Indian Premier League 2017: Best buys and biggest flops

NZ cricketer Mitchell McClenaghan appears to be undervalued in the IPL.
Christopher Lee/ Getty Images

NZ cricketer Mitchell McClenaghan appears to be undervalued in the IPL.

Kiwi quick bowler Mitchell McClenaghan is one of the most under-valued players in the IPL. 

McClenaghan, who was the competition's third top wicket-taker in the regular season with 19 wickets, had an auction price of about $67,000** after he was picked up on the cheap by the Mumbai Indians in the 2015 IPL auction.

Using a system called estimated value*, which assigns a monetary value to players based on how many runs they score and wickets they take in the IPL, McClenaghan appears to be under-valued to the tune of about $1.5-million.

Mitchell McClenaghan in action for Auckland.

Mitchell McClenaghan in action for Auckland.

Player's auction prices reflect how much was bid for them last time they were sold at auction and their salary cap deduction - their actual salaries may differ in some cases.

McClenaghan's 19 wickets and 16 runs give him a 1.6 per cent share of all the runs scored and wickets taken in the competition. Translated into 1.6 per cent of the total salary pool, that's $1.54m. That makes him the seventh most valuable player in the competition, according to estimated value and the third most under-valued when that figure is compared to his auction price. 


Jaydev Unadkat (right) of Rising Pune Supergiants is the second top wicket-taker in IPL 2017.
Getty Images

Jaydev Unadkat (right) of Rising Pune Supergiants is the second top wicket-taker in IPL 2017.

The best buys were determined by looking at which players had the biggest positive difference between their actual salary and their estimated value (added value).

By that measure Rising Pune Supergiants' left-armer Jaydev Unadkat is the most under-valued player of IPL 2017.


Unadkat has been a revelation during his side's run to the final. Taking 22 wickets in the regular season to defy his low auction price of $67,000, Unadkat's estimated value is $1.74m - an added value of $1.68m.

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Allrounder Axar Patel of King's XI Punjab is another player who has done plenty to enhance his value for future auctions. Patel captured 22 wickets and scored 227 runs for an estimated value of $1.82m, significantly more than his auction price of $167,000.


Big-hitting South African batsman David Miller has once again failed to live up to his hefty price tag of $2.8m for the King's XI Punjab. Miller featured only five times in IPL 2017 - for 83 runs - before being dropped. Based on that, he was over-valued by about $2.56m.


English left-arm quick and T20 specialist Tymal Mills was hot property at the 2017 auction and eventually went for $2.68m to the Royal Challengers Bangalore. However he struggled with injuries and only featured four times as the star-studded Bangalore side slumped to last place on the table.

With three other big RCB signings featuring near the top of our list of most over-valued players, it's no surprise to see them propping up the table with just three wins.

Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and Shane Watson were all over valued by between $500,000 and $900,000, according to estimated value.


McClenaghan has been the flag bearer for New Zealand in IPL 2017, the next best performer is Brendon McCullum with 319 runs, that gives him an estimated value of $895,000, about half his auction price of $1.67m (his actual IPL salary is about $700,000 - the $1.67m figure his salary cap deduction).

Kane Williamson is another Kiwi player to stand out despite only featuring in six games. Williamson has 232 runs to his name for an estimated value of $1.34m - roughly double his auction price.

Allrounder Colin de Grandhomme, who was passed over in the auction but later picked up as an injury replacement by the Kolkata Knight Riders. 

De Grandhomme has gone on to play 11 games for Kolkata and his 126 runs and four wickets give him an estimated value of $668,000.

Quick bowlers Tim Southee and Trent Boult have had limited impact collecting just three and four wickets respectively.

Clarification: A player's auction price or salary cap deduction may be different from his actual salary. An early version of this piece failed to make that clear.

* A player's estimated value is calculated by adding up the listed auction prices of all players who feature in at least one game during the regular season to get a total salary pool. The salary pool is then divided amongst the players (who feature at least once) based on their share of total runs and total wickets. Half the salary pool is apportioned for wickets taken, the other half for runs scored. The difference between estimated value and auction price is a player's added value. The system does not take into account the context of the runs scored and wickets taken. Nor does it account for batting strike rates and bowling economy rates. Given these limitations it is a just guide to over and under-valuation of players in the IPL, not a definitive ranking system.

** All salaries and auction prices are in New Zealand Dollars and were converted from Indian Rupees at the beginning of IPL 2017.

 - Stuff


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