Several top Indian and international stars went under the hammer in the two-day IPL Auction in Bangalore for the 15th season of the Indian Premier League.
The Indian Premier League (IPL) Auction stayed true to its nature of changing lives and fortunes forever. Across two days in Bangalore, a total of 204 players were bought at the auction for a combined price of INR 550 Crore (approximately USD 73 million).
While there were several players for whom the franchises splashed the cash and beat off intense bidding wars to acquire their services, there were some smart bargain buys that could prove to be difference-makers in the upcoming IPL season.
In this article, we take a look at the highly-ranked players in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings that were bought at bargain prices.
Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)
Auction Price: Bought by Kolkata Knight Riders at base price of INR 1 Crore
ICC T20I Rankings: #1 for all-rounders
Kolkata Knight Riders snapped up the services of the top-ranked ICC all-rounder on day two of the auction after he went unsold on day one.
Apart from a blip in October 2021, The Afghanistan star has been ruling the roosts in the ICC T20I all-rounders Rankings since November 2019. He led Afghanistan in the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup where they in with the chance to qualify for the semi-finals until their very last Super 12 game against New Zealand.
Since the start of last year, Nabi has scored 207 in 11 T20Is at an average of 29.57 and strike rate of 128.57. He has been handy with the ball as well, picking up four wickets in an economy of 8.08.
Even at 37 years of age, Nabi is a game-changer with both the bat and ball. A globetrotter in franchise cricket, the Afghan star will bring also a wealth of experience to his new IPL side.
Aiden Markram (South Africa)
Auction Price: Bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for INR 2.6 Crore
ICC T20I Rankings: #3 for batters, #9 for all-rounders
Aiden Markram sparked a short bidding war between three teams for his services and eventually, it was Sunrisers Hyderabad who bought him for INR 2.6 Crore.
Despite making his T20I debut in 2019, he only played three matches in the next two years and it was only in 2021 that he became a permanent fixture in the Proteas line-up. Ranked 159th in the ICC Rankings for batters in April 2021, he has quickly climbed the charts and now occupies a top 10 spot in the all-rounders' Rankings as well.
He was South Africa's second-highest run-getter in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup with 162 runs at an average of 54 and a strike rate of 145.94. He has even been handy with the ball of late, making him an attractive all-round package for the T20 format.
T20WC 2022 Fixtures
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Devon Conway (New Zealand)
Auction Price: Bought by Chennai Super Kings at base price of INR 1 Crore
ICC T20I Rankings: #7 for batters
Acquired at a base price of INR 1 Crore by Chennai Super Kings, New Zealand's Devon Conway has been regarded as one of the smartest buys of the auction.
Devon Conway made his T20I debut only in November 2020 and his stocks have only continued to rise ever since. In 20 matches, he has 602 runs at an average of 50.16 and strike rate of 139.35.
He played a vital role in New Zealand's run into the finals of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup, scoring 129 runs in difficult conditions. He was unfortunate to injure himself in the semi-final and was ruled out of the grand finale, which the Kiwis lost.
Devon Conway offers a lot of flexibility in the batting order and can slot in at any of the top five positions. He can also double up as a wicket-keeper, if need be, as he did for New Zealand in the T20 World Cup.
Rassie van der Dussen (South Africa)
Auction Price: Bought by Rajasthan Royals for at base price of INR 1 Crore
ICC T20 Rankings: #8 for batters
Rassie van der Dussen was bought by Rajasthan Royal in the accelerated auction at base price in the last few minutes of the auction on day two, after he went unsold on day one.
Rassie made his Proteas debut for South Africa in 2018 and has quickly become a vital cog of the Proteas T20I machinery. In 34 matches, he has 933 runs at an average of 38.87 and a strike rate of 130.85. He was South Africa's leading run-scorer in the 2021 Men's World Cup with 177 runs and a high score of 94* that came against England.
Slotting in the middle-order, the Proteas star can drop the anchor and accelerate at will. With several explosive batters around him, he could be the player who holds the batting line-up together.
Jason Roy (England)
Auction Price: Bought by Gujarat Titans at base price of INR 2 Crore
ICC T20I Rankings: #15 for batters
New IPL franchise Gujarat Titans got one of the most explosive openers in the game currently, Jason Roy, at a bargain price of INR 2 Crore.
The hard-hitting English star has been a pivotal part of England's white-ball dominance in the last few years. In T20Is, he has scored 1446 runs in 58 matches, striking at a whopping 143.45. He played a big role in England's run into the semi-finals of the 2021 World Cup but missed his services after he was injured in the final Super 12 game.
Capable of hitting the ball out of the park from ball one, Roy is someone who can take the game away from the opposition within the first few overs. With vast experience on his side, Roy could make the new IPL franchise a force to be reckoned with.
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