New Zealand firepower raises a squad full of IPL champions


After a conservative first day of bidding for household names – including taking Deepak Chahar for a whopping Rs 14 crore – think tank Chennai Super Kings have rolled up their sleeves to make some smart buys at a bargain price.

The highlights of the CSK bidding process came on Sunday afternoon when the team placed successful bids for three New Zealand regulars: top-notch left-handed batsman Devon Conway at his base price of Rs 1 crore, arm versatile left. Mitchell Santner (also an existing member of CSK) for Rs 1.9 crore and fast bowler Adam Milne for Rs 1.9 crore.

Milne, in particular, made a great choice given his propensity for hitting 150mph speeds on demand, while Conway’s selection helped solve a Du-Plessis-shaped cavity in the slot. ‘opening. CSK’s opening combination, at the moment, looks likely to feature Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway.

In no time, the team also placed successful bids to sneak in two more familiar names in the state of Tamil Nadu, existing team members CSK and batting powers, wicketkeeper Narayan Jagadeesan and Southpaw C Hari Nishaanth – both for their base price of Rs 20 lakh.

With a little more money to spend and not much else to lose, the team made a quick bid for England death tailoring specialist Chris Jordan for Rs 3.6 crore as as replacement for Dwayne Bravo. This pick in particular was commendable given Jordan’s propensity for nailing his Yorkers coupled with great added value as an outfielder.

Earlier today, CSK management managed to make up for the departure of Shardul Thakur by successfully buying the versatile Shivam Dube for Rs 4 crore. However, it must be recognized that Dube is more of a batsman than a bowler unlike Thakur who was mainly chosen for his bowling.

Two other picks in South African all-rounder Dwayne Pretorius (bought at base price of Rs 50 lakh) and 21-year-old Sri Lankan out-spinner (Rs 70 lakh) were no less than smart picks due utility both players bring to the side primarily through their bowling and a few lower order practical hitters. The fact that CSK bought both on the cheap only added value to these investments.

However, the most obvious observation about this Chennai Super Kings team is simply the fact that they managed to get eight (four retentions, four buyouts) out of the 11 players who played and won the IPL Finals in 2021. offers: Ambati Rayudu at Rs 6.75 crore, for one.

If it wasn’t obvious at the start of the auction, it should be crystal clear by now: the CSK team considers familiarity a must-have champion trait. The obsession with keeping the core on its side intact was therefore the focus of the two-day auction. They almost made it too but for missing securing Faf Du Plessis and Shardul Thakur.

Faf, in particular, will be greatly missed, especially as he completes a nine-year run as a member of CSK. CSK’s reluctance to bid more aggressively for him has drawn ire from the team on social media, as has the lack of intention to buy Suresh Raina back even at his base price, despite the money to spare.

Raina, who was not sold at the end of the IPL Auction, now looks certain to miss out on IPL 2022, in what appears to be a sad end for one of the league’s most consistent hitters who has remained a faithful player of CSK until the very end.

(Edited by : Ajay Vaishnav)


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