The 2008 Indian Premier League season was just the first amongst 12 successful that entertained worldwide spectators by showcasing top quality cricket. Mumbai was the most expensive team when its ownership cost about, US$111.9 million.
Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Sourav Ganguly, and Rahul Dravid were classified as iconic players who were a default part of their home sides and did not take part in the auctions. That year M.S. Dhoni won the highest bid of US $1.5 million out of Chennai’s US$ 5 million purse. Andrew Symonds was the most costly foreign player with a bid of US$ 1.35 by the Deccan Chargers.
Last year, the league saw Virat Kohli retained for INR 17 crores when RCB retained their captain. This is so far the highest in the league’s history. Virat has been married to the Bangalore side since the first season and has become the face of the franchise.
Some costly players did live up to their expectations (Example: M.S.Dhoni) while some just couldn’t handle the price pressure (Example: Yuvraj Singh- when bought for Rs.16 crore by Delhi Daredevils).
However, if the league had to start from scratch, if tomorrow were to be the first auction in IPL’s history, the following players would be the hot picks for the 8 franchises –
1) Virat Kohli:
People around the world know him as a “Run Machine” as his flawless batting has earned him a special spot in every spectator’s heart. Virat started the league when RCB bought him for USD 30,000. His growth is evident with each passing season as he peaked in 2016 by scoring 973 runs, the most by a batsman in any season. Looking at his limited-overs brilliance and his ability to chase any target, this 31-year-old may turn out to be the highest bid with all franchises wanting him as a part of their eleven.
Innings – 169
Runs – 5412
Average – 37.85
SR – 131.61
2) Jasprit Bumrah:
The Gujarat pacer who currently leads the white ball charts needs to credit the Indian Premier League for such a remarkable career. After joining the Mumbai Indians in 2013, Bumrah never failed to impress their first- time captain Rohit Sharma who used the pacer’s ability at crucial points of the game. After excellent stints with the franchise and the national side, Bumrah had proved himself as one of the best death over bowlers – an honor in the twenty20 format.
With his variations that puzzle the best batsman, Jasprit is a bowler every captain will rely on.
Innings – 77
Wickets – 82
Economy rate – 7.56
3) Ab De Villiers:
Mr. 360 has been a consistent performer in the league. Name the shot and AB can execute it better than any other player. His dominance over the best bowling attacks with lethal bowlers makes him one of the best batsmen of the game. He played for Delhi Daredevils before making place in Royal Challengers Bangalore and lighting up Chinnaswamy in many instances.
The South African not only provides firepower to a line-up but can also play as an anchor to an innings.
Innings – 142
Runs – 4395
Average – 39.95
SR – 151.24
4) Andre Russel:
The Jamaican hard hitter features in the list owing to his proficiency in hitting sixes at any point in the game. His knock against Bangalore last season won his side an almost impossible game. Not only Andre scores quick runs but he can bowl quick deliveries to stun an opponent batsman. He has been a part of the Kolkata Knight Riders (2014-present) after representing the Delhi Daredevils for two years.
Russel’s journey in the Indian Premier League has been no less than a rollercoaster ride packed with big runs and wickets. His all-round ability as a batsman, bowler, and a fantastic fielder makes him a fiery player.
Innings – 52
Runs – 1400
Average – 33.33
SR – 186.42
Innings – 61
Wickets – 55
Economy rate – 8.88
The former Indian captain is one player who made headlines in the inaugural season as a part of the same list as he would be today. ‘Thala’ (brother) as CSK fans like calling him, MSD has been the franchise’s guiding lights in all seasons so far. He has led the side to 3 IPL titles, one behind Mumbai Indians’ record 4 despite suffering a 2-year suspension. One would want Dhoni to lead the team, to guide young players and create miracles with his wicketkeeping and finishing skills. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a package of everything a good captain wants to be, topped with his cool-headedness.
If the league had to start again, these champions would again be one of the most demanded players.
Innings – 170
Runs – 4432
Average – 42.21
SR – 137.85