Players like Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell made headlines for the prices they commanded at the IPL 2020 auction. But over the years we’ve seen that expensive buys don’t always pay off and sometimes it’s the smart value buys that help teams win titles.
Here are some players who were bought for relatively low prices but could be very valuable in the upcoming season:
1. Chris Lynn (Mumbai Indians, Rs 2 crore)
Australian opener Chris Lynn was the first cricketer to go up for bids in this year’s action and Mumbai Indians were quick to bid for him despite a base price of Rs 2 crore. No other franchise placed a bid, and Mumbai Indians got him without breaking a sweat. Lynn has been in red-hot form of late. The destructive opener can put the game out of reach in the powerplay overs itself, something he has done for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) over the years.
Lynn adds the requisite firepower to the defending champions’ top order, since they have released West Indies opener Evin Lewis, and he comes with a career batting strike rate of 141.84. The only factor working against him is that he’s injury-prone, which could create problems for mid-season.
2. Jason Roy – (Delhi Capitals, Rs 1.5 crore)
It is still unclear where Jason Roy fits in Delhi Capitals’ (DC) top-order given the team has Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane already. DC buying Roy back in the auctions gives them the opportunity to experiment. On his day, the English opener can take apart any bowling attack. The 29-year-old has a career T20 strike rate of 145.64, which is better than Dhawan.
3. Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals, 1.5 crore)
England fast bowler Chris Woakes lowered his base price after failing to find a bidder in the previous edition’s auction. The 30-year-old can be a back-up option for South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, or can be used alongside him on pitches that favour the fast bowlers. His economy rate may not be among of the best, but his knack of taking wickets with the new ball and slowing down the run rate in death overs makes him an important buy.
4. N Sai Kishore (Chennai Super Kings, Rs 20 lakh)
Ravisrinivasan Sai Kishore was the highest wicket-taker in this year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The Tamil Nadu left-arm spinner took 20 wickets in 10 games and had an economy rate of just 4.63 runs per over. MS Dhoni is known to nurture new talent and Kishore might be the latest addition to that list. The 23-year-old was picked by CSK for his base price of Rs 20 lakh. However, it will be interesting to see whether he will get to play in the initial games with left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner already in the side, along with leg spinner Piyush Chawla.
5. David Miller – (Rajasthan Royals, Rs 75 lakh)
Rajasthan Royals waited till the end to pick David Miller at his base price, four times lower than what Kings XI Punjab had paid for him. Miller may have seen a slump in form, but has scored 1,850 runs from 79 matches in his IPL career, which includes nine half-centuries and one century. Miller wasn’t used to his full potential in the last three seasons and can add some much-needed firepower to Rajasthan’s middle over.
6. Tom Banton (Kolkata Knight Riders, Rs 1 crore)
England’s new batting sensation Tom Banton is a promising talent and has been a hit among T20 franchises of late. The highest run-scorer in the English T20 Blast this season, Banton can be a perfect first-choice opener for KKR, since they have released Chris Lynn and top-order batsman Robin Uthappa. The Somerset batsman can anchor an innings or pick apart a decent bowling lineup, depending on the need. The 21-year-old can be an ideal batting partner for youngster Shubman Gill.
7. James Neesham (Kings XI Punjab, Rs 50 lakh)
KXIP did not have to splurge on the Kiwi all-rounder and while Neesham is not the most economical bowler, or technically perfect batsman, he can hit the ball a long way and provide breakthroughs in crucial situations. The 29-year-old may become KXIP’s first choice all-rounder on Mohali pitches, which he may find similar to the ones back at home.
8. Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals, Rs 1 crore)
The only factor working against Andrew Tye was his fitness. Tye went unsold in the beginning of the auction, but Rajasthan Royals picked him in the end for his base price. The 33-year-old is a master of deception and his changes of pace are hard to pick. Tye has taken 39 wickets in 26 IPL games, including a hat-trick.
9. Chris Green – (Kolkata Knight Riders, Rs 20 lakh)
Chris Green has been a hit among franchises across the world including Birmingham Bears, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Lahore Qalandars, Multan Sultans and Surrey Stars. The off-spinner can stop boundaries in the middle overs and force batsmen to take extra risks, which can lead to wickets. The Australian off-spinner has taken 64 wickets in 77 games and has an economy rate of 6.68.
10. Mohit Sharma – (Delhi Capitals, Rs 50 lakh)
Mohit Sharma didn’t find a taker till the very end of the auction. He has an economy rate of 8.41 runs per over, and has taken 91 wickets from 84 games, which makes him a budget buy at his base price. He is a good option for DC and can be a back-up for the in-form Ishant Sharma.