Corey Anderson turned heads again yesterday, but only because his Indian Premier League reserve price was set so low.
The blockbusting allrounder is tipped by good judges with sound knowledge of the IPL scene to top US$1 million (NZ$1.22 million) at the player auction in Bangalore on February 12 and 13, on the eve of the second test against India.
Eighteen current or former New Zealand players put their names forward, with reserve prices, by the January 15 deadline. The names of the 232 hopefuls were released yesterday but that list will be trimmed just before the auction, with players cut if no franchises show interest.
Anderson was the highest of the IPL newcomers when setting his base price at 10 million rupees (NZ$195,000), the starting point for bids. This was after his world record 36-ball century against West Indies which made world headlines, but before his two power hitting displays against India (68 not out off 40 balls in Napier and 44 off 17 in Hamilton), and his 5-63 in the thrilling tied match in Auckland.
Team-mates Jesse Ryder, Nathan McCullum and Kyle Mills all set the same reserve price as Anderson, while IPL big guns Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum set theirs at R20 million (NZ$390,000), the maximum allowable.
Luck and timing plays a big part in the auction. A year ago relatively unknown Australian allrounder Glenn Maxwell was in an early group and went for US$1 million to the Mumbai Indians, coached by John Wright. Groups of players are drawn from a hat to determine their order, and if some are late in the auction when teams have spent their big money then prices could be much lower.
The IPL's new rules allowing the eight teams to retain up to five marquee players from the previous year also impacts on how high they can go. Defending champions Mumbai, and Stephen Fleming's Chennai Super Kings each retained five, leaving them NZ$4.1 million each to spend on their remaining players. Delhi Daredevils retained none, leaving them the full salary cap of R600 million (NZ$11.7 million) to spend.
So if Anderson was to be one of the early players auctioned and got in a bidding war with two teams with money to spend, then it could go large.
The rest of the New Zealanders put their names forward at a base price of R3m to R5m (about $60,000-$100,000).
They are current ODI squad members Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi and Tim Southee, along with Hamish Rutherford, Colin Munro, Adam Milne, Neil Broom, Grant Elliott, James Franklin and Jacob Oram.
Taylor, Brendon McCullum, Anderson and Ryder appear certainties while others in the current ODI squad would be well in the mix on form.
New Zealand coaches are at three big franchises: Wright with Mumbai (captained by Rohit Sharma), Fleming with Chennai (captained by MS Dhoni) and the newly-appointed Daniel Vettori with Royal Challengers Bangalore (captained by Virat Kohli).
Nathan McCullum felt a few New Zealand players had good chances but also thought the Kiwi connection could be a double-edged sword.
"It's an interesting one with three New Zealand coaches but sometimes that can go against you because they don't want to be seen as playing favourites. Obviously they know our strengths but they also know our weaknesses. I'm not sure whether it's going to be for or against us," he said.
- Fairfax Media