The best bargains

Big money is spent at every IPL auction, but many players, bought for lesser amounts, have proven to be just as effective

Mitchell McClenaghan is pumped up after dismissing Quinton de Kock, Delhi Daredevils v Mumbai Indians, IPL 2016, Delhi, April 23, 2016

Mitchell McClenaghan was Mumbai Indians' leading wicket-taker in 2016  •  BCCI

Mustafizur Rahman, Sunrisers Hyderabad - INR 1.4 crore ($205,000), in 2016
Seamers were in demand in the 2016 IPL. Many of the Indian medium-pacers got big price tags. Among the internationals, Dale Steyn, Chris Morris, Tim Southee and Kyle Abbott were all sold for more than INR 2 crore. Bangladesh's left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman was bought for significantly less. His 17 wickets and economy rate of 6.90 helped Sunrisers Hyderabad win the title.
Mitchell McClenaghan, Mumbai Indians - INR 30 lakh ($49,000), in 2015
Mumbai Indians were the only bidders for Mitchell McClenaghan, the New Zealand left-arm seamer, in the 2015 auction, and picked him up at his base price of INR 30 lakh. He proved to be the perfect partner for Lasith Malinga. The pair were instrumental in Mumbai's successful campaign, with Malinga picking up 24 wickets and McClenaghan 18. In the final, McClenaghan took 3 for 25 to ensure Mumbai defended 202 against Chennai Super Kings. Last season, Malinga missed the entire tournament, but McClenaghan showed he could step up and be the leader. His tally of 17 wickets was the highest among all Mumbai bowlers.
Yuzvendra Chahal, Royal Challengers Bangalore - INR 10 lakh ($16,100), in 2014
In three seasons with Mumbai, Yuzvendra Chahal played just one IPL match, but Royal Challengers Bangalore took a punt on him in the 2014 auction. After three seasons, he is now the second-highest wicket-taker in the franchise's history, with 56 wickets in 42 games. In both the 2015 and 2016 season, he was Royal Challengers' leading wicket-taker.
Andre Russell, Kolkata Knight Riders - INR 60 lakh ($97,000), in 2014
The modest price paid for Andre Russell in the 2014 auction was a surprise considering how suited his game was to the Twenty20 format. Perhaps, teams were influenced by his modest performances for Delhi Daredevils in the previous two seasons. Kolkata Knight Riders were rewarded for backing him as he became one of the most valuable players in the league. In 2015, he was the Man of the Series, scoring 326 runs and taking 14 wickets. He was in form again in 2016, particularly with the ball - his 15 wickets came at 19.40. Throughout, he has been spectacular in the field. A one-year ban for a doping violation will mean he will miss the 2017 campaign.
Lendl Simmons, Mumbai Indians - undisclosed, in 2014
In 2014, Mumbai Indians brought in Lendl Simmons as a replacement for Jalaj Saxena, the Madhya Pradesh allrounder, whom they had bought for Rs 90 lakh ($150,000). Though Simmons' price was not disclosed, it could not have been much more than the price of the player he was replacing considering the restrictions on the available budget. His value to Mumbai was apparent from his first season, in which he scored 394 runs at 56.28. In 2015, he did even better, scoring 540 runs, including six fifties. He was the top-scorer in both the qualifying final and the final to help Mumbai to a second IPL title.
Amit Mishra, Deccan Chargers - INR 1.35 crore ($300,000) in 2011
Amit Mishra, now the second-highest wicket-taker in IPL history, was bought at a bargain price by Deccan Charges in 2011. Despite taking 42 wickets and going for less than seven runs an over in three seasons with Delhi Daredevils, in the 2011 auction, he was sold for 1.35 crores, less than other India bowlers such as Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel and Irfan Pathan. Mishra was prolific for Chargers, taking 32 wickets over the next two seasons. Mishra also took 21 wickets for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2013 season.
S Badrinath, Chennai Super Kings - INR 12 lakh ($30,000), in 2008
Despite scoring big runs in domestic cricket, S Badrinath did not get many opportunities for India. He made a name for himself in the IPL, though, and was Chennai Super Kings' crisis man between 2008 and 2013. He played 95 matches in that time, scoring 1441 runs at 30.65, including 11 half-centuries. It was disappointing for him, therefore, that he went unsold in the 2014 auction.
Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings - INR 1.40 crore ($350,000), in 2008
Michel Hussey was less expensive than many Australia players in the 2008 auction, including his brother David. He spent six years at Super Kings and was a key player in their successful team. His 1691 runs came at a remarkable average of 44.50. He was released in 2011, but bought back in the auction, for $425,000 (Rs 1.93 crore), again a bargain price. He repaid Super Kings' faith in him with a big season in 2013 - he was the highest run-getter, with 733 runs at 52.35.
Shane Watson, Rajasthan Royals - INR 50 lakh ($125,000), in 2008
Shane Watson was bought in the second of two auctions in 2008, but he ended up winning the Player-of-the-Tournament award. His 472 runs and 17 wickets were key to Rajasthan Royals winning the title and also revived his career, which had been hampered by injuries. Watson continued to be consistent for Royals and had another big season in 2013, scoring 543 runs and taking 13 wickets. Royals finally lost him in 2016, when he fetched the biggest price of the auction, 9.5 crores, paid by Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Shaun Marsh, Kings XI Punjab - INR 12 lakh ($30,000), in 2008
Shaun Marsh is part of a rare list in the IPL, a player who has played for just one franchise from the first season. He was bought for his base price in 2008, but was soon in the spotlight. He was the top run-getter in 2008, scoring 616 runs at an incredible average of 68.44. Though he has never had a season quite so prolific, he has been consistent for Kings XI. They retained him in 2011 and then bought him again in the 2014 auction, this time for a significantly bigger price, INR 2.20 crores ($366,000).