Steve Smith. (Source: BCCI)

The IPL 2021 auction was marked by the crazy spending spree from quite a few franchises over certain players. Teams breaking the bank to get their marquee player made the auction quite exciting.
However, there were some buys that raised quite a few eyebrows. This because of the relatively cheap price at which they were sold. These players were expected to induce a bidding war, but instead were sold without much competition from other teams.

Let’s have a look at four of the bargains of the IPL 2021 auction.

Steve Smith (₹ 2.2 crores)

Probably the biggest steal of the auction was the acquisition of Steve Smith by DC for just ₹ 2.2 crores. Smith had a poor season with RR last time around, scoring just 311 runs. He also wasn’t able to make it to the playoffs despite being the captain of the team.
That was the end of the road for the partnership of RR with Smith, as the Australian looked forward to new challenges. He had a base price of ₹ 2 crores and the bidding was opened by RCB.
DC came into the race and raised it to ₹2.2 crores. Surprisingly, RCB bowed out and no one else competed with DC. Thus, Smith was sold at a price much cheaper than what he was expected to go at.
It remains to be seen what role will be given to Steve Smith; in what is a top-heavy batting order with the likes of Dhawan, Shaw, Rahane, etc. Nevertheless, they’ve surely gotten a world class player on their hands. It will be eager to see whether he gets to play all the games.

DawidMalan (₹ 1.5 crores)

With 855 runs from just 19 T20Is at an average of 53.43, Malan became the No.1 ranked T20 batsman in the world. Thus it was sure that he was going to be bid on, in the IPL 2021 auctions. And that too for a high bid.
However, he was picked up at his base price of INR 1.5 crores by PBKS.
It was surprising to see no other team bid for Malan, given quite a few teams had a problem in their top order. Nevertheless, he would want to do well for the Punjab-based franchise. He might even get a long rope if the likes of Chris Gayle do not fire or get injured.

Umesh Yadav – (₹ 1 crores)

This certainly became a topic of debate when teams were going hell for leather; especially when it came to overseas pacers. But somehow they let go of experienced Indian pacer Umesh Yadav at his base price of ₹ 1 crore.
The Vidarbha pacer had a horrible 2020 season of IPL with RCB, where he played just two games and went wicketless, sitting out for the entire season.
RCB had clearly lost faith in the pacer, and thus, released him before the upcoming season. He was snapped up by DC without getting any bids from any other franchise. This was a jackpot for DC. They’ve always wanted a good Indian pacer to be the foil for the likes of KagisoRabada and AnrichNortje.

Though Umesh was expensive in leaking runs, he has a lot of experience and can be lethal if the new ball starts to swing at his pace. Thus, if this comes off, it could be a sensational buy by DC

Shakib Al Hasan (₹ 3.2 crores)

After being banned for failing to report a bookie approach, Shakib will be back in the next IPL season. He’s back to the side where it all began for him, KKR. Shakib has won the IPL with this team and had become one of their main components in the middle-overs. He was key during especially during the slow and turning tracks of Eden Gardens.
He is good with the bat too. Currently, he is one of the top-all-rounders in world cricket.
Thus, snapping up Shakib for just ₹ 3.2 crores was a sensational buy, considering his depth in experience. It remains to be seen what role he will play for his beloved side in the upcoming season.

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