IPL big buys were mostly a waste of cash
The six-week Indian Premier League extravaganza has come and gone, with the Mumbai Indians emerging victorious for the second time in three years, and now the time has come for reflection.
Early in the year the IPL held an auction for teams to buy players who had either been released by previous sides, or who were new to the market. A hefty chunk of cash was spent, but did the teams get value for their money?
The answer, as you'll see below as we look at the most expensive buys, is a relatively resounding 'no'. Delhi Daredevils' accounts manager will be particularly unimpressed with the amount of cash they spent, but finished second-last.
Yuvraj Singh – Delhi Daredevils (2.5 million US dollars)
The veteran India all-rounder was sold for a record price to Delhi early in the auction, which shocked a few people as he hadn't played for India in nearly a year. It nearly doubled the previous record, and the year before that benchmark had been set by him too, when he was bought by Bangalore. His form there was patchy, which meant they released him, making this bid even more interesting. Reputation can only take you so far, and in this IPL he made 248 runs in 14 matches, averaging just 19. He took less than a handful of wickets, epitomising Delhi's dire season.
Dinesh Kartik – Royal Challengers Bangalore (1.65 million US dollars)
Previously with the Mumbai Indians, the former India wicketkeeper-batsman also fetched a strangely hefty payday. He only averages 24 in 177 T20 matches, nine of which were for India a few years ago. This efforts this year were hardly stellar, though he played in 176 matches as RCB reached the play-offs. He had a top score in 28, in the qualifier against Chennai, but scored only 141 runs and averaged under 13. Cash down the drain, somewhat.
Angelo Mathews – Delhi Daredevils (1.18 million US dollars)
The Sri Lanka skipper was another purchase by big-spending Delhi, and at the time it seemed a stroke of genius. His 2014 was prolific, and Sri Lanka have become a side no-one would consider underdogs. But like many other big names, Mathews, failed to fire in the 11 matches he played, possibly down to the massive amount of cricket Sri Lanka had played in 2015, more than most sides. His to score was 28, and a total of 144 runs at an average of 20.57. Bowling-wise, he took seven wickets at an average of 35.
Zaheer Khan – Delhi Daredevils (630,000 US dollars)
India's veteran fast bowler was released by Mumbai ahead of the auction, and hasn't played for India at all in the intervening time. He was still bought by Delhi for a hefty sum, making one ponder who was in charge of purchasing at the Daredevils, given their spending on out of form India veterans. He played seven matches and took seven wickets, his best 2 for nine against the Super Kings.
Trent Boult – Sunrisers Hyderabad (600,000 US dollars)
This was a top buy from the Sunrisers, and the New Zealand swing bowler kept Dale Steyn out of the side for most of the tournament, though the Proteas man was not helped by poor form. Boult 's rise in form and reputation over the past 18 months ensured he was picked for most games until he had to leave to be with the national side in England, in early May. He played seven matches and took nine wickets, averaging 26.22. He took two three-fers, against Bangalore and the Kings XI Punjab. The Sunrisers' campaign faltered somewhat after he departed and they missed the play-offs.
Aaron Finch – Mumbai Indians (500,000 US dollars)
This was an expensive buy for Mumbai, not because of what they spent to get him (much , but because he was injured in their third game. He pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be carried off the park against Rajasthan, having made scores on five, eight and 10 not out. But Mumbai still had to pay him. Ouch. Ben Hilfenhaus was called in to replace him.
Murali Vijay – Kings XI Punjab (470,000 US dollars)
The India Test opener played as well as the rest of his team did this year. That is to say, badly. KXIP finished stone last, and the latter half of their campaign consisted of them trying to mess up everyone else's tournament, as they had been ruled out of contention already. Vijay played 11 matches and had a number of 30-odd scores, but never went past 39. He made 251 runs at an average under 23. Average.
Darren Sammy – Royal Challengers Bangalore (440,000 US dollars)
The West Indies all-rounder was expensive considering he played just two matches before being dropped. He made seven and six with the bat, and took no wickets. Money back please.
David Wiese – Royal Challengers Bangalore (440,000 US dollars)
The South Africa all-rounder replaced Sammy in the RCB line-up, having cost the same amount, and had much more success. He took 16 wickets in 14 matches, near the top of the pile, and averaged 22. His best efforts was 4/33 and was part of a strong bowling unit that saw RCB to the semi-final. He wasn't really used as a batsman though, more often than not too far down the order, despite his big-hitting abilities.
Kevin Pietersen – Sunrisers Hyderabad (400,000 US dollars)
This one in here just for interest's sake, as KP never set foot in India, and Hyderabad never had to pay him his 400k. Having been released by Delhi, the Sunrisers snapped him up for half his previous fee, but he ended up withdrawing from the majority of the deal due to wanting an England Test return. He played for Surrey, scored a bucket of runs, and was due to fly to India for the last few games. He never went, citing a calf injury. But maybe he as just sad about not being picked for England and wanted to stay home and wallow.
Mike Hussey – Chennai Super Kings (235,000 US dollars)
Mr Cricket was a long-time member of the Super Kings, until he was dropped last season and went to Mumbai. He lasted just the one season there, so Chennai got him back at a reduced price. He played just four games, but one of them saw him hit a half century against Bangalore to reach the final. Once in the finale though he could make just four, as Chennai capitulated to Mumbai rather badly.
Chris Morris – Rajasthan Royals (220,000 US dollars)
The South Africa paceman was dropped by Chennai and snapped up by the Royals for a decent payday for him, nearly R3 million. While fellow Saffer Rusty Theron got just the one game, Morris played in 11 and was key to their reaching the play-offs. He took 13 wickets at an average of 23, and his best effort was a 4/23 against Kolkata that put his side into the final four. Well worth the money, was Tipo.
Mitchell McClenaghan – Mumbai Indians (47,000 US dollars)
McClenaghan wasn't the most expensive, but was one of the bargains of the tournament for the champions. He played 12 games, and got better and better as the tournament went on, much like the team itself. He took multiple three-fers, including in the last group game, against RCB, to finish second, and then again in the final against Chennai.There he took 3/25, a match-winning contribution.
Lindsay du Plessis
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