Bengaluru, January 28, 2018: Rajasthan Royals continued to make bold moves on the second and final day of the Indian Premier League auction, winning the biggest bid of the day in Jaydev Unadkat at Rs 11. 5 crore followed by K Gowtham at Rs 6.2 crore.
After the high of Ben Stokes on the opening day, it was again Rajasthan Royals who diligently roped in players who can be game changers, in their bid to make a successful comeback this IPL.
Rajasthan Royals were also focused on getting untapped talents and providing them with a platform to live their dreams.
After two days of hotly contested biddings in the IPL auction between eight teams, Rajasthan Royals can proudly claim to have forged a team that can emerge as a real force this season.
Youngsters like Aryaman Vikram Birla, Sudhesan Midhun, Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror, Prashant Chopra will get an environment where they can hone their cricketing skills and take this as an opportunity to prove themselves on the big stage. Mahipal Lomror, the Rajasthani lad is happy to be joining the home team and will get to rub shoulders with the best of Indian and international players.
Rajasthan also picked players with a proven track record in Dhawal Kulkarni and Anureet Singh.
But it was Unadkat’s bid that stole the show on the second day of the auction. The left-arm pacer from Saurashtra, who has also appeared in a Test for India in 2010, became the most expensive Indian buy in the auction this year. He has been impressive in recent times and made a comeback to the national side in the Twenty20 home series against Sri Lanka. He formed a potent bowling combination with England all-rounder Ben Stokes in the previous season and would be expected to perform a similar role this year.
Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab were also interested in bagging Unadkat, who had a base price of Rs 1.5 crore and they battled to raise the stakes. But eventually it was Rajasthan Royals who swooped away with a winning bid of Rs 11. 5 crore for Unadkat .
Rajasthan Royals co-owner Manoj Badale said they went according to their plans.
Explaining the strategy behind the biggest buy of the day, he said, “When we are buying all these players, we need to understand the kind of roles we are trying to fill. In the morning we had two very clear roles we wanted to fill. We wanted an off-spinner who could bat and an Indian fast bowler. Sometimes people can get carried away by the absolute amounts without knowing the strategy behind it,” he said.
Prior to that, Rajasthan Royals bid for Karnataka off-spinner K Gowtham, who was sold for 31 times more than his base price of Rs 20 lakh. Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians were also involved in the bidding, before Rajasthan clinched Gowtham for Rs 6.2 crores.
“I am very happy. Last year I was with Mumbai Indians and I did not get a game to play. I am hoping to get an opportunity in Rajasthan Royals and I will try and make it count in helping my team win,” said an elated Gowtham, who was watching the auction on TV.
Royals also retained a seasoned bowler in Dhawal Kulkarni using the Right to Match card.
Royals invested in another trusted Karnataka player in Shreyas Gopal. The leg-spinning all-rounder has been a steady performer for Karnataka in the domestic circuit in the last couple of seasons.
Rajasthan Royals also bought an Australian, Ben Laughlin, the right-arm pacer who has been playing for Adelaide Strikers.
Royals picked up 19-year-old Afghanistan chinaman bowler Zahir Khan. Royals made the opening bid for him at Rs 20 lakh but raised the bar when Mumbai Indians entered the fray to rope him in for Rs 60 lakh.
THE ROYAL PICKS (Day 2):
Aryaman Birla Rs 30 lakh (all-rounder)
Sudhesan Midhun Rs 20 lakh (all-rounder)
Dhawal Kulkarni Rs 75 lakh (bowler)
Ben Laughlin Rs 50 lakh (bowler)
Jatin Saxena Rs 20 lakh (all-rounder)
Shreyas Gopal Rs 20 lakh (all-rounder)
Anureet Singh Rs 30 lakh (bowler)
Jaydev Unadkat Rs 11.5 crore (bowler)
Ankit Sharma Rs 20 lakh (all-rounder)
K Gowtham Rs 6.2 crore (bowler)
Prashant Chopra Rs 20 lakh (wicket-keeper)
Zahir Khan Rs 60 lakh (bowler)
Dushmantha Chameera (bowler) Rs 50 lakh
Mahipal Lomror Rs 20 lakh (all-rounder)