IPL Auction 2014: Spotting the Players Who Will Be Bargains

Freddie Wilde@@fwildecricketContributor IFebruary 9, 2014

IPL Auction 2014: Spotting the Players Who Will Be Bargains

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    Richard Madley will run the auction for the seventh time
    Richard Madley will run the auction for the seventh timeRitam Banerjee/Getty Images

    The seventh Indian Premier League Players Auction will take place on Wednesday and Thursday this week at the ITC Gardenia hotel in Bangalore.

    514 players—219 internationally capped and 292 uncapped—will go under the hammer.

    24 players have already been retained by the franchises, and a further 13 can be retained via the new "Right To Match Card" which gives franchises the option to reclaim a player previously contracted to them at the price sold to another franchise if they so wish. 

    The size of each franchises remaining purse is dependent on the number of players they retained. But apart from that the auction is essentially left to the powers of the market.

    The nature of the player base prices, set by the players themselves, entails that many can be over-priced or under-priced before the auction has even begun which produces a climate rife for big mistakes to be made as well as great bargains found.

    The list of 514 players has been broken down into sets, the first two of which are "Marquee" sets bracketing the most expensive and attractive players together; these sets will be sold first. Then the process evolves into a cycle of sets of internationally capped batsmen, all rounders, wicket keepers, fast bowlers and spin bowlers, before then doing the same for the uncapped players. 

    Click 'Next' to read Freddie Wilde's set-by-set auction guide for the capped players.

Marquee 1

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    Mahela Jayawardene (Base Price: 20,000,000)

    Mitchell Johnson (20,000,000)

    Jacques Kallis (20,000,000)

    Kevin Pietersen (20,000,000)

    Virender Sehwag (20,000,000)

    Yuvraj Singh (20,000,000)

    Murali Vijay (20,000,000)

    David Warner (15,000,000)


    This set carries some dangerously unpredictable names, and franchises should be wary of becoming embroiled in early bidding wars for star names.  

    The trio of Jacques Kallis, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh, all either out of international favour or partially retired are short of cricket and form, while all of them being over the age 32 does not lend to long-term returns on investment. They do all of course have great international pedigree, but they are perhaps not as attractive as their price nor name first suggest. 

    Kevin Pietersen is also one to remain wary of. The abrupt recent end to his international career has transformed him into the biggest talking point prior to the auction, and although he is a hugely entertaining, massively talented match-winner, even genius has its limits, and the nature of recent events suggests he could be subject to a bidding war, and his value could become hugely inflated.

    Both Australian's: David Warner, at a slightly lower base-price, and Mitchell Johnson are players of enormous value with proven success in the IPL. But again, as is the case with all Marquee players really, but especially so following the euphoria of the Ashes, franchises should remain cautious of overpaying for either of this pairing. 

    It is in this regard that Mahela Jayawardene could be the bargain player of the set. He struggled for runs last season, albeit in a catastrophic campaign for Delhi, and that may hit his value, while his name and style are not quite as garish as others in the set. He hasn't played much T20 of late, but in a format still in its infancy and against an often sub-standard level of bowling his class and array of shots retain their value despite age beginning to catch up with the Sri Lankan.

Marquee 2

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    George Bailey (20,000,000)

    Faf Du Plessis (15,000,000)

    Michael Hussey (20,000,000) 

    Dinesh Karthik (20,000,000)

    Zaheer Khan (10,000,000)

    Brendon McCullum (20,000,000) 

    Amit Mishra (20,000,000) 

    Darren Sammy (10,000,000)


    George Bailey could be the headline name of this auction. He is a superb ball-striker and a great clutch player, and although his captaincy is more suspect than many believe, he does have a reputation as a good tactician. 

    Brendon McCullum and Dinesh Karthik being wicket-keepers make them the most appealing names of this set, and if those franchises in need of a keeper are going to overspend on anyone, they could do worse than doing so on one of this pairing. 

    The Sunrisers Hyderabad duo of Amit Mishra and Darren Sammy carries appeal, especially Sammy with a lower-base price.

    Zaheer Khan meanwhile is a difficult one to assess with both his fitness and fielding suspect, not to mention his undulating T20 returns. He may also, as India's best fast-bowler, attract a bit of interest amongst franchises and his price could escalate.

    Faf Du Plessis could be undervalued in amongst the rush to snap up the valuable keepers and bowlers, although much does depend at which stage in the set his name is called out. 

    Finally it would be a surprise were Mike Hussey not to be retained by the Chennai Super Kings right-to-match card.  

Batsmen 1

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    Jean Paul Duminy (10,000,000)

    Aaron Finch (10,000,000)

    Brad Hodge (20,000,000)   

    Shaun Marsh (20,000,000) 

    Eoin Morgan (15,000,000)

    Cheteshwar Pujara (15,000,000)

    Dwayne Smith (15,000,000)

    Ross Taylor (20,000,000) 

    Manoj Tiwary (20,000,000)

    Robin Uthappa (20,000,000)


    The termination of the Pune Warriors franchise has prevented one of the stars of T20 cricket in 2013 from being retained; Aaron Finch. Finch translated a solid domestic record onto the international scene when he scored 156 against England at the Ageas Bowl and hasn't looked back since. Alongside Bailey, Finch could be a big winner at this auction.

    Eoin Morgan, Brad Hodge, Ross Taylor and Dwayne Smith are all superb T20 players, and Smith in particular may remain low-key enough to become a steal; his form last season was stellar. 

    The Indian trio of Cheteshwar Pujara, Manoj Tiwary and Robin Uthappa seem over-priced, but demand is always high for Indian talent, and Uthappa especially is a dynamic T20 player. 

    Contrastingly, Jean-Paul Duminy and Shaun Marsh are unfulfilled talents that may not be worth forking out enormous sums for.



Wicket-Keepers 1

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    Quinton de Kock (10,000,000) 

    Brad Haddin (20,000,000)

    Kusal Perera (5,000,000)

    Craig Kieswetter (15,000,000)

    Naman Ojha (5,000,000)

    Parthiv Patel (10,000,000) 

    Wriddhiman Saha (10,000,000) 

    Matthew Wade (10,000,000)


    The role of the wicket-keeper remains perhaps the most untapped reserve since the advent and proliferation of the T20 format. 

    Brad Haddin seems expensive in the top bracket, especially when you consider his unimpressive T20 record. Matthew Wade too, has a bit of cheek to slot himself in the bracket he's in considering both his form and record. 

    Relative to Wade, Quinton de Kock could be a steal looking at his base price, although it is likely de Kock will attract a lot of attention, especially after his three ODI centuries against India.

    Craig Kieswetter could sneak under the radar and is a decent gloveman and an explosive batsmen, he may struggle on slower Indian pitches though. 

    Wriddhiman Saha has been perennial understudy to MS Dhoni at CSK and will surely be hoping for a break at another franchise, sadly for him, it is out of his control. Meanwhile Parthiv Patel has proven nimble at the Sunrisers but like Saha will be in demand as an Indian. 

    Kusal Perera is perhaps the bargain of the set. He's a powerful, albeit inconsistent batsman, and the low base price of INR 5,000,000 is good value for an international-level keeper. 

All Rounders 1

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    Shakib Al Hasan (10,000,000)

    Tillarkaratne Dilshan (20,000,000)

    David Hussey (10,000,000)

    Azhar Mahmood (10,000,000)

    Angelo Matthews (20,000,000)

    Albie Morkel (15,000,000)

    Irfan Pathan (15,000,000)

    Yusuf Pathan (20,000,000)

    Thisara Perera (5,000,000)

    Steven Smith (20,000,000)


    Thisara Perara's base price of just INR 5,000,000 is immediately appealing. Last year Perera only scored 163 runs for the Sunrisers but did so at a strike-rate of 142.94 and he also took 19 wickets. Perera is just 25 and has his best years ahead of him. He could prove to be a great bargain, and if retentions remain in years to come, someone who if snapped up now, could deliver years of service. 

    Yusuf Pathan sticks out as someone who could receive a massively inflated deal. Yusuf's almost constant presence in the past couple of seasons may turn heads in his direction, and despite a strong Ranji Trophy season and at least statistically IPL season, doubts are proliferating over his ability at this level. He can occasionally come off, but he's often not worth the attention he receives. The same could also be said of Tillarkaratne Dilshan, whose presence in the top bracket is as much based on reputation as it is form, for him form has been terrible.

    Franchises would be better off looking towards the potentially expensive Steven Smith, who can bat, bowl, field and captain brilliantly, he too, like Perera is someone whose stock is only going to rise. While Angelo Matthews offers similarly competent all round skills. 

    The trio of Albie Morkel, Irfan Pathan and Shakib Al-Hasan are all well regarded players, but their inconsistency should be noted, not that that should perturb franchises from them - they are skilled and experienced T20 players.


Fast Bowlers 1

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    Ashok Dinda (10,000,000)

    Bhuvenshwar Kumar (15,000,000)

    Praveen Kumar (20,000,000)

    Morne Morkel (15,000,000)

    Ravi Rampaul (5,000,000)

    Mohammad Shami (10,000)

    Ishant Sharma (15,000,000)

    Mitchell Starc (20,000,000)

    Vinay Kumar (15,000,000)

    Umesh Yadav (10,000,000)


    Seven Indian fast bowlers in a set of ten doesn't suggest a particularly appealing round of players. However, the strength of franchises Indian contingent is perhaps more important than their international players. So franchises must select the best of a bad bunch carefully. 

    Meanwhile Mitchell Starc is the most appealing of the three internationals; his T20 record is phenomenal and his recent lack of cricket should perturb no one. 

Spin Bowlers 1

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    Piyush Chawla (5,000,000)

    Murali Kartik (10,000,000)

    Nathan McCullum (10,000,000)

    Ajantha Mendis (5,000,000)

    Muttiah Muralitharan (10,000,000)

    Pragyan Ojha (20,000,000)

    Robin Petersen (10,000,000)

    Rahul Sharma (5,000,000)


    Only three frontline spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin, Sunil Narine and Harbhajan Singh were retained by the franchises. It is demonstrative of the dearth of quality spinners in world cricket that the base prices of those in this first spinner set are so low. 

    Pragyan Ojha has rightly placed himself in the top bracket, and Mumbai could do worse than retain him via their right-to-match card, even if it does mean they miss out on Mitchell Johnson. 

    Nathan McCullum is the dark horse of the set. His recent record for New Zealand has been impressive, and he is exactly the kind of bowler who could sneak under the radar and be obtained for a good price, not to mention his skiddy off-breaks being perfectly aligned to the nature of Indian pitches and T20 cricket.

    Muttiah Muralitharan is remarkably still taking wickets, but franchises will certainly be wary of signing him for a big fee considering he's almost 42 years old and will only go downhill during the next three year contract cycle. 

    Ajantha Mendis has enough tricks to confuse mediocre batsmen, but is increasingly being found out against the best—he would make a good second spinner. 

    Robin Petersen's explosive batting make him an appealing prospect, but again, like Mendis, you wouldn't want him being your frontline spinner. 

    None of Rahul Sharma, Murali Kartik or Piyush Chawla are particularly appealing, but as Indians they will almost certainly be picked up.

Batsmen 2

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    Subramaniam Badrinath (10,000,000)  

    Ian Bell (10,000,000)

    Darren Bravo (5,000,000)

    Martin Guptill (5,000,000)

    Alex Hales (20,000,000)

    Tamim Iqbal (5,000,000)

    Nic Maddinson (5,000,000)

    Marlon Samuels (20,000,000)

    Lendl Simmons (5,000,000)

    Saurabh Tiwary (5,000,000)

    Cameron White (15,000,000)


    The outlier in this set is Alex Hales. His base price of INR 20,000,000 is a figure he had to set at his base price at the behest of his county Nottinghamshire—and indeed it is a figure that franchises would be foolish to admonish. Hales is the number one ranked T20 batsman in the world for a reason, and he is still young and would make for a valuable investment at this stage in his career. 

    Hales aside, the second set of batsmen throws of a wide range of options, from the classical technique of Ian Bell to the bludgeoning brutality of Tamim Iqbal.

    Bell is an unknown commodity in T20 cricket, but you sense there's a Mahela-Jayawardene-esque streak in him somewhere. 

    Nic Maddinson and Lendl Simmons are burgeoning talents who have not made it to the shores of the IPL before, and it would be a shame if they were not to again. Both possess clean ball striking ability and fast hands so aligned with batting at the top of the order in T20. 

    Cameron White will no doubt attract plenty of attention but will be worth much of what he goes for; his captaincy as much as his batting is valuable. The same sentiment can be echoed for Marlon Samuels who will also be a popular choice, but his batting and bowling offer enough to make his acquisition worthwhile. That Samuels would no doubt have been retained by Pune Warriors India were they still to exist, says all you need to know of his value. 

All Rounders 2

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    Corey Anderson (10,000,000)

    Ravi Bopara (10,000,000)

    Daniel Christian (10,000,000)

    Moises Henriques (10,000,000)

    Glenn Maxwell (10,000,000)

    Christopher Morris (10,000,000)

    Abishek Nayar (3,000,000)

    Laxmi Shukla (5,000,000)

    Andre Russell (5,000,000)

    Luke Wright (15,000,000)


    This set of players could explode the auction into life. 

    Corey Anderson is the man of the moment in international cricket on an unstoppable run of form since blitzing the fastest century in ODI history on January 1st. 

    Glenn Maxwell, Chris Morris and Dan Christian have all been big winners in previous auctions, and all of them could receive hefty salaries again. 

    Andre Russell, Luke Wright and Ravi Bopara are less conspicuously valuable, but Russell and Wright in particular have been in superb form in the Caribbean Premier League and the Big Bash League respectively.

    Abishek Nayar was the highest earning Indian in last year’s auction but had a dreadful season with bat and ball. Both him and Laxmi Shukla will be brought but their salaries will probably be low in a set of potentially huge deals.  

Fast Bowlers 2

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    Varun Aaron (15,000,000)

    Parvinder Awana (5,000,000)

    Lakshmipathy Balaji (5,000,000)

    Nathan Coulter-Nile (10,000,000)

    Brett Lee (20,000,000)

    Ashish Nehra (20,000,000)

    Munaf Patel (5,000,000)

    Mohit Sharma (10,000,000)

    RP Singh (10,000,000)

    Jaydev Unadkat (10,000,000)


    Ashish Nehra and Brett Lee, set at the highest base price, standout as expensive considering their age, although Lee remains a relatively consistent performer. 

    Nathan Coulter-Nile was an expensive acquisition for the Mumbai Indians considering he played just one match, but he’s a young player with a good future ahead of him, and his decent returns against England in the ODIs will attract interest from franchises. 

    The rest of the set is a choice between the experience of Munaf Patel, Lakshmipathy Balaji and RP Singh, or the inexperience and long-term value of Varun Aaron and Parvinder Awana; the choice of which should be dictated to by the relative make-up of the rest of the squad at the time of this set being sold. 

Spin Bowlers 2

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    Samuel Badree (3,000,000)

    Sulieman Benn (3,000,000)

    Akila Dananjaya (3,000,000)

    Rangara Herath (15,000,000)

    Brad Hogg (15,000,000)

    Nathan Lyon (10,000,000)

    Ramesh Powar (3,000,000)

    Suraj Randiv (3,000,000)

    Imran Tahir (10,000,000)


    This second set of spinners carries a couple of potentially great bargains. Nathan Lyon could be a steal with a base price of just INR 10,000,000, and his recent returns for the Sydney Sixers have been outstanding. 

    Rangara Herath is an interesting one. He’s not renowned for his success in the limited-overs formats, and is a poor fielder. However, he’s a superb bowler at Test level and the translation between international cricket of any kind and IPL cricket is one that can still be bridged.

    Akila Dananjaya is a young Sri Lankan spinner who was brought by CSK but didn’t play last season, but is definitely worth investing in.

    The West Indian duo of Samuel Badree and Sulieman Benn could make useful squad bowlers but you wouldn’t want them leading an attack. The same can be said of Suraj Randiv.

    Ramesh Powar did not even feature in the IPL last season.

Batsmen 3

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    Farhaan Berhadien (3,000,000)

    Henry Davids (3,000,000)

    Herschelle Gibbs (5,000,000)

    Chris Lynn (5,000,000)

    Neil McKenzie (5,000,000)

    Abhinav Mukund (3,000,000)

    Venugopal Rao (3,000,000)

    Ben Roher (5,000,000)

    Hamish Rutherford (5,000,000)

    Upul Tharanga (3,000,000)

    Adam Voges (10,000,000)


    In a set packed with South Africans, the experienced Neil McKenzie and consistent Henry Davids are two players definitely worth picking up. While Abhinav Mukund is a young batsman with a bright future. 

    Chris Lynn who stared for Australia in the recent T20s against England will certainly attract attention too. Adam Voges is an ageing player and his form hasn’t been great recently, but his experience certainly makes him a worthwhile acquisition.

    Herschelle Gibbs is perhaps one to steer clear of. The former South African opener hasn't played a match since August last year. 

All Rounders 3

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    Johan Botha (10,000,000)

    James Franklin (5,000,000)

    John Hastings (5,000,000)

    Andrew McDonald (3,000,000)

    James Neesham (3,000,000)

    Jesse Ryder (10,000,000)

    Sachithra Senanayaka (10,000,000)

    Roeleof van de Merwe (3,000,000)


    Despite his persisting disciplinary problems, Jesse Ryder is a talent too great to ignore from this set. While the canny spin of Johan Botha and Sachithra Senanyaka are less obviously so, but should also not be passed over by franchises. 

    James Neesham is the pick of the set though. His low base price makes the young all-rounder a tantalising prospect. 

    John Hastings is the better of the two Australians; Andrew McDonald hasn't played first-class cricket for 15 months and is still recovering from a hamstring injury. 

    Meanwhile, the experience Roeleof van de Merwe and James Franklin are certainly worth acquiring.

Fast Bowlers 3

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    Ben Cutting (5,000,000)

    Fidel Edwards (10,000,000)

    Manpreet Gony (10,000,000)

    Josh Hazlewood (5,000,000)

    Ben Hilfenhaus (10,000,000)

    Jason Holder (5,000,000)

    Clinton McKay (10,000,000)

    Kane Richardson (10,000,000)

    Joginder Sharma (3,000,000)

    Tim Southee (5,000,000)


    This is a set of bowlers packed with potential. Tim Southee is the pick of the lot. His ability with bat and ball make him a star of the future and his base-price of 5,000,000 is very appealing.

    Of the five Australians, Kane Richardson could be the best value for money. Although Ben Cutting is a useful player. 

    Jason Holder’s inability to convert his outstanding potential into tangible returns in last year’s IPL was frustrating, but he’s shown good form of late and although probably nullified by Indian pitches is someone who could develop into a Morne Morkel style bowler over time. 

    Joginder Sharma hasn’t played in the IPL since 2011. Manpreet Gony had a poor season last year for Kings XI Punjab. 

Spin Bowlers 3

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    Fawad Ahmed (3,000,000)

    Devendra Bishoo (3,000,000)

    Nicky Boje (5,000,000)

    Shohag Gazi (3,000,000)

    Nikita Miller (3,000,000)

    James Muirhead (3,000,000)

    Ashley Nurse (3,000,000)


    This is a weak set of spinners. but also an unknown set of spinners; none of them have played in the IPL before. Leg-spinner James Muirhead impressed against England, but there’s little else on offer here to get excited about.

Batsmen 4

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    Travis Birt (5,000,000)

    Neil Broom (3,000,000)

    Dean Elgar (5,000,000)

    Phillip Hughes (10,000,000)

    Richard Levi (5,000,000)

    Colin Munro (3,000,000)

    Luke Pomersbach (5,000,000)

    Kieran Powell (5,000,000)

    Lahiru Thirimanna (5,000,000)

    Vaughn Van Jaasveld (5,000,000)


    Neil Broom will attract attention after his century in the CLT20 qualifying stage. So too will regular internationals Phil Hughes and Richard Levi. Young Sri Lankan Lahiru Thirimanna is perhaps the pick of the set. 

All Rounders 4

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    Christopher Barnwell (5,000,000)

    Farveez Maharoof (3,000,000)

    Dimitri Mascarenhas (5,000,000)

    Jeevan Mendis (5,000,000)

    Jacob Oram (3,000,000)

    Samit Patel (20,000,000)

    Vernon Philander (10,000,000)

    David Weise (3,000,000)


    This is an interesting selection of players. Samit Patel’s base price of INR 20,000,000 is so high because of a clause in his county contract, and indeed will probably see him ignored. Vernon Philander proved in the Caribbean Premier League that he can succeed in T20 cricket and may remain relatively cheap. Dimitri Mascarenhas continues to be a versatile player worthy of acquiring. 

Fast Bowlers 4

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    Jackson Bird (5,000,000)

    Doug Bollinger (5,000,000)

    Patrick Cummins (10,000,000)

    Ryan McClaren (10,000,000)

    Adam Milne (3,000,000)

    Abhimanyu Mithun (5,000,000)

    Dirk Nannes (10,000,000)

    Wayne Parnell (3,000,000)

    Shaun Tait (10,000,000)


    There's a wide-range of types, prices and reputations in this set, and bargains are there to be had. Patrick Cummins at 10,000,000 seems expensive but would be a good investment for future seasons. 

    Ryan McClaren is a reliable performer, and although the kind of bowler who could go on the cheap, if recognised appropriately, the balance he offers could see him the subject of a bidding war. 

    Shaun Tait and Wayne Parnell are separated by 7,000,000 base price, but both offer similar wicket-taking but run-leaking bowling. 

    Dirk Nannes is a massively experienced bowler. Sides lacking an attack leader at this stage of the auction should look nowhere but him.