MUMBAI: More than Rs 465 crore were spent during the IPL player auctions as the eight franchises gear up for the seventh season of the cash rich tourney - but bargain buys were hardly the headline makers this time around. While that can still change - money was clearly splashed on the big names in Twenty20 cricket. Here's a list of the players who were bought for a high price in this year's auction.
Yuvraj Singh (Rs 14 crore to RCB): The naysayers will say that the Punjab lad has gone for a buck too many, but Vijay Mallya seems ecstatic about the inclusion of another marquee T20 player who will add to the firepower of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, Ravi Rampaul and AB de Villiers. The key contributer to the World Cup and World T20 winning Team India will add more all-round ability to the team - however, the price tag may prove to be a burden if he fails.
Dinesh Karthik (Rs 12.5 crore to DD): The darkhorse in the auction and clearly being rewarded handsomely for his consistency with the long handle in the middle overs and his daredevilry behind the stumps. It was slightly startling that Mumbai Indians didn't retain him and Mitchell Johnson or used their ‘Right to Match card - but Karthik is certainly laughing all the way to the bank. With 1,741 runs in 92 IPL games, he may be worth all the moolah.
Kevin Pietersen (Rs 9 crore to DD): KP is cricket's latest ‘lone ranger’ and he doesn’t have to care about the international calendar anymore. His mere presence in the middle will be unsettling enough for bowlers - but now they'll have to contend with a fit Pietersen for the whole season.
Mitchell Johnson (Rs 6.5 crore to KXIP): The aussie is out to prove a point, but he lets his pace and swing do the talking for him. Johnson is fast, fearsome and in insane form and is very handy with the bat as well. He will certainly add some stability to a fairly young KXIP squad.
Glenn Maxwell (Rs 6 crore to KXIP): The million dollar man from season 6 continues to be a favourite among the franchises. Though he didn’t get much opportunities in the MI camp last season, his poor showing didn't deter Kings XI from coughing up the cash. He would certainly want to prove a point and justify his worth. And being an all-rounder will help the franchise.
Jacques Kallis (Rs 5.5 crore to KKR): The old man of cricket is certainly worth every penny paid for his services. He's 38 but will be the knight in a shining armor for the KKR, hopefully once again. He has a staggering 2,276 runs in 90 IPL matches and a strike-rate of above 100. Complimenting his contribution with the bat are the 61 scalps under his belt.
David Warner (Rs 5.5 crore to SRH): Last year's surprise package - Sunrisers Hyderabad - has added loose-cannon Warner to their side. They'll be happy to see that side of him on the pitch though, rather than off it. When he's in the mood, he can devour the opposition bowlers. Also, he had a cracking IPL 6 - scoring 410 runs in 16 matches. His strike-rate was 126.93.
Robin Uthappa (KKR), Murali Vijay (DD), Michael Hussey (MI) and Mitchell Starc (RCB) - Rs 5 crore each: Uthappa's value has come down a bit but he's still handy with that bat and a reliable customer. Vijay's permanent place in the Indian team guarantees quality and Huseey aka Mr Dependable is never a bad pick. As for Starc, a good fast bowler will always cost good money.