Indian ODI team skipper MS Dhoni will play for the Pune IPL franchise, while his former CSK teammate Suresh Raina will join Rajkot.
Dhoni and Raina were Pune and Rajkot’s first picks at the Players’ draft. Both teams spent Rs. 39 cr each out of their cap of Rs. 66 cr.
As the rightful first bidder, thanks to his lowest bid of minus Rs 16 crore, Pune went for India’s ODI and T20I captain Dhoni while Rajkot decided to go with limited-overs specialist Raina as their first-choice picks.
As the first-choice players, the two former CSK team-mates since 2008 bagged Rs. 12.5 crore each.
Asked to pick five players each from the list of capped and uncapped Indian and overseas players, Rajkot opted for four CSK players and one from RR. In contrast, Pune, took home three CSK players and two from RR.
Also interesting to note was Rajkot picking three Indians and Pune two. However, that was largely due to the advantage Pune had by being the first to pick from the draft.
Other than Dhoni, the rest of the four players to complete the Pune’s five were Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Steven Smith and Faf du Plessis.
For Rajkot, Ravindra Jadeja, Brendon McCullum, James Faulkner and Dwayne Bravo joined Raina. Rajkot is also Jadeja’s hometown.
“Excited to play for the beautiful vibrant city- Rajkot in @IPL. Looking forward to have new teammates and support from the people of Gujarat,” Raina tweeted immediately after the conclusion of the draft.
As expected, none of the two teams went for any of the uncapped players as they had to pick only five. Australia’s retired stars Shane Watson and Mike Hussey also didn’t interest either of the buyers and will now wait to know their fate at the 2016 players’ auction.
Both Pune and Rajkot exhausted the maximum Rs. 39 crore they were permitted and will now have Rs. 27 crore to build rest of the team at February 6 auction next year.