Chennai Super Kings (CSK) has been known to be smart at auctions.
And its team principal Gurunath Meiappan believed the CSK group had once again played the right cards in a tense, high-stakes game.
CSK, the most successful side in the IPL, was keen to bolster its pace bowling department. The side had the quality and the depth in batting but sought to add greater firepower to its attack.
Meiappan sported a smile at the end of the auction. “We achieved most of our objectives,” he said.
CSK set its sights on Dirk Nannes, the 36-year-old left-armer who can still hustle batsmen with his pace and bounce, as an immediate need to fill the breach after the departure of Doug Bollinger.
Nannes is crafty and can surprise the batsmen with the movement and the angles he can create.
And he is a specialist T20 bowler.
“Along with Nannes, we have also got some young pacemen whom we can develop. We have an eye on the future. Chris Morris is a South African pace bowling all-rounder.
West Indies’ Jason Holder and Ben Laughlin, we believe will add to our pace depth,” said Meiappan.
If Nannes cost $600,000 and Morris $6,25000, Laughlin and Holder were bought at a bargain base price of $ 20,000.
CSK also signed the promising 19-year-old Sri Lankan off-spinner, Akila Dananjaya, for just $20,000.
It had earlier shown interest in another Sri Lankan off-spinner, Sachitra Senanayake, but backed away when the price became too steep.
Krishnamachari Srikkanth, the mentor of Sunrisers Hyderabad, another Chennai-based team, was happy that the side was able to rope in all-rounders.
“We wanted depth in the side, a strong bottom half with guys who can bat and bowl.
In Thissara Perera and Darren Sammy we have men who can play, versatile dynamic cricket,” he said.
The former Indian captain was also pleased that Sunrisers managed to rope in Nathan McCullum and Clint McKay.
“Nathan is an off-spinner who can bat very usefully. McKay is a very capable paceman.
“At $100,000, we got both of them at a very reasonable price too.”
Paceman Sudip Tyagi, he felt, would add to the side as a domestic paceman.
“And in Quinton de Kock, we have got a promising wicket-keeper batsman for just $20,000. We went into the auction with a clear plan and things worked for us,” Srikkanth said.