Little-known Railways all-rounder Karan Sharma hit the jackpot at the IPL players' auction, becoming the costliest buy among the uncapped players by fetching a startling Rs 3.75 crore deal with Sunrisers Hyderabad, while Rishi Dhawan also fetched a stunning Rs 3 crore bid from Kings XI Punjab on Thursday.
On a low-key second day of the auction, former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor, who had surprisingly gone unsold on the opening day, finally found a buyer as Delhi Daredevils snapped him for his base price of Rs 2 crore.
However, stalwarts like former Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardene, West Indian all-rounder Marlon Samuels, Australian all-rounders Cameron White and David Hussey, and New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill were once again snubbed by the franchises despite being requested back into the auction pool after being unsold on Wednesday.
If Yuvraj Singh's 14-crore deal with Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday stunned many, some of the bidding for uncapped players, included in the auction for the first time to prevent under-hand deals, was equally mind-boggling.
Among the big gainers on Thursday was Maharashtra batsman Kedar Jadhav who clinched a two-crore contract with Delhi Daredevils, a huge reward for his smashing form in the Ranji Trophy.
Jadhav, Ranji Trophy's top-scorer this season, went to Delhi Daredevils after intense bidding. Delhi, in fact, used the 'Right to Match' provision after he was initially taken by Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Jadhav was with the Royal Challengers Bangalore development squad to start with before being signed by Delhi Daredevils in 2010.
The 26-year-old Karan Sharma, named the under-25 Indian player of the Year last year, pipped better-known names such as Indian under-19 captain Unmukt Chand (Rs 65 lakh, Rajasthan Royals) to grab the biggest deal of the morning session.
The leg-spinning all-rounder from Uttar Pradesh had turned up for the same franchise last season as well, taking 11 wickets in 13 matches at a decent economy rate of 6.60.
Ranji Trophy's top wicket-taker this season, Rishi Dhawan (base price of Rs 20 lakh) was signed for a whopping Rs 3 crore by the Kings XI Punjab via the 'Right to Match' provision after being initially acquired by the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Dhawan is primarily a fast-bowling all-rounder who bats in the middle-order. The 23-year-old played for Kings XI Punjab in the 2008 IPL and was signed by the Mumbai Indians last season before being released.
The other big winners were Rajat Bhatia (Rs 1.70 crore, Rajasthan Royals), Manish Pandey (Rs 1.70 crore Kolkata Knight Riders), Aditya Tare (Rs 1.60 crore, Mumbai Indians), KL Rahul (Rs 1 crore, Sunrisers Hyderabad), Ishwar Pandey (Rs 1.50 crore, Chennai Super Kings), Gurkeerat Singh (Rs 1.30 crore, Kings XI Punjab), Dhawal KulKarani (Rs 1.10 crore, Rajasthan Royals and Parveez Rasool (Rs 95 lakh, Sunrisers Hyderabad).
Jammu and Kashmir all-rounder Rasool had scored 594 runs from seven matches at an average of 54 including two centuries in the last Ranji season. He also took 33 wickets at an average of 18 with three five-wicket hauls.
The 25-year-old had become the first cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to be a part of the Indian team and the IPL when he bagged a contract with the now-discarded Pune Warriors last season.
Also getting decent deals were all-rounders Jalaj Saxena (90 lakh, Mumbai Indians) and Akshar Patel (Rs 70 lakh, Kings XI Punjab), left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem (Rs 85 lakh, Sunrisers Hyderabad) and batsman Karun Nair (Rs 75 lakh, Rajasthan Royals).
Tare, with 41 dismissals in the last season of Ranji Trophy, made a record for most dismissals by a wicketkeeper. He was the second highest run-getter for Mumbai with 842 Runs, which included a double century and three half centuries. He was awarded as the Best Mumbai Ranji Cricketer for 2012-13.
Promising pacer Jasprit Bumrah was bought by his previous team Mumbai for Rs 1.20 crore. The 20-year-old has played 11 Twenty20 matches, taking 13 wickets.
All-rounder Mandeep Singh, former vice-captain of the Indian Under-19 team, was grabbed for Rs 80 lakh by Kings XI Punjab through the 'Right to Match' provision. The 22-year-old had been a part of the franchise earlier as well.
Among the foreigners, most of whom went unsold, it was South African pacer Beuran Hendricks, who triggered a bidding competition among the franchises. In the pool at a base price of Rs 30 lakh, Hendricks was bought for Rs 1.80 crore by Kings XI Punjab.
The 23-year-old was the fifth-highest wicket-taker in the South African first-class cricket last season when he grabbed 35 scalps for Cape Cobras at a brilliant average of 17.74.
After the uncapped players, the ones who were unsold on Wednesday got another chance at finding a buyer when the franchises gave their preferred names to be called back into the auction pool.
In the first round of re-bidding, 41 batsmen, 37 bowlers and 24 all-rounders went under the hammer. But surprisingly, very few of them found any takers.
One such lucky player was promising Australian batsman Chris Lynn, who came in with a base price of Rs 50 lakh. He was snared by Kolkata Knight Riders for a rather handsome purse of Rs 1.30 crore.
Another Australian to find a good deal was pacer Patrick Cummins (base price Rs 1 crore). Cummins was bought by KKR for the base price in the final round of re-bidding.
Indian wicketkeeper-batsman Naman Ojha, who had also gone unsold yesterday, was more lucky today with Sunrisers Hyderabad buying him at his base price of Rs 50 lakh.
Some of the other Indian uncapped players such as Apoorv Vijay Wankhede (Rs 10 lakh, Mumbai Indians), Ricky Bhui (Rs 10 lakh, SRH), Tanmay Mishra (Rs 10 lakh, RCB), and Milind Kumar (Rs 10 lakh, DD) found buyers in the second round.