After a nail-biting six hours of trying to keep up with the thrill-a-minute IPL 2021 auction, Chris Morris has run away with all the headlines. The South African all-rounder became the costliest player in the tournament's history.
In fact, this year's auction turned out to be quite fruitful for proven all-rounders as the likes of Glenn Maxwell (INR 14.25 crore by RCB), Moeen Ali (INR 7 crore by CSK), Shakib al Hasan (INR 3.2 crore by KKR), and Daniel Christian (INR 4.8 crore by RCB) also ended the evening with heavy pockets.
While international superstars were expected to rake in the moolah, franchises found time to engage in a few exciting bidding wars when it came to the talented plethora of uncapped Indian cricketers available.
Although there were a few much-hyped names picked up at bargain prices, we look at 3 uncapped players who attracted the most bids and ended the IPL 2021 auction as the costliest in their category.
1. Krishnappa Gowtham (IPL 2021 Base price INR 20 lakh, sold to CSK for INR 9.25 crore)
IPL Career stats: M - 24, Wkts - 13, Econ - 8.26, Batting SR - 169.09
The experienced campaigner was the biggest winner amongst the uncapped players as KKR and SRH went toe-to-toe in a race which neither won after CSK swooped in right at the end. This would make Gowtham the most expensive uncapped player in IPL history.
The 32-year-old off-spinner, who can also hit some lusty blows with the bat, is a canny operator and would be licking his lips at the prospect of operating on a spicy Chepauk pitch under MS Dhoni's shrewd leadership. Getting released by Punjab Kings certainly turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Gowtham.
2. Shahrukh Khan (IPL 2021 Base price INR 20 lakh, sold to PBKS for INR 5.25 crore)
T20 Career stats: M - 31, Runs - 293, SR - 131.39
Just like in the case of Gowtham, DC and RCB got into the act with early bids before a determined Punjab Kings bought Shahrukh for more than 20 times his base price.
The upcoming superstar from Tamil Nadu finished the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with an unbelievable strike-rate of 220, playing some crucial knocks in his team’s title-winning run.
The 25-year-old's big-hitting prowess down the order could be a huge plus for a Punjab side possessing a notoriously top-heavy batting lineup (KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, David Malan, Nicholas Pooran, Mayank Agarwal).
3. Chetan Sakariya (IPL 2021 Base price INR 20 lakh, sold to RR for INR 1.2 crore)
T20 Career stats: M - 16, Wkts - 28 Econ - 7.08 Best - 5/11
Opening the bowling alongside Jaydev Unadkat for Saurashtra in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Chetan Sakariya impressed everyone with his clever variations and ability to keep things tight.
The 22-year-old bowled 65 dot balls and finished the tournament with a measly economy rate of 4.90, while also picking up 12 wickets. Sakariya's brilliant performance with the ball prompted Rajasthan Royals to fight off competition from Royal Challengers Bangalore and strengthen their pace bowling reserves.
The promising left-arm pacer could end up giving competition to senior statesman Unadkat, who has proved costly for the Royals in the past, in IPL 2021.