David Warner

IPL Auction 2022: The lower-ranked T20I players who went for big bucks

IPL 2022

Hit For Six!

Several top Indian and international stars went under the hammer in the two-day IPL Auction in Bangalore over the weekend, ahead of the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League.

How the top-ranked T20I players fared at the IPL 2022 Auction

The IPL Auction stayed true to its nature of changing lives and fortunes. 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 who turned out to be quite the bargain picks at the auction table, a few players sparked intense bidding wars among the ten franchises who were quite willing to splash the cash.

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In this article, we take a look at the lower-ranked players in the MRF Tyres ICC T20I Rankings that were bought at high prices. 

Only players with more than 10 T20I appearances, and a ranking lower than 25, have been considered for the list.

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David Warner (Australia)

Auction Price: Bought by Delhi Capitals at INR 6.25 crore from a base price of 2 crore
ICC T20I Ranking: #41 for batters

Among the marquee set of players, Warner fetched a big price in the IPL auctions, although it is a measure of Warner's quality and accomplishments that it was still considered a bargain. When Warner's name came up, it sparked a bidding war between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals, with the latter eventually winning the rights to his services. 

Warner has had an impressive career in the IPL but struggled in the previous edition. In eight innings, he could only notch up 195 runs at an average of 24.37 and a strike-rate of 107.73. 

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The Australian though managed to regain his best form at the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World World Cup, where he was named the Player of the Tournament for playing some crucial knocks as his side were crowned the champions. He scored 289 runs at 48.16, striking at 146.70. 

Even at the age of 35, Warner's wealth of experience and fearsome striking ability will make him a risk worth taking for the Capitals. Along with Prithvi Shaw, he could form the most exciting opening pair in the tournament, and the chance to work under Ricky Ponting will surely be an added bonus.  

Liam Livingstone (England)

Auction Price: Bought by Punjab Kings at INR 11.5 crore from a base price of 1 crore
ICC T20I Rankings: #72 for batters, #6 for all-rounders

Though bought primarily as an all-rounder who could chip in a few overs of spin with the ball, Liam Livingstone will be expected to do the damage with the bat, where he will act as a finisher for Punjab Kings.

Livingstone is still finding his footing in the England T20I set-up, moving in and out of the side – a fact reflecting his ranking of 72 among all-rounders – but his potential to strike a clean hit is unquestionable. 

In 2021, Livingstone was impressive whenever he was given a chance in the England T20I side. He notched up 236 runs in 12 matches at an average of 33.71 and a strike-rate of 177.44 with one century. He also picked up eight wickets. 

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A fine finish to Livingstone's spell

He also impressed in the maiden edition of The Hundred, where he was adjudged the Player of the Tournament for scoring 348 runs and picking up five wickets. 

Livingstone sparked an intense bidding war with no less than five franchises throwing their hat in the ring for his services. Eventually, Punjab Kings had their man. He was the most expensive overseas purchase in the 2022 auction.

Shimron Hetmyer (West Indies)

Auction Price: Bought by Rajasthan Royals at INR 8.5 crore from a base price of 1.5 crores
ICC T20I Ranking: #66 for batters

Shimron Hetmyer once again sparked interest from franchises in his services despite his career so far blowing hot and cold. 

In 2021, he played 15 T20Is, scoring 287 runs at 26.09 and striking at 121.09 with two fifties. Overall, he played 42 T20Is with 666 runs to his name at a strike-rate of 118.72. 

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In the IPL, Hetmyer has previously represented Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals, but has struggled for consistency. He averages 25.85 in the tournament and has scored 517 runs in 31 matches. 

But his potential to clear the ropes at will is there for all to see which has led to Rajasthan investing heavily in him in order to make him a cornerstone of their middle-order. They eventually beat off Delhi Capitals, who were quite keen to bring him back to the franchise, shelling out a big amount from their purse. 

Romario Shepherd (West Indies)

Auction Price: Bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad at INR 7.75 crore from a base price of 75 lakh. 
ICC T20I Ranking: #73 for all-rounders

Since making his international debut in 2020, Shepherd has impressed one and all with his all-round abilities. Impressive with the ball and able to deliver some big blows down the order, Shepherd can be a real game-changer on his day.

This perhaps explains why four franchises were interested in his services during the accelerated auctions with Sunrisers Hyderabad eventually beating Lucknow Super Giants, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings for his services.  

IPL Auction High Jumps
IPL Auction High Jumps

In 44 T20 matches, Shepherd has scored 315 runs striking at 161.53 while also claiming an impressive 53 wickets at 21.18. On the international stage, Shepherd has played 14 matches, aggregating 117 runs and picking up 12 wickets. 

He is very much a part of West Indies' plan as they rebuild their T20 unit and the series against India will be a big opportunity for the Guyanese all-rounder to showcase why the franchises were willing to go big to procure his services. 

Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand)

Auction Price: Bought by Gujarat Titans at INR 10 crores from a base price of 2 crores
ICC T20I Ranking: #62 for bowlers

With pace to burn, Lockie Ferguson was a player who was on the shortlist of many franchises. Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Lucknow Super Giants were all interested in his services but it was the new side Gujarat Titans who eventually got their man.  

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The reasoning behind going big for Ferguson is quite simple – he bowls at an express pace mixed in with clever variations and is a proven wicket-taker both at the international and franchise cricket level. 

But he has had some bad luck with injuries which also makes him a gamble at such a high price. He has played 15 T20Is for New Zealand and picked up 24 wickets at a brilliant average of 15.40. The number of matches would have been quite higher if not for a series of unfortunate injuries, and it's also meant he's ranked 62 among T20I bowlers.

He has also impressed in the IPL, previously playing for Rising Pune Supergiant and Kolkata Knight Riders. In 22 matches, he has picked up 24 scalps at an economy rate of a shade over 8. 

His quality has never been in question. But getting a fit and firing Lockie Ferguson for the 2022 edition of the tournament will be the biggest challenge for the Gujarat Titans in their maiden campaign. 

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