Bengaluru, Jan 28: Young pacer Jaydev Udkat became the most expensive domestic player at the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction here on Sunday when he was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 11.5 crore even as several big intertiol mes remained unsold.
The former IPL champions bought the 26-year-old from Saurashtra after beating off a stiff challenge from Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Cheni Super Kings (CSK).
Manish Pandey and Lokesh Rahul were the most expensive Indians on the opening day of the auction on Saturday as they were sold for an identical price of Rs 11 crore.
Pandey was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad while Punjab secured Rahul's services.
England all-rounder Ben Stokes became the most expensive player at the IPL auction for the second year running when he was taken by Rajasthan for Rs 12.5 crore during the opening day of the auction on Saturday.
Surprisingly, Udkat was more expensive than even star New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult, who was bought by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 2.2 crore.
Udkat was the second highest wicket-taker during last year's IPL. Representing Rising Pune Supergiant, the 26-year-old had claimed 24 wickets in 12 games at a strike rate of 11.4.
He was also adjudged the Man of the Series during India's 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in the Twenty20 Intertiol (T20I) series last month. He had claimed four wickets over three matches in that series.
On Sunday, Punjab and Cheni were the initial front runners to secure Udkat's services. The two teams engaged in a bidding war that saw his value escalate to Rs 11 crore from a base price of Rs 1.5 crore. But Rajasthan made a late bid to sweep the pacer away.
The Royals made another expensive deal on Sunday when they acquired the services of off-spinner Krishppa Gowtham for Rs 6.20 crore.
Australian pacer Andrew Tye was another hot property. The 31-year-old was at the centre of some heated bidding between Punjab and Cheni.
Starting at a base price of Rs 1 crore, Tye saw his value shoot up rapidly before Punjab clinched the deal at Rs 7.2 crore.
Fellow Australian than Coulter-Nile was taken by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for Rs 2.2 crore after a short tussle with Punjab.
Young South African pace sensation Lungi Ngidi, who decimated the Indian batting line-up on his debut in the second Test during the recent three-match series, was bought by CSK at his base price of Rs 50 lakh.
Indian left-arm seamer Barinder Sran was sold to Punjab for Rs 2.2 crore. India discard pacer Mohit Sharma went to Punjab for Rs 2.4 crore as they exercised the Right to Match (RTM) option to take him away from Cheni.
Another Indian pacer Sandeep Sharma saw heavy bidding between Kolkata and Punjab before Sunrisers Hyderabad got him for Rs 3 crore.
Veteran Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson went to KKR at his base price of Rs 2 crore. New Zealand quick Tim Southee also went at base price with RCB acquiring his services for Rs 1 crore.
India wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel went to RCB for Rs 1.7 crore.
The Afghans had reasons to celebrate as their 16-year-old spinner Mujeeb Zadran was bought by Punjab for Rs 4 crore. Zahir Khan Pakteen -- another Afghan spinner -- was bought by Rajasthan for Rs 60 lakh.
It was a historic day for Nepali cricket as 17-year-old spinner Sandeep Lamichhane was sold at his base price of Rs 20 lakh to the Delhi Daredevils.
But even as the big buys caught the eye, the fact that several star players went surprisingly unsold was equally worthy of attention.
The star South African pace duo of Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn were the most notable ones in the unsold list.
Morkel was in good form during the recent Test series against India and it was a surprise when the representatives of the various teams chose not to bid for him.
Their rejection of Steyn was still understandable as the veteran pace ace was injured during the first Test against India and was sidelined for the rest of the series.
Experienced Australian stars Shaun Marsh, Corey Anderson, Ashton Agar and Luke Ronchi also did not find any takers.
New Zealand's Adam Milne and fellow pacer Tymal Mills of England also went unsold. This was a big downturn in fortunes for Mills who was bought for Rs 12 crore by RCB last year.
England's David Willey was also unsold with a base price of Rs 2 crore.
The West Indies duo of Jason Holder and Andre Fletcher did not elicit any bids as well. Holder has a lot of experience in the IPL since he has played for KKR and CSK in the past. IANS