The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are one of the most decorated franchises in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Much of their success over the years can be attributed to their superb business in the auction.
CSK have always been among the sharpest teams in the business, and they've managed to carry out a number of shrewd purchases at IPL auctions. Rarely signing players for astronomical amounts and often retaining their core, the Men in Yellow have sworn by a solid philosophy to great effect.
Here, we take a look at the 3 most expensive buys by CSK in the history of the IPL auction.
Note: Some amounts have been converted from USD to INR using the prevailing exchange rates. For example, MS Dhoni was bought for USD 1.5 million in the inaugural auction, and this equated to INR 6 crores (approx) at the time.
#3 Andrew Flintoff (IPL 2009 auction, INR 7.55 crores)
Andrew Flintoff was the joint-most expensive player in the 2009 IPL auction as CSK splurged on the dynamic all-rounder in uncharacteristic fashion.
Flintoff played only 3 games for the side in the IPL before a knee surgery cut short his stay in South Africa, scoring 62 runs and picking up 3 wickets. He had to fly back to England to undergo surgery, and never featured in the IPL again.
Flintoff later spoke about his failed stint at CSK, saying that the team "didn't mean so much to him".
"But when I played for Chennai in the IPL in 2009, I couldn't name everyone in my own team and coaching staff. I remember standing in the middle of the field, in a yellow kit, and my body was sore and hurting, as usual," Flintoff said.
"But I just couldn't put everything on the line for Chennai. It's not a reflection on them. It's simply that the team didn't mean so much to me," he added.
#2 Krishnappa Gowtham (IPL 2021 auction, INR 9.25 crores)
T20 stalwart Krishnappa Gowtham recently made his way to CSK in the IPL 2021 auction for a whopping INR 9.25 crores, making him the most expensive uncapped player ever and CSK's second-most expensive purchase.
Gowtham has played 24 IPL matches while featuring for three teams - the Mumbai Indians, the Rajasthan Royals and the Punjab Kings. The off-spinning all-rounder has only scored 186 runs and picked up 13 wickets in the IPL, but his stock is high due to the dynamism he brings to the table.
Speaking after CSK snapped him up, Gowtham said:
"I am literally like shivering and have no words to explain. It has not gotten into my system yet. It is a dream come true. Always idolize Mahi (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) bhai. The way he is as a human and the way he plays the game and finishes the games off. So yeah, this was something I always envied about him."
#1 Ravindra Jadeja (IPL 2012 auction, INR 9.72 crores)
With 184 matches under his belt, Ravindra Jadeja is one of the most-capped players in the history of the IPL. Most of these appearances have come as part of CSK, whom he has been a part of since the 2012 IPL.
Signed for a massive INR 9.72 crores (approx, converted from USD 2 million), Jadeja has been one of MS Dhoni's most trusted performers over the years. The all-rounder has scored over 300 runs in all IPL seasons barring his debut campaign, and has regularly contributed with the ball and in the field.
Jadeja justified his IPL 2012 price tag, and was later retained by CSK after a brief stint at the Gujarat Lions. He remains one of the team's key players, and seems to have a lot left in the tank despite being on the wrong side of 30.