IPL's best bargains, and its white elephants
The IPL auction this year set a record when Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff were bought at a higher price than last year's most expensive player MS Dhoni. But over the course of the 37-day tournament, it was clear that big money did not necessarily translate into big results on the field. Cricinfo looks at how the top performers fared keeping their auction price in mind, as well as some of the disappointing shows.
IPL's best performers
Chennai's Mathew Hayden had a dream tournament, topping the run-scorers' list with 572 runs. He was bought for $375,000, translating to a dollar-per-run figure of $655.594. Adam Gilchrist took $1414.14 per run, which was more than twice of Hayden's, but considering he led Deccan to the title as well, it was money well spent. JP Duminy from South Africa, bought at a whopping $950,000, was the sixth highest scorer in the IPL but cost $2553.76 for every run scored. These figures are in sharp contrast to the first season of the IPL when the relatively unknown Shaun Marsh topped the batting charts but posted a dollar-per-run average of just $48.
|Player||Runs||Price (in USD)||Average||Strike-rate||Dollars per run|
|AB de Villiers||465||300,000||51.66||130.98||645.16|
RP Singh, the left-arm seamer from the Deccan Chargers, won the purple cap with 23 wickets, with a dollar-per-wicket price of $38,043.48. Anil Kumble was not too far behind in the wickets tally with 21. Add his excellent economy rate of 5.98 runs per over and his inspired captaincy, and it's clear that he was worth the price of $23,809.52 per wicket. The surprise package was Delhi's fast bowler Pradeep Sangwan, who picked up 15 wickets, each of which cost his franchise only $2000.
|Player||Wickets||Average||Price (in USD)||Economy||Dollars per wicket|
Robin Uthappa, transferred from Mumbai to Bangalore in exchange for Zaheer Khan, had a forgettable season, getting only 175 runs. In value terms, he cost Bangalore more than $4500 per run. Plus, he didn't help the team with some sloppy fielding. His team-mate Kevin Pietersen, the league's most expensive player at $1.55 million, gathered just 93 runs from six games, and cost Bangalore a whopping $16,666 per run scored. In fact, he was more value with the ball, taking four wickets and keeping it pretty tight. Jesse Ryder came to the crease with a huge reputation, but failed to get going and finished with a dismal average of 11.2 runs per innings - he, too, was a poor buy for Bangalore, costing $2857 per run. Chennai's Jacob Oram faltered as well, and was especially disappointing with the bat, as he was unable to provide the momentum at the end of innings. He cost Chennai more than $7500 per run. The Delhi duo of Gambhir and Sehwag were out of sorts too for most of the tournament, while Sanath Jayasuriya was one of the few from the older brigade who didn't fire, scoring only 221 in 12 innings.
|Player||Price (in USD)||Runs||Average||Strike-rate||Dollars per run||Wickets||Average||Economy rate|
How the other heavyweights fared
Andrew Symonds, bought for $1,350,000, was worth the spend as he scored quick runs and picked up key wickets - his double-wicket over in the final turned the game in Deccan's favour. Punjab bought Kumar Sangakkara for $700,000, and while his wicketkeeping was tidy, he wasn't at his fluent best with the bat, scoring at only marginally more than a run a ball. Harbhajan Singh picked up 12 wickets at a fantastic economy rate of 5.81 , performing better than Ishant Sharma who took 11 wickets at 6.9 runs per over. Tyron Hendersen of Rajasthan and Kolkata' s Mashrafe Mortaza were two of the biggest signings this year at $650,000 and $600,000 respectively, but were hardly used in the tournament - together they played just three matches between them. Mortaza was brought into the playing XI at the end of the tournament, and it was his final over against the Deccan Chargers which cost Kolkata the match, when Rohit Sharma hammered 26 runs to take his side to victory. Tyron Hendersen didn't do much either, scoring 11 runs in two innings and taking a solitary wicket in six overs.
Mumbai's icon player Sachin Tendulkar started with a fifty against Chennai to win the man-of-the-match and had a reasonably successful tournament overall. Punjab icon Yuvraj Singh was good in patches with the bat and was more than handy with the ball as he picked up two hat-tricks. Ganguly had a quiet IPL, and did not produce a single big innings
|Player||Price (in USD)||Runs||Average||Strike-rate||Wickets||Average||Economy-rate|
Veterans prove their worth
One category which stamped their authority was the veterans, who proved that age hadn't dampened their intensity or their ability to measure up in such a high-octane environment. Anil Kumble and Adam Gilchrist not only performed with the ball and bat respectively, they were also the two captains who took their teams to the final. Rahul Dravid played some calm innings under pressure to pull Bangalore out of tight situations. Chennai's Muttiah Muralitharan was classy and consistent throughout the tournament, while Hayden finished with the most number of runs and the orange cap. The 33-year old Jacques Kallis put in some important displays with both bat and ball, and finished as the highest run-scorer for Bangalore.
|Player||Price (All in USD)||Runs||Average||Strike rate||Wickets||Average||Economy rate|
Inexpensive and efficient
Like last year, there were some Indian domestic players who offered plenty of value money. All the players mentioned here were bought within the $30,000 to $50,000 range, but their on-field worth exceeded the slim price. Nineteen-year old Manish Pandey from Bangalore proved to be a terrific find, scoring a breathtaking century against Deccan Chargers. Pragyan Ojha finished fifth among top wicket-takers, while his left-arm spin counterpart Shadab Jakati of Chennai impressed with 13 wickets. Delhi teenager Pradeep Sangwan did his reputation no harm by becoming the eighth highest wicket-taker, showing sharp movement at lively pace. Ajinkya Rahane continued his awesome domestic form, hitting two fifties for the Mumbai Indians.
Ashwin Achal is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo