IPL Auction 2022: Rs 8.25 cr for Shikhar Dhawan sparks surprise, R Ashwin is Buttler’s teammate

IPL Auction 2022:The first round of bidding by 10 marquee players brought an ‘opening surprise’ with Shikhar Dhawan going to the Punjab Kings for Rs 8.25 crore after a three-way bidding war. Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals were also heavily involved in the bidding before giving up.

For a 36-year-old from India’s T20I roster, such an intense bidding was unexpected, with franchises keeping an eye on the future. But each auction has its own dynamic and sometimes the atmosphere of the auction house decides the final result.

Punjab lost former captain KL Rahul to Lucknow Super Giants and seemingly paid above the odds to bring in an opening partner for Mayank Agarwal despite Dhawan scoring at a sub-130 strike rate in the shortest format.

At the post-session press conference, Punjab Kings co-owner Mohit Burman explained the decision, saying their idea was to create a core group with good, experienced Indian players.

Faf du Plessis going to Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 7 crore showed openers are in demand. A Chennai Super Kings legend, his former franchise opted for the 37-year-old to some extent before opting out.

“To some extent, the old bond plays a role. But beyond a certain level, you can’t look at what I would say is our attachment. The future of the team is going to be decided,” CSK chief executive Kasi Viswanathan told this newspaper ahead of the auction. The four-time IPL champions stuck to their plan.

Moreover, when bidding Quinton de Kock, who traveled to Lucknow for Rs 6.75 crore, CSK made it clear that they were looking for the successor to MS Dhoni, the way they are faced with RCB. For the past 14 seasons, the wicket-beater has been the most secure spot in the franchise. This auction, however, is about building a team for the future.

Kolkata Knight Riders pocketed Pat Cummins and Shreyas Iyer for Rs 7.25 crore and Rs 12.25 crore respectively, both captaincy contenders. KKR Managing Director and CEO Venky Mysore, however, remained coy on the captaincy issue, saying a decision would be made later in consultation with the team’s management.

R Ashwin mankading Jos Buttler in IPL 2019. (File Photo/BCCI)

Ravichandran Ashwin going to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 5 crore and becoming Jos Buttler’s teammate was interesting. In 2019, while playing for Kings XI Punjab, Ashwin had the controversial “Brown” (as Sunil Gavaskar calls Mankading) Buttler, with former England captain Michael Vaughan saying: “Well the price of fair play is only going to not in Mohali this year”… Ashwin, however, defended his decision.