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5 most cost-effective players in IPL history


IPL_Cost_effective_value_for_money_players_CricketWhile astronomical sums are always spent by the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises to acquire some of the biggest superstars in the business, there have been several occasions in the league’s history where players who were bagged for a measly amount went on to exceed expectations and be tremendously profitable for their franchise.

This year we have seen hitherto unknown Rahul Tripathi, who was bought for just 10 lakhs by Rising Pune Supergiant, turn out to be the find of the season through his spectacular batting performances at the top.

Throughout IPL’s ten-year history there have been quite a few players who, though purchased for a nominal sum, proved to be really cost-effective for their team.

Shaun Marsh for Kings XI Punjab :

Picked up for just 12 lakhs in the 2008 IPL auction by Kings XI Punjab, Australian left-hander Shaun Marsh went on to be the top run-getter of the tournament that season. With 616 in 11 matches at an incredible average of 68.44, Marsh had set the tournament alight with his stylish batting. 

Utilized as an opener by Kings XI, Marsh reveled in the role and cracked countless glorious fours and sixes throughout the tournament. His prolific run was so impressive that Kings XI have retained him through all the following seasons of the IPL. 

Although he has not quite matched the brilliance of his first season exploits, the classy left-hander has proved to be one of the most value-for-money buys in the IPL.

Shane Watson for Rajasthan Royals :

Australian all-rounder Shane Watson’s international career was on the wane by the time the IPL had commenced in 2008. Thus, it was unsurprising when he was sold for just 50 lakhs to the Rajasthan Royals. However, Watson proved to be exceptionally cost-effective as he went on to be the ‘Player of the series’ through his brilliant act with the bat and the ball. 

Captain Shane Warne used him strategically in the upper middle-order and Watson responded by plundering 472 runs at a superb strike-rate of 151.56. Watson was also supremely effective with his bowling, as his slower ones, yorkers and off-cutters helped him capture a massive 17 wickets in the tournament. 

He turned out to be the Royals’ trump card and won them many games, almost single-handedly, in the following seasons as well. Watson remained with the franchise till the 2015 season, when the Royals were suspended, after which he was acquired by the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2016.

Subramaniam Badrinath for Chennai Super Kings :

Bought for just 12 lakhs in the very first IPL, middle-order batsman Subramaniam Badrinath became Chennai Super King’s ‘wall’ over the next five seasons. The extremely underrated batsman was technically sound and helped avert the sinking of the Chennai batting several times. 

Badrinath went on to play 95 matches for Chennai and scored an impressive 1441 runs at an average of 30.65 in them. What these figures do not show is the number of important cameos he played for Chennai when the team was wobbling, and how, through his composure, he saved them from countless embarrassments. 

Badrinath was a true team player and always had gumption for a fight. Hence, it was unfortunate when the talented player was let go after 2014 and has not featured in the IPL since.

Yuzvendra Chahal for Royal Challengers Bangalore :

After being with the Mumbai Indians for three seasons and having played just a solitary game in the IPL, Yuzvendra Chahal was bought by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the tiny sum of 10 lakhs in 2014. The leg-spinner became a pivotal part of Bangalore’s brittle bowling line-up and proved to be much more than his money’s worth in his first season with them. 

With his relentless lines, quick delivery and guile, Chahal has snared 67 wickets in 52 games for Bangalore (at the time of writing) and was also their leading wicket-taker in the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Chahal’s fearless attitude has worked wonders and allows him to bowl productively, especially in the powerplay. 

The young spinner continues to remain with the franchise and is flourishing in his role as the lead bowler of the team. 

Michael Hussey for Chennai Super Kings :

Michael Hussey was one of the most accomplished batsmen world cricket has seen in recent times. Yet, during the first IPL auction, franchises didn’t make a beeline for him as Hussey was, rather unfairly, considered a Test specialist. 

Hussey eventually went to the Chennai Super Kings for a decent amount of 1.40 crore. The left-hander proved to be extremely cost-efficient as he amassed a massive 1691 runs at a stunning average of 44.50 for Chennai in the next six seasons. Although he played just 7 games in the first three seasons for Chennai, as he was busy with national duties in the period, Hussey made hay when the sun shone in the 2011-2013 seasons when he was often drafted as an opener. 

In the 2013 season, in fact, Hussey was the highest run-getter of the tournament with 733 runs at a remarkable average of 52.35. Incidentally, Hussey was let go by Chennai in 2011, but reacquired in the auction of the same season for 1.93 crore. 

Overall, Michael Hussey undoubtedly remains one of the most cost-effective players the IPL has seen.


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