The IPL 2024 auctions in Dubai, UAE, on Tuesday (December 19), gave us a few big surprises, such as Mitchel Starc becoming the most expensive player in the league’s history, and some notable names like Steven Smith going unsold.
The auctions also turned out to be a big win for some franchises as they acquired very good players at considerably lower prices.
Some of these players were highly discussed even before the auctions and were expected to fetch hefty prices, but they were picked up by teams at throwaway prices, marking a significant steal for these teams.
Here are 5 steal deals we saw at the IPL auctions:
1. Rachin Ravindra (Chennai Super Kings)
The New Zealand star batter, arguably the biggest star of the World Cup, was bagged by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at just Rs 1.80 crore. This is a major steal for CSK because Ravindra isn't just a top-class opening batter, but a batting allrounder who can also chip in with his slow left-arm orthodox spin.
He already has 11 wickets in 18 international matches for NZ and 41 wickets in 53 domestic T20 matches. It's highly expected that Ravindra will hit the ground running in his debut IPL season, as he's familiar with Indian pitches and can be impactful in the powerplay overs.
At Rs 1.80 crore, Ravindra was undeniably one of CSK's best buys.
2. Gerald Coetzee (Mumbai Indians)
Mumbai Indians (MI) nailed their first purchase at the auctions by snapping up South Africa's emerging pacer, Gerald Coetzee, for Rs 5 crore. The bidding started with Lucknow Super Giants and MI, but MI were determined to have Coetzee in their team and secured him at an excellent price.
Coetzee was South Africa's highest wicket-taker in the World Cup with 20 wickets in 9 matches. In domestic T20 matches, he has 60 wickets in 42 matches at a decent economy of 8.8.
The 23-year-old pacer will be a key asset for MI alongside Jasprit Bumrah, forming a formidable new-ball partnership.
3. Shardul Thakur (Chennai Super Kings)
Acquiring an allrounder at Rs 4 crore, whose base price was Rs 2 crore, is undoubtedly a steal deal for CSK. Shardul Thakur was traded by Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 10.75 crore in the previous IPL season.
While Thakur couldn't fully showcase his batting potential, his strike rate of 161.43 was commendable.
The allrounder has played 86 matches in IPL so far with 89 wickets and has scored runs with an average strike rate of 140.20.
4. Wanindu Hasaranga (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Sunrisers Hyderabad struck a smart deal when they got Sri Lankan allrounder Wanindu Hasaranga at a steal price of Rs 1.50 crore in the second set of auctions. Hasaranga was paid Rs 10.75 crore by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for seasons 2022 and 2023, but was released before the auctions.
His base price was Rs 50 lakh, and SRH, with a hefty purse of Rs 34 crore, got Hasaranga practically for nothing.
With allrounders being in high demand in T20s, it was expected that Hasaranga would attract good buyers. However, when no franchise bid for him, SRH pounced on the opportunity and secured him for almost nothing.
5. Lockie Ferguson (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
It was indeed a surprise when New Zealand's renowned pacer Lockie Ferguson went unsold in the first round of the auctions. With bowlers being sought after, Ferguson going unsold was perplexing.
However, in the final round, RCB threw his name into the hat and booked him at his base price of Rs 2 crore. This is a steal deal for RCB because Ferguson has extensive IPL experience, having taken 37 wickets in 38 matches so far.
While he only played 3 matches for KKR in the last season and only managed 1 wicket, his overall record of 151 wickets in 136 domestic T20 matches with an economy of 7.91 speaks volumes.
RCB just bolstered their pace attack with Fergusson, having previously roped in Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, and Tom Curran for their squad.