FAQ of Auctionomics: Why Chahar got Rs 14 cr and Dhoni was retained for Rs 12 cr

The Indian Premier League’s retention rule came under focus as the auction made Deepak Chahar and Ishan Kishan more valuable than MS Dhoni and Jasprit Bumrah respectively, money-wise.

Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians have retained Dhoni and Bumrah respectively for Rs 12 crore each. While CSK bought Chahar for Rs 14 crore, MI forked out Rs 15.25 crore for Kishan. Harshal Patel, meanwhile, returned to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 10.75 crore, after the franchise made Mohammed Siraj a Rs 7-crore retainee.

These are just a few examples. But the IPL ‘auctionomics’ defies logic and embraces the law of supply and demand. This auction was no different.


How did Chahar become more expensive than Dhoni?

In 2018, CSK had bought the seam-bowling allrounder for Rs 80 lakh. An almost 18 times salary hike over four years not only proved that the IPL is recession-proof even in a pandemic-hit world, but it also showed how a franchise could go the extra mile for a specific target.

Chahar had been part of the CSK set-up, a Powerplay specialist. He swings the balls, which not many Indian pacers do in modern-day cricket. His batting pyrotechnics lower down the order adds value to his game. As for CSK, their bowling attack has been based on a swing bowler upfront followed by spin-choke and Dwayne Bravo taking pace off the ball. From that perspective, they needed Chahar, someone the team management knows and trusts. Breaking the bank for him was a result of that thought process, notwithstanding that Chahar would be earning more than his captain.

Why did Kishan get more money than Bumrah?

MI had released both their wicketkeepers, Kishan and Quinton de Kock. They needed one of them back. The scale tilted for Kishan, for he has been a MI thoroughbred and being a local player, he would be available for the entire duration of the tournament unlike de Kock. Kishan can open the innings and play impact knocks.

Overall, every team needed a wicketkeeper-batsman and that’s why even Dinesh Karthik, 36-year-old and now probably more popular as a Sky Sports commentator, went to RCB for Rs 5.5 crore.

Is Harshal Patel a better bowler than Siraj?

Cricketing logic doesn’t always work at IPL auction. Siraj has been a regular in the Indian team across formats, while Patel has played only two T20Is, although he was the Purple Cap holder with 32 wickets in the last year’s IPL. Patel’s ability to bowl at the death made him a hot property. He has two variations of yorkers, a slower one to complement the conventional stuff. This auction has followed the pattern of the old eight franchises trying to bring back their old players whom they had to release because of the tournament rules after the addition of two new teams. “We have got some players there (in the auction pool) we have seen develop over the years and if there’s a chance to get them back at RCB and continue their development, then we will certainly look to do that,” RCB’s director of cricket operations Mike Hesson had said ahead of the auction.

Why did Raina and Smith go unsold?

Suresh Raina has 5528 runs in 205 IPL games. But at the first round of auction, franchises considered him surplus to requirements. A 35-year-old middle-order batsman wasn’t in demand and it would have been different if he were an opener. Raina and Smith aren’t big-hitters and the franchises rather went for impact players. It is learnt that some franchises are looking at them as bargain buys, after checking the purse available, when the players will return for another round.

Why did Dhawan get big money?

Once again, on the face of it, Rs 8.25 crore that Punjab Kings spent for Shikhar Dhawan defied logic. Dhawan has been left out of the Indian T20I set-up, but after losing KL Rahul to Lucknow Super Giants, Punjab needed an opener to partner Mayank Agarwal and maybe a short-term captaincy option also.

‘Auctionomics’ worked for 37-year-old Faf du Plessis as well, for RCB, too, needed an opener and a captaincy candidate after Virat Kohli’s decision to step down. Du Plessis is out of Cricket South Africa’s scheme of things, but RCB bought him for Rs 7 crore.

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