What is the auction and why is it so important or why is it given a high prominence? The answers to these questions are simple. It is a foundation laid to the success of a team in the upcoming tournament year. In further depth, it is the adjustments made to the errs or voids that were created in the previous season. Irrespective of how the team performance would be in the upcoming tournament, teams have a certain set of plans, certain players they aim for during the auction. The last three IPL auctions (2019-2021) have been the smaller ones. Across these three years, nearly 60 players were bought in each auction.
However, there are teams like Punjab Kings (Kings XI Punjab renamed) who have chip-chopped a lot in search of a perfect squad. Across the three auctions, Punjab have bought 31 players and have spent 93.1 crores, the most by a team. On the other hand, Royal Challengers Bangalore have been a team that has spent a lot on their players. Though, they have brought 25 players, they have spent 72.9 crores, which is the second most money spent. On an average, they have spent 2.916 crores per player.
Majorly, each and every team eye on specific classification of players depending on their requirements, batsmen, all-rounders, bowlers and wicket-keepers. Let’s have a look on which of these classifications have blown hot or cold:
ALL-ROUNDERS ON HIGH DEMAND
In the modern times, every team is in search of a three dimensional player. That is one of the reasons why, out of the 179 players bought in from the last three seasons, 78 of them are all-rounders. In the 2019 mini auction, 25 out of the 60 players bought were all-rounders. In the following year as well, out of 62 players sold 25 were of this classification. The pattern seemed to be similar in the 2021 auction, 49.1 percent (28 out of 57) of the players were three dimensional.
When it comes to money spent on classifications, all-rounders have been the biggest gainers. Chris Morris, Pat Cummins, Glen Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson and few others went for over 14 crores. Morris in the 2021 auction went for a whopping price of 16.25 crores, the biggest buy in the auction history. Across the three years, 206.3 crores have been spent on all-rounders, which is nearly 52.6% of the purse.
Year after year, the exigency for all-rounders only saw an incline. In the 2019 auction, 44.15 crores were spent on them. In the follow up year, it increased to 64.45 crores and this year it further went up to 97.7 crores.
BOWLERS – AN AREA OF ATTRACTION
T20 cricket is generally a batsmen’s format. New technologies, new shot inventions and smaller grounds on a flat deck have made it really difficult for the bowlers. Still, in any franchise cricket, bowlers are also one of the popular picks. In the last three years of IPL auctions as well, they have been in the radar of the franchise owners.
Apart from the all-rounders, bowlers are the second highest specification in demand in the last three years. Since 2019 IPL auction, 55 bowlers (proper bowlers) have been bought and nearly 115 crores have been spent on them. Among those 55 bowlers, 43 of them have been fast bowlers, which is understandable considering the ground dimensions and also dew factor.
When it comes to pacers, foreign pacers have hit the jackpot. In the last three years, out of the 98.5 crores spent on pacers, 63.6 crores have been spent on foreigners. This clearly indicates that franchise have more faith in overseas pacers than Indian pacers. Another X-factor of picking up foreign pacers might be their extra pace. Considerably, most Indian pacers are gentle with pace and are conventional swing bowlers. As for the spinners, most of the teams have looked to unearth uncapped spinners.
OVERSEAS PLAYERS MAKING BIG BUCKS
It has become a trend to spend on overseas players in the last few IPL auctions. In terms of amount spent, overseas players have gained twice the amount as that of Indians. Overall, Indian players have fetched 131.5 crores as compared to 260.9 crores by overseas players.
In the 2021 IPL auction as well, nearly 3.5 times more the amount was spent on overseas players. 34 crores were spent on 35 Indian players, whereas, 22 overseas players fetched 111.3 crores. Previously in the 2020 IPL auction, overseas players had earned 107 crores as compared to 33.3 by Indians. In the last three years of auction, 19 foreigners have been purchased for five or more crores. Wherein, only eight Indian players come under this price category. This is evident enough to say that overseas players have certainly gained a huge upper hand over the Indian players.
When it comes to teams, Punjab are the ones to spend the most on overseas players (64.35 Crores). Sunrisers Hyderabad had the perfect balance in the overseas department. Hence, they have the spent the lowest (7.2 Crores) in the last three auctions.
To conclude, it is clear to say that all-rounders and overseas players have had the say in the last three mini auctions held. With the mega auctions coming up next year (2022), every team would keep a close eye on their buys.