IPL Auction 2022: Rs 8.25 cr for Shikhar Dhawan sparks surprise, R Ashwin is Buttler’s team-mate

IPL Auction 2022:The first round of auction of 10 marquee players threw up an ‘opening surprise’, Shikhar Dhawan going to Punjab Kings for Rs 8.25 crore after a three-way bidding war. Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals, too, were heavily involved in the bidding before giving up.

For a 36-year-old player out of the Indian T20I set-up, such intense bidding was unexpected, with the franchises keeping an eye on the future. But every auction has its own dynamics and sometimes the auction room mood decides the eventual outcome.

Punjab lost their former captain KL Rahul to Lucknow Super Giants and apparently paid over the odds to bring in an opening partner for Mayank Agarwal, notwithstanding that Dhawan scores at a sub-130 strike rate in the shortest format.

At the post-session press conference, Punjab Kings co-owner Mohit Burman explained the decision, saying their idea has been to create a core group with good and experienced Indian players.

Faf du Plessis going to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 7 crore showed that openers were in demand. A Chennai Super Kings legend, his old franchise went for the 37-year-old to a certain extent before pulling out.

“To a certain extent, the old bonding plays a part. But beyond a certain level, you cannot be looking at what I would say is our attachment. It is going to be decided on the future of the team,” CSK chief executive Kasi Viswanathan told this paper before the auction. The four-time IPL champions stayed true to their plan.

Also, during the bidding of Quinton de Kock, who went to Lucknow for Rs 6.75 crore, CSK dropped a clear hint that they were looking for MS Dhoni’s successor, the way they went toe to toe with RCB. Over the last 14 seasons, wicketkeeper-batsman was the franchise’s most assured spot. This auction, though, is about building a team for the future.

Kolkata Knight Riders bagged Pat Cummins and Shreyas Iyer for Rs 7.25 crore and Rs 12.25 crore respectively, both captaincy candidates. KKR managing director and CEO Venky Mysore, however, remained coy on the captaincy issue, saying that a decision would be taken later, in consultation with the team management.

R Ashwin mankading Jos Buttler R Ashwin mankading Jos Buttler in IPL 2019. (File Photo/BCCI)

Ravichandran Ashwin going to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 5 crore and becoming Jos Buttler’s team-mate was interesting. Back in 2019, while playing for Kings XI Punjab, Ashwin had controversially ‘Browned’ (as Sunil Gavaskar calls Mankading) Buttler, with former England captain Michael Vaughan saying: “Well, the fair play award isn’t going to Mohali this year”… Ashwin, though, defended his decision.

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