Richard Madley auctions the players during the IPL 7 player auction, 12 January. BCCI
Mahela Jayawardene going unsold, Virender Sehwag nearly joining the great Sri Lankan, Kevin Pietersen not exactly hitting the ceiling, and Yuvraj becoming a wanted man again - the opening marquee pool of the IPL 7 auction had it all.
Here is a quick look at how the bidding panned out and which of the eight franchises - CSK, Mumbai Indians, KKR, Rajasthan Royals, Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Delhi Daredevils and RCB - came out winners after the first phase.
Murali Vijay: CSK, not too surprisingly, opened the bidding at the auction, raising that we-will-see-a-lot-more-of-that paddle for the first time.
Vijay was not retained by CSK, but it was clear that the former IPL champions wanted him back in their lineup - it was just a matter of getting him at the right perceived price.
However, the Delhi Daredevils put a spanner in the works, coming into the bidding, before the Sunrisers Hyderabad also decided "OK let's do some bidding, because that is why we are here after all". Delhi, though, would get their man, for Rs 5 crore with Stephen Fleming and CSK left wondering just what might have been.
Mahela Jayawardene: The Sri Lankan great, the second player to come under the hammer, was unsold at the auction, with no IPL franchise choosing to go for the former Delhi Daredevils batsman. Players can be brought back into the auction tomorrow, and perhaps the teams want to assess the purse they will have at their disposal come the end of the first day, before taking a punt on the I-can-play-any-shot-I-want Jayawardene.
Kevin Pietersen: CSK jumped right out of the gate for Pietersen with the I-don't-play-for-England-anymore-because-the-captain-does-note-me superstar was not too surprisingly a much-wanted man.
Kings XI Punjab and the Sunrisers also got in on the bidding, with the bids see-sawing back and forth to Rs 9 crore. The Sunrisers had a smile wider than the Grand Canyon having managed the big scalp, but then with that dreaded Right to Match card, the Daredevils were always going to have the final say, and the final say just happened to be the raise of that paddle to acknowledge they would indeed be bringing back their star player, despite deciding not to retain him when they had the chance.
Yuvraj Singh: Kings XI opened the bidding for the player they had for the first few seasons of the IPL. Nobody else seemed interested initially, but then the Rajasthan Royals chose to raise the paddle, with Rahul Dravid well aware of the potential that exists in his former teammate.
The bidding went to Rs 3.2 crore, before RCB said "Ok, we will have a crack at this and build the most scary batting lineup in the IPL, with the Bangalore franchise holding the aces at Rs 10 crore.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore thought they had won, only for KKR to raise their paddle after Richard Madley had initially sold the player to RCB.
The bid came back in and went on back and forth a few times to Rs 14 crore, before RCB finally got their man - a scary batting order of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers and Yuvraj awaits the opposition bowlers!
Jacques Kallis: Opening bid was from Chennai, before Delhi Daredevils came in. But, CSK, after missing out on a couple early on, held firm, before KKR decided to get in on the act, looking to bring back the player they chose not to hang onto.
CSK's first buy of the auction looked like being Kallis for Rs 5.5 crore, after outbidding KKR, but then strangely, the Knight Riders, after bumping up the price, decide to use their Right to Match card.
Virender Sehwag: It looked like the great opener would go unsold, with Madley about to get the hammer down, before Kings XI Punjab decided to bid. Mumbai Indians, having lost Sachin Tendulkar to retirement, decided to have a go at buying the flamboyant, but don't-know-how-he-will-bat-now right-hander.
King XI won the battle, though, buying Sehwag for Rs 3.2 crore, with the Delhi Daredevils, not too surprisingly, choosing not to use their Right to Match option, having already done so for Pietersen.
David Warner: The Mumbai Indians, wanting an opener of note, opened the bidding for the I-swing-it-goes-for-a-six left-hander, only for the Sunrisers, envisaging a mouth-watering opening partnership with Shikhar Dhawan, to raise that paddle.
The Sunrisers won the auction at Rs 5.5 crore, with the Daredevils yet again choosing not to bring back their former player. A Dhawan-Warner opening partnership at the top it is!
Mitchell Johnson: Battle commenced immediately between CSK and the Daredevils, with Kings XI then coming into the party. I-scare-the hell-out-of-batsmen Johnson was always going to be a wanted man after his ridiculously scary performance against England, and surprisingly the Kings XI beat out competition from CSK and Delhi to get the big scalp.
The Mumbai Indians chose not to match the fast bowler's bid, leaving Kings XI purring in delight at having bought a seriously game-changing player.
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