The reasons RCB broke the bank for Yuvraj

Royal Challengers spent Rs 14 crore on Yuvraj for his star power, T20 record and power-hitting.

Yuvraj will play under Kohli for Royal Challengers Bangalore. (Getty Images)


All the Yuvraj fans may shout out ‘I told you so’, but one has to admit this was out of the blue. That he was, definitely, going to be one of the most sought after names in the auction was pretty sure, but that he would create history by becoming the highest grossing IPL player of all time was not thought of by anyone. There are some factors that can explain why this happened.

This is certainly easier to explain than figuring out why Dinesh Karthik ended up with almost a similar amount or why there were no takers for Mahela Jayawardene.

RCB in need of a middle order batsman

RCB were desperate to get Yuvraj for a reason, and it was clear. They needed someone of the highest calibre in their middle order, who has a lot of T20 experience as well. They did have people like Saurabh Tiwary and Mayank Agarwal, but they were obviously not that effective.

There were many instances of their batting losing its way if, for some reason, the openers didn’t fire. This proved to be more of a problem when they were chasing a big total. Yuvraj fits the requirement perfectly. He can deliver the goods and has been one of the most able batsman at that position. True, he hasn’t been in the greatest form of his life of late and has been out of the national ODI squad, but someone like him should not take time to get into the groove.

What is more? His bowling can sometimes prove to be an asset for the team, as has been seen time and again. He can lift the team with some great all-round display, and he often compensates with the ball if his bat doesn’t fire. Having such a complete package of skills in a single player is great (the 2011 World Cup can be recollected here), and now it is up to him to justify his selection and the heavy price tag.

ALSO SEE - 2014 IPL Auction: The Top Picks

2014 IPL Auction
1 / 30
Getty Images | Photo by Getty Images
Wed 12 Feb, 2014 9:30 AM IST

Bidding wars

The Royal Challengers were not the only franchise looking to grab the all-rounder. Even KKR were looking to get him badly, but they were denied by the Vijay Mallya-owned franchise, who were determined to go as far as needed. No wonder his price escalated, and starting from his base price of Rs 2 crores, he was finally bought for Rs 14 crores. This shows what can happen if there are two parties pretty determined to take a player. Probably they guessed he would be very hungry to perform and prove a point in this IPL. Something similar probably happened in the case of Kevin Pietersen, who also fetched a booty of 9 crore.

He certainly is a franchise magnet. When the Pune Warriors came into existence, he was given the charge of the side, and immense faith was put in him by the Subrata Roy led franchise. Now that the team has become defunct, the interest in him soared up.

T20 record

He has been a great T20 player, and there are no second opinions about that. He has 2750 runs from 116 innings at an average of 27.22 and a strike rate of 135.46, with 15 scores of over 50. As far as playing for India is concerned, those numbers are even better with the average jumping to 33.38 and the strike rate to 153.08, which is a testimony to his awesomeness. To add to all these, he has 63 wickets at an average of 20.28 and an economy just below 7, which is certainly not bad for a bowler in this format.

His memorable performances include the 6 sixes off the bowling of Stuart Broad and 70 off 30 balls against Australia, both of which won games for India in the inaugural T20 World Cup 2007, among many others.

ALSO SEE - Most Expensive Uncapped Players at IPL-7 auction

Karn Sharma [Rs 3.75 crore] - His base price was Rs 30 lakh, but after a bidding war that was started by Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils before turning into a two-way battle between Kings XI ... more 
Karn Sharma [Rs 3.75 crore] - His base price was Rs 30 lakh, but after a bidding war that was started by Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils before turning into a two-way battle between Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad. In the end, Karn went to Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Karn’s final price was more than established internationals like Darren Sammy, Virender Sehwag, George Bailey, Brendon McCullum and Pragyan Ojha. less 
1 / 10
Yahoo Cricket | Photo by BCCI
Sat 13 Apr, 2013 8:30 PM IST

Brand value

People usually end up paying for a name that sounds more familiar. Something similar has happened here, as he is not in the best form of his life and there are many names who are currently doing better than him. He may have been favoured due to his name and the image that he carries. Mention him and everyone goes back to remembering the World Cup triumph of 2011 or the 6 sixes he hit against England. Thus, you expect a name like him to carry a high price tag, which is exactly what has happened.

It would be surprising to many had he gone for a low price, simply because it just doesn’t fit with his name. Somebody like Muralitharan who was bought for just 1 vrore may not have done justice to his brand value, and one can easily recognise that his present form was given more consideration over his name.

Something completely different happened in Yuvi’s case, and he will only be too happy. But now that the ball is in his court, he has to prove his worth. It can also help him make his way back to the national side. If he does well, it will be viewed naturally, at least by his die-hard fans. “It is Yuvraj, after all. He can’t help being awesome,” they will say. On the other hand, if he fails, it will be said that he wasn’t able to find his form. The brand may take a beating in that case.

ALSO SEE - Biggest Value Buys at IPL-7 auction

RAVI RAMPAUL (West Indies, all-rounder): Bought again by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs.90 lakh. Base price: Rs.50 lakh.
1 / 11
Yahoo Cricket | Photo by BCCI
Tue 16 Apr, 2013 11:30 PM IST

His Presence

His presence does affect the team spirit. His body language is such that the whole team is uplifted. The fighter attitude that emanates from him is very inspiring. You will never see him agitated or tired on the cricket field. He is charged up and rearing to go most of the time. And that is what rubs off on the rest of the team, as well. This happened at least when he was the captain, whether it was with the Kings XI Punjab or the Pune Warriors.

Add to that the marvellous fielding efforts he produces to take impossible catches or produce unlikely run-outs. His presence adds the venom to any batting line-up. You see his name in a team, and you can be certain that he will make life difficult for you. Among his best fielding efforts in the IPL was the last ball run out against the Mumbai Indians to dismiss their no. 10 batsman, which resulted in Punjab winning the game by 1 run to complete a thrilling contest. Such heroics on the field is what makes him desirable to have in one’s team, and all this is probably what Virat Kohli had in mind when he expressed the desire to have him play for the RCB.

RCB already has players who portray a very positive body language (people like de Villiers and Kohli) and are a decent fielding side. Having Yuvraj in their ranks will only improve their presence on the field as a side. They also have new overseas faces in Mitchell Starc and Albie Morkel, both of whom will surely contribute in this regard.


RELATED STORIES:



Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of the Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusia… More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »