Shane Watson Image Credit: AFP

Think of the IPL auctions as a mega budget thriller packed with suspense, drama and the occasional head-scratching.

Each team is expected to spend a minimum of Rs400 million (about Dh22 million), but can’t splurge beyond Rs660 million on drafting players. A bulk of that amount goes in retaining the best players already with the team. And for every player it holds on to, the BCCI deducts a predefined amount from the team’s total kitty — the first capped player retained costs the team Rs125 million, while the next four are Rs95 million, Rs75 million, Rs55 million and Rs40 million respectively.

However, here’s the interesting bit: What you see may not be what the players actually get. For example, even though Virat Kohli’s purse value is Rs125 million, Royal Challengers Bangalore are actually paying him Rs150 million. The reverse is also true: David Miller’s purse value is Rs125 million, but Kings XI Punjab will pay him Rs50 million. 

It’s all about supply and demand. What players earn is largely based on how they perform. And yes, how badly a team needs them.

Player fees

Mohit Sharma - Dh3.6 million, Kings XI Punjab
Why he’s dangerous: Mainstream Indian newspaper The Hindu calls him deceptive, dangerous and dependable. Twenty-seven-year-old Mohit Sharma rose to fame in IPL 2013, taking 23 wickets in 15 matches for CSK. Having earned a reputation for being consistent and accurate, the right-hand medium-pacer performs regardless of pitches or playing conditions. He’s a potent bowler during the Powerplay overs.

Yuvraj Singh (Dh3.9 million), Sunrisers Hyderabad
Why he’s dangerous: Former Team India Director Ravi Shastri has described 34-year-old Yuvraj Singh as a match-winner and a “destroyer of bowling”. When he is set, there is “nobody more dangerous than him”. After all, Singh is the one who famously scored a record-setting 50 runs in just 12 balls and hit six sixes in an over. A brilliant fielder, Singh is also a competent left-arm orthodox bowler.

Chris Morris (Dh3.9 million), Delhi Daredevils
Why he’s dangerous: ESPN Cricinfo calls 28-year-old Chris Morris a “bustling, big-hitting all-rounder” who can register speeds upwards of 140km/h on the speed gun while bowling. In fact, Morris has become the go-to person during the crucial overs, not only with the ball but also the bat — he has often pulled his side out of a tight spot with some aggressive batting.

Pawan Negi (Dh4.7 million), Delhi Daredevils
Why he’s dangerous: The most expensive Indian player — and the biggest surprise — at the auctions was 23-year-old Pawan Negi. The slow left-arm spinner, who plays for Delhi in domestic cricket, is especially dangerous on turning pitches. He also has a knack for going ballistic with the bat and has been deftly used as a pinch-hitter by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), his former team.

Shane Watson (Dh5.2 million), Royal Challengers Bangalore 
Why he’s dangerous: Currently topping the ICC list of T20 all-rounders, 34-year-old Shane Watson can not only swing the bat and ball but also the game, especially on the Indian pitches he is so familiar with. As Virat Kohli said in February, “He is such a dangerous player when opening the batting in T20 cricket. We’ve seen that in the IPL many a time.”