Punjab Kings head coach Anil Kumble is extremely satisfied with the new players, including Liam Livingstone and Odean Smith, coming to his franchise during the IPL auction, the dynamics of which were “very different and challenging”.
England batter Livingstone fetched a staggering Rs 11.50 crore deal from Punjab Kings, who also roped in West Indies fast bowler Smith for Rs 6 crore on the second day of the IPL mega auction on Sunday.
“There is absolutely more demand than supply, but I guess there were challenges because there were 10 teams and it was different,” Kumble said.
“I have been in couple of big mega auctions in 2011, 2014 and smaller auctions before this auction. This one has been really, really different and more challenging because every player, that whoever is going for, is going for a large sum of money, so the purse is dwindling no matter what value you have in your purse.
“The auction dynamics are very very different and you have to be nimble and that is something we realised in the last one and half days. You have to be even more nimble during this auction then the previous ones.”
The spin legend was glad to see the second rung of Indian fast bowlers getting good deals in the auction.
“Some of the players, especially the Indian fast bowlers, I am really happy for them, there has been a lot of demand for them and it is wonderful that they have been well rewarded for all their efforts.”
The first session’s highlight was Livingstone, who hit the million dollar plus mark with five teams bidding for him at one point of time.
“I think we have been extremely satisfied with the way we have gone about so far, that squad that we wanted to put together, we are very close to achieving what we put together despite the challenging environment that you have at the auction.”
He also stressed on the leadership role and building a culture.
“I think, in a T20, the format or any new squad you want to put together, you would want to get some quality players, and also the leadership group, so yes the focus was not just on the players that we want to acquire but also acquire some leadership groups and build a culture.
Smith’s price shot up as he recently impressed with his pace and control against India in the ODI series and also showed that he can hit the ball a long way.
On Smith, Kumble said, “He has showcased his power, bowling skills and also his batting skills and we saw that on display against India here in the one-dayers, so we have been tracking the players for a while and we are very glad that someone like Odean as an all-rounder for us we have been able to secure.”
Delhi Capitals assistant coach Pravin Amre said that the franchise is pleased with their buys.
On the second day of the auction, India batter Mandeep Singh was bought by the Delhi-based franchise for Rs 1.10 crore, while the left-arm duo of Khaleel Ahmed and Chetan Sakariya were acquired for Rs 5.25 crore and 4.20 crore, respectively.
“We have a good bank of Indian fast bowlers. Our strategy is to back Indian bowlers, because with Anrich Nortje in our squad, we can use various other combinations. We will get these options of combinations with a left-arm seamer like Chetan Sakariya and Khaleel Ahmed,” Amre said.
“Chetan Sakariya had a tremendous IPL season the last time, and we were expecting Sakariya’s price to be higher. And, Khaleel is a player who was with us in the past, so we know him. He has also been performing well in T20 cricket for the past three years.
“So with the Indian pacers, we can use various combinations,” added the DC assistant coach.
Left-arm pacer Sakariya, who made his IPL and India debut last year, had an impressive stint with Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2021, picking 14 wickets in as many games at an average of 30.42 and an economy rate of 8.19.
Mandeep, who has represented teams like Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings in the past seasons, had a remarkable season for the Punjab-based franchise in IPL 2012 when he was awarded the emerging player of the year award for scoring 432 runs in 16 matches.
Simon Katich, the assistant coach at Sunrisers Hyderabad, said getting Rahul Tripathi was a “big plus” for them.
“Been able to secure Rahul Tripathi who has been very, very good for KKR in the last few years and prior to that with the Pune Supergiants… getting him was a big plus for us and then getting the left-handed-keeper Nicholas Pooran who captained the West Indies…”