The IPL 2020 auction is set to be held in Kolkata on 19 December, and the trading window will close on 14 November. In the biggest development during the build-up to the auction, it has been confirmed that last year’s Kings XI Punjab skipper Ravichandran Ashwin is being traded to Delhi Capitals for IPL 2020.
It is to be noted that this year's auction will be the last one before the franchises disband. The 2021 auction will be a mega one, where fresh squads will be created from scratch.
The 2019 auction saw a mix of domestic Indian cricketers and foreign names being among the top buys. However, very few of them could produce the desired results. As such, there is a chance that a lot of the players who earned big in the IPL 2019 auction might be released by their respective franchises.
In this feature, we look at five top buys from the 2019 auction who could be playing for a different franchise in 2020, and perhaps at a lower price .
#5 Varun Chakravarthy
Kings XI Punjab’s decision to purchase a relatively unknown Varun Chakaravarthy for a massive Rs 8.4 crore made him an overnight sensation.
At the time he was picked in the auction, Chakaravarthy had played only one first-class match an nine List A games. However, he was highly impressive in the Tamil Nadu Prenier League, where his variations troubled many opponents.
Shockingly though, Chakaravarthy ended up playing just one match for Punjab. He was taken apart by Kolkata Knight Riders, conceding 35 runs in his three overs.
All the hype and hoopla around the promising leggie was forgotten soon as Kings XI Punjab were left to rue a choice that probably wasn’t well thought out.
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#4 Axar Patel
There was a time when it seemed left-arm spinner Axar Patel was on the verge of becoming a constant fixture in the Indian team. He bowled a tidy line with the ball, and could chip in with a few big hits towards the end of the innings with the bat.
However, the emergence of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav changed things. Patel hasn’t played an ODI match since October 2017, and last featured in a T20I in February 2018.
Despite a poor 2018 IPL season, where he managed only three wickets in nine matches at a shocking average of 72.66, Delhi Capitals picked him at the 2019 auction for Rs 5 crore. Patel did better with 10 wickets from 14 games at average of 36.40, but it wasn’t a top-notch effort from someone purchased for that price.
#3 Colin Ingram
A former South African opening batsman, Colin Ingram couldn't make it big in international cricket owing to his lack of consistency. However, he reinvented himself as a T20 cricketer, and scored over 500 runs in the 2016 Natwest T20 Blast. He slammed two hundreds for Glamorgan in the same competition next year.
Ingram's T20 pedigree led him to an IPL 2019 contract with Delhi Capitals for Rs 6.4 crore. He was picked by Delhi back in 2011 too, but played only three games that season for 21 runs.
In the 2019 edition he again couldn’t make much of an impact, totaling 184 runs in 12 matches averaging under 20.
#2 Mohit Sharma
Medium pacer Mohit Sharma was the surprise star of India’s 2015 World Cup campaign. However, injuries and poor form have stifled his international career since.
In the IPL, Sharma made his debut in 2013. He rose to prominence in 2014 when he won the Purple Cap while representing MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings.
In 2016, Kings XI Punjab signed him for Rs 6.5 crore. Sharma was part of the Punjab side for the next two seasons before returning to CSK in 2019, purchased for Rs 5 crore.
He played in only one game though, and claimed one wicket while giving away 27 runs. Sharma had a poor 2018 as well, picking only seven wickets in nine matches.
#1 Jaydev Unadkat
Jaydev Unadkat’s case is a highly curious one. After impressing with 24 wickets from 12 games representing Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017, the left-arm quick was picked by Rajasthan Royals for a mammoth Rs 11.5 crore in 2018.
The pressure of expectations was probably too much to handle for the Saurashtra player as he managed 11 wickets from 15 games at an economy rate of 9.65. Not surprisingly, the Royals released him, but had second thoughts and purchased him again, this time for a slightly lower but still significant Rs 8.4 crore.
Unadkat, however, did not fare any better. He claimed 10 wickets in 11 matches, but at a shocking economy rate of 10.66, and an average of close to 40. As his figures suggest, he was taken apart more than once.