In the IPL 2016 player auction, domestic players ruled the charts, as was pretty much evident with the tactics of all the eight franchises who wanted to concentrate more on domestic players than foreign picks.
Thus, we were shocked to see Martin Gutpill, Usman Khawaja, George Bailey and Michael Hussey getting snubbed during the IPL 2016 player auction.
All eight teams — and chiefly the two new franchises Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiants — did a fair amount of buying on Saturday during the IPL 2016 player auction (Rs 136 crore). But the focus immediately shifted to the surprise picks bought for jaw-dropping figures.
Here are the Top 5 surprise picks from the IPL 2016 player auction:
1. Pawan Negi - Delhi Dardevils (Rs 8.5 crore): The left-arm all-rounder seems to be going through some sort of a dream run. Negi was recently picked for the Sri Lanka T20 series, Asia Cup T20 2016 and the ICC World T20 2016. And then, it was time for the franchises to pick this talented cricketer in the IPL 2016 player auction. His base price was just Rs 30 lakh. Rising Pune Supergiants and Delhi Daredevils engaged in a heavy bidding war, and his price shot up to Rs 8.5 crore until the Pune franchise gave up. Negi will don the Delhi Dardevils jersey yet again in the upcoming edition of IPL.
2. Nathu Singh - Mumbai Indians (Rs 3.2 crore): We hardly knew this player before Saturday's IPL 2016 player auction, which made him a millionaire. This son of a factory worker from Rajasthan has an average bowling speed of 140kmph. He is rumoured to be the fastest bowler in the country as well. Much has been spoken about him since Saturday, after Mumbai Indians picked this lanky pacer for Rs 3.2 crore. He has had a good domestic season, and featured in the India A squad under the watchful guidance of Rahul Dravid. The chief coach of MRF Pace Foundation heaped praises on the Rajasthan fast bowler, saying he is a bright prospect for this country.
3. Krunal Pandya - Mumbai Indians (Rs 2 crore): Very few knew Krunal Pandya was the brother of India all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Both Hardik and Krunal plays for Baroda in the Ranji Trophy, just like the Pathan brothers (Irfan and Yusuf). Krunal had a base price of Rs 10 lakh, and from there it catapulted to Rs 2 crore, with Mumbai Indians bagging the young all-rounder, who bowls left-arm off-spin and can tonk the ball when necessary as well.
4. Murugan Ashwin - Rising Pune Supergiants (Rs 4.5 crore) - Everyone must have tried to find some connection between Murugan and Ravichandran Ashwin when the former bagged a whopping Rs 4.5-crore deal with the Supergiants. There is actually a connection between the two spinners — they studied in the same college. It is to be believed Ravichandran Ashwin had influenced the owners and coach Stephen Fleming to acquire the talented leg-spinner. His recent record in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is outstanding, and that was enough for the scouts to mark him as one of the targets in the IPL 2016 player auction.
5. Rishabh Pant - Delhi Daredevils (Rs 1.5 crore) - The talented wicketkeeper-batsman is currently playing for the India U-19 in the ICC World Cup, which is being held in Bangladesh. Pant scored a scintillating century off just 58 balls against Namibia in the quarter-finals on Saturday morning, and helped India U-19 cruise into the semi-finals of the World Cup. Pant has been in good form with his blade, and that ton pushed his cause further in the IPL 2016 player auction.