After extensive research, intense deliberations, wide-spread scouting, simulations & a competitive session with trialists, it all came down to the men sitting on the Rajasthan Royals table at the Vivo IPL Auction. Our Head of Cricket, Zubin Bharucha believes that all of the above can only prepare you to the fullest for what’s to come, but there’s always a degree of uncertainty of what could happen at the auction. “In simple terms, we cannot predict what somebody’s going to do on a given night. So, no matter what we run, we are always in a tiny space of uncertainty. Nobody really knows, till the paddle actually goes up.”

The IPL auction pretty much panned out the way we had wanted it to for us. We filled in all the 11 spots with a mix of experienced and very young players. Here’s a quick recap of how our Lead Owner, Manoj Badale used the paddle to good effect at the IPL auction.

Robin Uthappa: 3 Crore

Our first purchase of the evening was one of the most seasoned IPL campaigners – Robin Uthappa. We opened the bidding for the opening batsman who had been part of Kolkata Knight Riders for many years. The only competition we faced was from Kings XI Punjab, who already have a handful of players from Karnataka in their ranks. However, our paddle kept rising and ensured that Uthappa joined the Royals family at 3 Crore.

Jaydev Unadkat: 3 Crore

Jaydev Unadkat has scored a hat-trick with us. The left-arm seamer has played with us for two seasons so far. Unadkat has tremendous experience in the IPL and has been in prime form for Saurashtra across formats in domestic cricket. Kings XI Punjab showed brief interest in our man, but we had the final say at 3 Crore.

Yashasvi Jaiswal: 2.4 Crore

There was a lot of talk in the media that Yashasvi Jaiswal could be pursued by multiple teams at the auction. He was on our radar as well. Jaiswal had attended our trials in 2018 as well. 2019 has been an amazing year for the 17-year old; he went on to become the youngest batsman in India to score a double century in List A cricket. Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders were after him as well. We didn’t budge and bought the promising talent for 2.4 Crore.

Anuj Rawat: 80 Lakh

Hard-hitting wicket-keeper batsman, Anuj Rawat has found his IPL home at Rajasthan Royals. Playing for Delhi, Rawat has an attacking natural game and can hit the ball long. Starting at a base price of 20 Lakh, KKR joined in the bidding for the southpaw. Eventually, they backed down and we got him for 80 Lakh.

Akash Singh: 20 Lakh

Left-arm quicks have a different charm about them, especially when they can swing the ball prodigiously. Akash Singh is a 17-year old seamer from Rajasthan, who has been playing U-19 cricket consistently this year. At a base price of 20 Lakh, Akash Singh is a fine youngster to have in the Royals ranks. We recommend you to watch a couple of videos with him bowling on YouTube.

Kartik Tyagi: 1.3 Crore

At just 19, Kartik Tyagi is an impressive right arm pacer from Uttar Pradesh. His yorkers are a treat to the eye when he gets them in the block-hole. We were not the only team to bid for Tyagi; Kings XI Punjab seemed pretty hungry to bag him as well. The bidding war soared past 1 Crore very quickly. Manoj Badale kept raising the paddle until we signed him for 1.3 Crore.

David Miller: 75 Lakh

Quite a steal deal, right? Right before David Miller’s name came up, we started the bidding for Shimron Hetmyer. The bidding war got quite intense and eventually, he went to Delhi Capitals. Next up was David Miller and our table showed interest straightaway. At a base price of 75 Lakh, Miller was quite a deal. No other team raised the bid for Killer Miller and for the first time, he will play for a different team in the IPL.

At this point, the teams took an hour-long break and we got hold of our Lead Owner for his thoughts on our purchases and what he was looking for going forward. “The dynamics of the auction is unpredictable. We were conscious and thoughtful about how we fill the slots. The price for Under-19s was higher, but we were happy with it. Experience of Uthappa, JD coming back. We’ve got a bit of work to do to get back-up fast bowlers. We still have some work to do before the job is done.”

And, fast bowlers are what we went after. Kane Richardson was the first one we bid for. We went bidding for him up to 3.4 Crore, but he was bought by RCB eventually.

Oshane Thomas: 50 Lakh

The gentle giant, Oshane Thomas returns to Rajasthan Royals for yet another season. He had a couple of great games for us last season, and at his base price of 50 Lakh, Oshane is an amazing buy. We are glad none of the other teams entered to bid for our man from Jamaica.

Aniruddha Joshi: 20 Lakh

Aniruddha isn’t the first cricketer in his family. His uncle is former India spinner, Sunil Joshi. He has been creating waves in the Karnataka Premier League for a while and is a handy man to have as a finisher to the innings. He also brings the additional ability of bowling off spin. We got him on our opening bid, his base price, at 20 Lakh.

We had a couple of overseas slots to be filled. The first one we were gunning for was Marcus Stoinis. The bidding had gotten quite aggressive between us and Delhi Capitals. In quick time the bids crossed 2 and 3 crores. We pulled out when the bid was approaching 5 Crore and Delhi got hold of the Aussie all-rounder.

Andrew Tye: 1 Crore

The Purple Cap holder from 2018, Andrew Tye is a welcome addition to the Rajasthan Royals family. He is a fine bowler in the death overs and the Aussie has come at a fantastic amount; his base price – 1 Crore. We had requested for him in the final leg of the auction after he had gone unsold previously. Tye will pry his trade for us in 2020.

Tom Curran: 1 Crore

While his brother went to CSK, Tom Curran was requested to be brought back into the auction by our management. As soon as is name came up, Manoj Badale raised the paddle and he was bought at his base price of 1 Crore. Tom is a fantastic pacer and he can smack the ball very hard as well.

We spent 14.15 Crore at the auction and bought an amazing set of players. The Rajasthan Royals squad looks complete and rock-solid going into next season. We have some exciting U-19 cricketers in our set-up, and there is no shortage of experience either. Our next mission – win IPL 2020. Halla Bol!