By: Chinmay Vaidya, Aashay Chavan and Paarth Joshi
The 2019 edition of the IPL is quickly approaching and the recently concluded auction gives some insight into how teams will position themselves to capture the title this upcoming season. Here are our best values, worst values and biggest impact signings from the 2019 auction.
CV: Manan Vohra, 20 lakhs to Rajasthan Royals
After scoring 229 runs in the 2017 tournament, Vohra flopped in just four appearances for the Royal Challengers last year. He's a proven top-order batsman and should make a strong impact given Rajasthan's struggles at the top last season and the need for an explosive scorer there. At just 20 lakh, he's the ultimate bargain.
AC: Martin Guptill, 1 crore to Sunrisers Hyderabad, Jonny Bairstow, 2.2 crores to Sunrisers Hyderabad
I think the best two picks were made by Hyderabad. they somehow snagged top order batsman Martin Guptill to bolster their already strong top order. He went for only 1 crore which is a bargain. A David Warner-Guptill opening stand could win a few matches for them. Sunrisers also bought Jonny Bairstow for only 2.2 crores. He is a genuine match winner and a good keeper as well. Add Guptill and Bairstow to Kane Williamson and David Warner and that’s a lineup that will be hard to top.
PJ: Oshane Thomas, 1.1 crores to Rajasthan Royals
While still considered a young, undisciplined bowler, there is no denying the raw talent and athleticism of 21-year old Oshane Thomas. After bursting onto the scene for the West Indies in the last calendar year, Thomas' genuine pace and ability to swing the ball both ways has caught the eye of many. With the right coaching and gameplan, the Royals may have made an investment that could pay big dividends in the future.
CV: Varan Chakravarthy - 8.4 crores to Kings XI Punjab
Every year, some team in the auction tries to outsmart itself. The bidding war for Chakravarthy was shocking, only because he wasn't an established name at the international level. This guy has taken 22 wickets in nine List A matches, but will he be able to perform against the best of the best in the IPL? Either Chakravarthy is this year's Mayank Markande or Punjab will have made a disastrous signing.
AC: Jaydev Unadkat - 8.4 crores to Rajasthan Royals
I think the worst value of this year’s auction was by the Royals - Jaydev Unadkat for 8.4 crore. He was expensive last year as well and didn’t live up to his billing as he had an expensive economy rate. If he can return to his 2017 form, this signing will be worth the money. Otherwise, the Royals just bought back into a run-of-the-mill pacer.
PJ: Varan Chakravarthy - 8.4 crores to Kings XI Punjab
After a shocking bidding war, Kings XI came away with the Tamil Nadu leg spinner at a value that made him the most expensive transfer of the 2019 auction (tied with RR's purchase of Jaydev Unadkat). While Chakravarthy shows promising signs, he has never gone up against the world class international batsmen. At age 27, Chakravarthy is past his development stage and will have to rely solely on his domestic experience to navigate the bright lights of the IPL. With overwhelmingly high expectations and a lack of experience playing cricket at the highest level, Varun Chakravarthy could be one of the big busts of the 2019 season.
BIGGEST IMPACT SIGNING:
CV: Axar Patel - 5 crores to Delhi Capitals
As an Indian all-rounder, Patel is going to get matches. He floundered last season, but he's averaging 137 runs and 12 wickets across five IPL seasons. I think Patel gets to make a big impact in Delhi's lineup and should receive some good support from the likes of Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer. If given the matches, Patel has the chance to make the biggest impact.
AC: Manan Vohra - 20 lakhs to Rajasthan Royals
This is incredible cheap for a player who is only 25 and had a great tournament 2 years ago with several big match winning knocks. His prime is ahead of him and he should be able to learn from senior players such as Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith. Vohra should make a big impact at the top of Rajashtan's lineup.
PJ: Shimron Hetmyer - 4.2 crores to Royal Challengers Bangalore
Is the star power of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers enough to carry a team to the late stages of the IPL season? For the last couple years, the answer has been no. RCB has struggled to find that role player who can take the pressure off the superstars and play a match winning innings. Over the last year, the world has taken note of the class and fire power of the Windies youngster. When Hetmyer stays at the crease for an extended period of time, you can expect the scoreboard to tick at a rapid rate. His performances will determine how far RCB goes this season.