1)Ben Stokes (Rs 12.5 crore, Rajasthan Royals)
The England allrounder was the biggest purchase of the 2018 IPL auction in Bengaluru, finding his second Indian franchise in Rajasthan Royals who forked out Rs 14.5 crore for his services. Last season, in his first IPL auction, Stokes has gone to Rising Pune Supergiants for 14.5 crore to make him the costliest overseas player in IPL history and the second most overall. With 316 runs and 12 wickets, Stokes emerged Pune’s most impressive bet and helped them into the final and was voted Player of the Tournament. Though Stokes’ career has been hit by the results of a drunken bar brawl which resulted in him missing the Ashes, and for which he has a court hearing next month, his impressive achievements in the IPL saw franchises bid fiercely for his services.
2) Jaydev Unadkat (Rs 11.5 crore, Rajasthan Royals)
An insane amount of money, but then this is one of the most skilled Indian fast bowlers when it comes to Twenty20 cricket. Unadkat would have looked at the IPL auction with renewed enthusiasm having been named Man of the Series in India’s 3-0 T20I sweep of Sri Lanka last year, and franchises would have kept in mind the fact that he finished second on the bowling table with 24 wickets in 12 games for Supergiants, striking every 11.4 deliveries while conceding runs at 7.02 per over. That kind of accuracy and potency has been rewarded, and Rajasthan have in their squad a very fine bowler.
On Saturday, Rahul surpassed KXIP’s earlier acquisition of R Ashwin for Rs 7.6 crore to find a new IPL home in Mohali, having played for Royal Challengers Bangalore before this. In 2016, he became the third Indian to score international centuries in all three formats and last year was India’s third-highest run-getter in T20Is with 279 at a strike-rate of 140.90, with three half-centuries. Rahul can open or bat at Not 3 and 4, and given his ability as a wicketkeeper, this was a key purchase by KXIP, who had retained only Axar Patel ahead of the auction.
Not long after Rahul was bought, Pandey’s name immediately set paddles into motion, and from a base price of Rs 1 crore his value soared in quick time. Mumbai Indians and KXIP engaged in a tussle until RCB entered the fray and upped the stake to Rs 6.50 crore and from there, as Pandey’s price escalated past 11 crore, KXIP bowed out. That left Sunrisers Hyderabad to seal the deal at 11 crore – from a base price of 1 crore – and when Kolkata Knight Riders did not use an RTM card, the 28-year-old was theirs.