Pat Cummins became the most expensive overseas signing in IPL history on Thursday (December 19) with Kolkata Knight Riders picking up the top-ranked Test bowler for a whopping INR 15.50 crore at the IPL 2020 auction. The signing amount was a full crore more than what Rising Pune Supergiant spent on Ben Stokes in IPL 2017 – the previous record price for an overseas player.

Knight Riders swooped in with a bid only at the INR 15 crore mark just after Royal Challengers Bangalore appeared to have won a protracted bidding war with the Delhi Capitals.

Cummins has represented the Knight Riders in the past, playing four games for the franchise between the 2014 and 2015 seasons. In all, he has taken 17 wickets from 16 IPL games at an economy of 8.29. In T20Is, however, the 26-year-old’s economy drops to an excellent 6.78.

Compatriot Glenn Maxwell was another big earner, the hard-hitting batsmen was signed by Kings XI Punjab for INR 10.75 crore after a tussle with Delhi Capitals, the most recent of Maxwell’s IPL employers. The 31-year-old Maxwell has played for the Mohali-based franchise in the past, his best season (2014) coinciding with KXIP’s run to the final of the competition — their best finish so far. Incidentally, Delhi had signed Maxwell in the 2018 season for INR 9 crore and even pushed the price beyond that mark to re-sign him.

All-rounders and left-arm seamers in vogue

As was anticipated, all-rounders came with big value propositions attached to them. Chris Morris hit the INR 10 crore mark with Royal Challengers Bangalore outlasting both KXIP and Mumbai Indians to secure the services of the South African all-rounder.

Morris was retained by the Delhi Capitals ahead of the 2018 auction for INR 11 crore and released this year after two middling seasons at the Feroz Shah Kotla. More recently in the 2019 Mzansi Super League, Morris took 10 wickets from 11 games at an economy of 8.20 and scored 122 runs at a strike-rate of 176.

Left-armers continued to bring home the moolah with recency factory helping Sheldon Cottrell earn 17 time his base price of 50 lakh to be snapped up for INR 8.5 crore by Kings XI Punjab, whose big starting purse of INR 42.7 crore allowed them to stave off competition from Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals despite their early splurge on Maxwell.

Sam Curran, another left-armer, came down slightly from his last season price of INR 7.20 crore but found a new home in Chennai with the Super Kings signing him for INR 5.5 crore. The Super Kings, who lost out on Nathan Coulter-Nile (INR 8.5 cr) after a big bidding war with Mumbai Indians, then picked up Piyush Chawla for a whopping INR 6.75 crore – the biggest Indian buy of the auction – despite already possessing two legspinners in Imran Tahir and Karn Sharma.

Jaydev Unadkat, meanwhile, saw another depreciation to his value but went back to Rajasthan Royals for INR 3 crore, down from the INR 8.4 crore they’d paid for his services last year.

Lucrative gigs for international captains and Hetmyer

Aaron Finch and Eoin Morgan, who missed the 2019 season of the IPL found takers ahead of next year’s T20 World Cup with their solicitors earmarking them for their batting as well as leadership values. While Morgan returned to KKR – a franchise he’s played for previously – for INR 5.25 crore, Finch (INR 4.4 crore) added RCB as the eight different IPL team in his CV.

Meanwhile Shimron Hetmyer, who was let go by RCB, earned a pay rise with Delhi Capitals splashing out INR 7.75 crore (up from INR 4.2 cr) for his services. RCB did, however, buy back veteran seamer Dale Steyn at his base price of INR 2cr in the final round of the accelerated bidding.

The Uncapped hits

Tamil Nadu mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy played a solitary IPL game for KXIP last year after being picked for INR 8.4 crore. But despite not playing a T20 since that game, he was signed up for INR 4 crore by KKR.

The uncapped domestic players with high potential continued to attract takers with Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad signing on a handful of the prospects. The former snapped up Mumbai teen sensation Yashasvi Jaiswal for INR 2.4 crore and UP seamer Kartik Tyagi for INR 1.3 crore.

SRH, who had a relatively quiet auction, helped themselves to the signings of India’s current U19 captain Priyam Garg and Jharkhand batsman Virat Singh for INR 1.9 crore each.

The big misses

While 48-year-old Pravin Tambe found a taker in KKR, one of the first-generation stars of the IPL, Yusuf Pathan, went unsold. Hanuma Vihari and Cheteshwar Pujara, two members of India’s current Test team, were others that found no takers.

Among overseas players, Keserick Williams, Colin Munro, Liam Plunkett and Jason Holder weren’t bid for.

Other notable signings:

Marcus Stoinis – DC – INR 4.8 cr

Kane Richardson – RCB – INR 4 cr

Robin Uthappa – RR – INR 3 cr

Chris Jordan – KXIP – INR 3 cr

Jason Roy – DC – INR 1.5 cr

Chris Lynn – MI – INR 2 cr

Josh Hazlewood – CSK – INR 2 cr

Alex Carey – DC – INR 2.4 cr

Mitchell Marsh – SRH – INR 2 cr

Chris Woakes – DC – INR 1.5 cr

Tom Banton – KKR – INR 1 cr

James Neesham – KXIP – INR 50 lk

Fabian Allen – SRH – INR 50 lk

Isuru Udana – RCB – INR 50 lk