IPL 2009 review May 26, 2009

IPL's best bargains, and its white elephants

Ashwin Achal
Cricinfo looks at how the top performers fared keeping their auction price in mind, as well as some of the disappointing shows

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.

Best batsmen in IPL 2009
Player Runs Price (in USD) Average Strike-rate Dollars per run
Matthew Hayden 572 375,000 52 144.81 655.60
Adam Gilchrist 495 700,000 30.93 152.3 1414.14
AB de Villiers 465 300,000 51.66 130.98 645.16
Suresh Raina 434 650,000 31 140.9 1497.7
Tillakaratne Dilshan 418 250,000 41.8 122.58 598.09
JP Duminy 372 950,000 41.33 114.46 2553.76
Herschelle Gibbs 371 575,000 33.72 112.08 1549.87
Brad Hodge 365   40.55 117.74 -
Sachin Tendulkar 364 1,121,250 33 120 3080.36
Rohit Sharma 362 750,000 27.84 114.92 2071.82

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.

Best bowlers in IPL 2009
Player Wickets Average Price (in USD) Economy Dollars per wicket
RP Singh 23 18.13 875,000 6.98 38,043.48
Anil Kumble 21 16.12 500,000 5.86 23,809.52
Ashish Nehra 19 18.21 NA 6.78 21,052.63
Lasith Malinga 18 17.33 350,000 6.3 19,444.44
Pragyan Ojha 18 19.33 30,000 6.5 1666.67
Irfan Pathan 17 22.94 925,000 7.74 54,411.76
Munaf Patel 16 15.06 275,000 6.91 17,187.5
Pradeep Sangwan 15 24 30,000 7.71 2000

The disappointments
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.

Poor performers in IPL 2009
Player Price (in USD) Runs Average Strike-rate Dollars per run Wickets Average Economy rate
Robin Uthappa 800,000 175 15.9 102.94 4571.42 - - -
Kevin Pietersen 1,550,000 93 15.5 109.41 16666.67 4 21.25 6.53
Sanath Jayasuriya 975,000 221 18.41 115.10 4210.85 7 23.28 8.57
Virender Sehwag 833,750 198 19.8 143.47 2534.96 0 - 25
Gautam Gambhir 725,000 286 22 102.87 4411.76 - - -
Jacob Oram 675,000 88 14.66 94.62 7670.45 5 26.6 8.58

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

How the other heavyweights fared
Player Price (in USD) Runs Average Strike-rate Wickets Average Economy-rate
Andrew Symonds 1,350,000 249 35.57 150 7 22.85 6.66
Sachin Tendulkar 1,121,250 364 33.09 120.13 0 - 9.66
Sourav Ganguly 1,092,500 189 17.18 91.30 2 48.50 8.08
Yuvraj Singh 1,063,750 340 28.33 115.64 6 23.66 7.10
Ishant Sharma 950,000 16 8.00 123 11 27.00 6.90
Brett Lee 900,000 28 14.00 82.35 5 22.20 5.55
Harbhajan Singh 850,000 84 10.50 158.49 12 21.33 5.81
Chris Gayle 800,000 171 28.50 119.58 1 144.00 7.64
Brendon McCullum 700,000 285 23.75 119.24 - - -
Kumar Sangakkara 700,000 332 30.18 102.46 - - -
Tyron Henderson 650,000 11 5.50 68.75 1 40.00 6.66
Mashrafe Mortaza 600,000 2 - 100.00 0 58.00 14.50

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.

The success stories among the older brigade
Player Price (All in USD) Runs Average Strike rate Wickets Average Economy rate
Anil Kumble 500,000 16 16 84.21 21 16.52 5.86
Jacques Kallis 900,000 361 27.76 108.73 6 58.87 7.67
Muttiah Muralitharan 600,000 8 4 100 14 18.64 5.22
Adam Gilchrist 700,000 495 30.93 152.3 - - -
Matthew Hayden 375,000 572 52 144.81 - - -

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