Chennai, Feb. 4 -- Like an army strengthening its troop ahead of a battle, the nine franchises were busy plugging in their holes from last season at the auction, as they prepare for the tussle for this year's Indian Premier League.
With the mega-auction to be held next season, the 2013 one held in Chennai on Sunday saw the teams focussing their attention on doing the necessary buying to cater to their needs for the march-April tournament. While certain well-settled franchisees were happy to play the spectator role for most part, others were busy outsmarting each other in order to grab the players they needed.
The latest entrant to the IPL family, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, did not go all out with their $7 million purse. Team mentor Kris Srikkanth explained the strategy: "In my experience as chief selector, I've noticed that all-rounders play a key role in the shorter forms of the game. That is why we bought the likes of Darren Sammy, Nathan McCullum and Thisara Perera."
For Royal Challengers Bangalore it was all about packing their side with bowlers. RP Singh, Pankaj Singh and Jaydev Unadkat were the Indian pacers who will join Vinay Kumar, Abhimanayu Mithun and Zaheer Khan in the team's pace attack.
With Sourav Ganguly no more with the team, the Pune Warriors India roped in Australian skipper Michael Clarke as a possible captaincy candidate with Yuvraj Singh too in the fray for the role.
Also, the inclusion of in-form Abhishek Nayar could prove to be the trump card for the Pune team, who finished with the wooden spoon in the last season.
The most successful IPL team - Chennai Super Kings - signed mostly the unknown names likes Chris Morris, Akila Dananjaya, Ben Laughlin and Jason Holder.
Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils, who have settled units, expectedly were less active on the day. While Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab, despite huge sums in the bag, were subdued like they usually are at auctions.
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.