While most franchises retained the core group that they formed way back in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) mega-auctions, there were still some big-money exchanges in the 2020 auctions.
As teams looked to plug in gaps exposed in the previous season, prices for quick bowlers, finishers and all-rounders soared. With IPL 2020 being held in the UAE this year - something the auctions could not have accounted for - it remains to be seen which of these costly buys will make it count.
Some of the most expensive players in the league happen to be retained players - Virat Kohli, for example, sets Royal Challengers Bangalore back by no less than INR 17 crore. Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni each cost their respective IPL teams INR 15 crore.
5 overseas players who will have to justify their price tag in IPL 2020
While retained players have the long-term faith of the team management, the pressure of the price tag often weighs down heavily on players trying to fit into new roles in a different franchise.
Here, we have a look at 5 players who have been picked up in the recent auctions for massive sums of money, and what would be expected of them.
#5 Pat Cummins (KKR, INR 15.5 crore)
Sitting pretty on top of the ICC Test Bowling Rankings, and within the top five ODI bowlers, is Australian pacer Pat Cummins. He is also the current vice-captain of Australia across formats.
Stirring up a veritable frenzy at the bidding table, Cummins was eventually picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders - who joined the bidding right at the end - for a record-breaking INR 15.5 crore.
While Cummins is a reputed, skilled bowler in the longer formats of the game, he is not ranked within the top ten bowlers in the T20 format. Even among Australian pacers, he is preceded in the rankings by Kane Richardson and Mitchell Starc. This means Cummins has yet to prove himself as a T20 great worthy of the steep price tag.
However, for a team like KKR, Cummins could be extremely valuable. In the 2019 IPL season, their lack of a pace bowling spearhead was painfully exposed as they crashed to six consecutive defeats, becoming the team that took the fewest wickets.
They would hence want Cummins to lead the bowling attack, as well as provide useful lower-order runs, on a consistent enough basis to justify their investment.
#4 Glenn Maxwell (KXIP, INR 10.75 crore)
It was in the year 2014 - coincidentally, the last time the IPL was held for some part in the UAE - that Glenn Maxwell struck form for the Kings XI Punjab, scoring heavily and quickly to power them to the finals. He emerged as the most valuable player of the tournament, scoring 552 runs, and has since then been a big buy in the IPL.
Since that year though, his form drastically tapered, with the next four seasons fetching merely 803 runs. Kings XI were unable to gain similar success even when he was tried as the captain of the franchise. In 2018, he plied his wares for the Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) where he endured another poor season, and was unable to live up to his INR 9 crore price tag.
In order to fulfil expectations, Maxwell will need to hold up Kings XI Punjab's middle order batting, an aspect that has sorely let them down in the past two seasons. He will have to share the load of run-scoring with KL Rahul and Chris Gayle, along with bowling off-spin whenever the team requires it.
What works in his favour is recent form - he scored a quickfire 77 against England in the ongoing ODI series, and occupies the #6 rank amongst T20 batsmen globally.