This Team of the Week is all about who could potentially be the best value for money in the IPL.
Retained players were not available for selection, only those who went under hammer at the auction. Plus, there’s no restriction on overseas players.
If you disagree or think I’ve left anyone out, tweet me @mattkfloyd to argue your case!
Chris Gayle (Kings XI Punjab) – £220,000
After a couple of lean years in the IPL, the Universe Boss is no longer considered one of the most valuable players. While that is understandable, he still has by far and away the best T20 batting stats in history. Not many can win a game single-handedly like Gayle – even if he only plays a handful of times he could make an impact for Kings XI.
Gautam Gambhir (Delhi Daredevils) – £309,000 (captain)
I still can’t believe Kolkata let Gambhir go. He is a banker who allows more expansive batsmen to play around him while he tries to bat through the innings. KKR’s loss is definitely Delhi’s gain.
Colin Munro (Delhi Daredevils) – £209,000
If he can break into the starting XI, Munro could well be a surprise package of the 2018 IPL. Just over £200,000 represents decent value for a player who has three T20 international centuries in 38 innings. It may be a choice between the New Zealander and Jason Roy at the top of the order.
Jos Buttler (Rajasthan Royals) – £486,000 (wicketkeeper)
Close to £500,000 may not look like a bargain but someone of Buttler’s talents could have gone for a lot more. This could be the year when he takes the tournament by storm and elevates himself into the bracket of top earners.
Shakib Al Hasan (Sunrisers Hyderabad) – £220,000
The number-one ranked T20 all-rounder in the world doesn’t always get the credit he deserves and this might be reflected in his price. Depending on how spin-friendly conditions are he could be a key man for Sunrisers.
Yusuf Pathan (Sunrisers Hyderabad) – £209,000
Having just served a drugs ban after he had ‘inadvertently ingested a prohibited substance’ according to the BCCI, Pathan was picked up by the Sunrisers. There are legitimate concerns that he is past his best but he still offers immense power down the order and some very handy off-spin.
Pawan Negi (Royal Challengers Bangalore) – £110,000
Spinning all-rounder Negi is rated so highly by the Royal Challengers that they used one of their ‘Right To Match’ cards on him. RCB have plenty of spin options so it’s not the easiest team to break into – his contributions with the bat could determine how much he plays.
Mark Wood (Chennai Super Kings) – £165,000
CSK are not inundated with pace bowlers so Wood could become an important component of the team. Although he’s been on the international scene for a while not that many in the IPL would have faced him and that should work in his favour.
Dhawal Kulkarni (Rajasthan Royals) – £82,000
A fee of £82,000 seems excellent value for one of the best Indian seamers in the tournament. If fit and in form, he will be a guaranteed starter.
Mustafizur Rahman (Mumbai Indians) – £242,000
Two years ago ‘The Fizz’ was the best seam bowler in the IPL and a puzzle few batsmen could solve. Having played only one game last year his stock has dropped and that could make him a brilliant purchase for the Indians. If he can recapture his best form the fans will be in for a treat.
Imran Tahir (Chennai Super Kings) – £110,000
For some reason Tahir is frequently undervalued in the auction and has been again. CSK have made a smart move in picking him up – with half of their games in Chennai he could prove to be a potent wicket-taker for them.
Watch every match of the 2018 Indian Premier League live on Sky Sports Cricket, from April 7.