unsold’ basket overflowing. This included former Sri lankan captain Sanath Jayasuria, who went unsold early in the pre-lunch session, meeting the fate of Sourav Ganguly, Brian Lara and Chris Gayle.

Christian was bought by Deccan Chargers but his paycheque, 18 times his base figure of $50,000, was nowhere near Gautam Gambhir’s record $2.4 million Saturday and it summed up the mood of the day.

Indian players remained hot favourites and Nagpur speedster Umesh Yadav surprisingly emerged as the second highest and top Indian in the charts Sunday. The tall fast bowler was bought by Delhi Daredevils for $750,000, 15 times more than his base price of $50,000.

Like the opening day, the owners thought it wise to go for the tried and tested Indian players who have a good reputation in the shorter format. The availability factor of the Indians during the April 8-May 28 tournament also pegged them over reputed Australian and England players.

The 10 bidders, together having doled out $52.8 million out of the nearly $75 million in their kitty, were more into defensive and tactical buying the ITC Royal Gardenia hotel, the venue of the auction. The owners were left with $19.5 million not only to buy from the auction but also to take on their teams the uncapped players after the auction.

Auctioneer Richard Madley, however, was on speed dial as he had 18 Indians and around 50 overseas players to sell before lunch-break. In fact, the entire section for wicketkeepers was scrapped with all the teams having already taken a stumper and it made one wonder whether there were too many players put on the auction list.

The auction, which made a fast Twenty20-like start with Gambhir’s record package, slowed down like a boring Test match in the afternoon session in which only a handful of players were sold.

Hopes of Ganguly, West Indian Lara and Gayle making a dramatic comeback in the last session when teams were allowed to select from the unsold list, was dashed with none of the franchisees showing any interest.

The auction,however, finshed with Mohammad Kaif being brought in the table for the third time after going unsold twice, including the last session when 28 players were recalled. Pune Warriors pulled him out of the rejected list for his base price of $100,000 and to everyone’s surprise Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore jumped in the fray. Vijay Mallya finally got him for $130,000.

Among the other big Indian catches were Munaf Patel (Mumbai Indians), Lakshmipathy Balaji (Kolkata Knight Riders), R.Vinaykumar (Kochi), Ashok Dinda (Delhi Daredevils), Umesh Yadav (Delhi Daredevils), Manpreet Gony (Deccan Chargers) Abhimanyu Mithun (Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Sudeep Tyagi (Chennai Super Kings).

Australian Christian was taken by Deccan Chargers for 18 times of his base price of $50,000. The 27-year-old from New South Wales is a fast bowler and also a big-hitter lower down the order.

Other star foreigners to go down the hammer were Shaun Tait (Rajasthan Royals, $300,000) Wayne Parnell (Pune Warriors, $160,000), Clint McKay (Mumbai Indians, $110,000), Nuwan Kulasekara (Chennai Super Kings, $100,000).

The franchises and their new teams have just about three months to gel, strategise, practice and be in shape for the IPL 4 championship that kicks off in Chennai.

Top buys in the session.
Indian:
Umesh Yadav (Delhi Daredevils, $750,000), Munaf Patel (Mumbai Indians, $700,000), Venugopal Rao (Delhi Daredevils, $750,000), Lakshmipathy Balaji (Kolkata Knight Riders, $500,000), R.Vinaykumar (Kochi, $475,000), Ashok Dinda (Delhi Daredevils, $375,000), (Manpreet Gony, Deccan Chargers $290,000), Abhimanyu Mithun (Royal Challengers Bangalore, $260,000), Jaidev Unadkat (Kolkata Knight Riders, $250,000) Sudeep Tyagi (Chennai Super Kings, $240,000)

Foriegners:
Daniel Christian (Deccan Chargers, $900,000), Shaun Tait (Rajasthan Royals, $300,000), Mitchell Marsh (Pune Warriors, $290,000), Scott Styris (Chennai Super Kings, $200,000), Wayne Parnell (Pune Warriors, $160,000), Clint McKay (Mumbai Indians, $110,000), Nuwan Kulasekara (Chennai Super Kings, $100,000)