Rajasthan Royals’ acquisition of Chris Morris for Rs 16.25 crores was easily the highlight of IPL 2021 auction. With this expensive bid, the South African all-rounder broke the record set by Delhi Daredevils acquisition of Yuvraj Singh for Rs 16 crores to become the most expensive player at an IPL auction. While experts are still debating the pros and cons of Morris’ high-priced addition to RR, the franchise’s director of cricket Kumar Sangakkara justified the move.
The former Sri Lanka captain is happy to have Morris in the team for his ability to finish the games with the bat and ball. He said, “We’re glad to get Chris Morris with us simply for what he brings to the side, both with the bat and ball. With the ball especially, his numbers across the IPLs are really good and his ability to finish games with the bat down the order is useful. Yes the price was on the higher side, but we’re looking for a very specific role with Chris and really happy to have someone like him in our squad.”
Morris entered the auction with a base price of Rs 75 lakh. He sparked a bidding war between Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings, Mumbai Indians, and Royal Challengers Bangalore. After an intense contest with Punjab at the end, Rajasthan eventually picked up Morris for a record price. Although the amount was surprising, it was not unexpected since Morris has been a favourite in IPL auctions in the last couple of years.
In 2018, Delhi bought Morris for Rs 11 crores. Last year, RCB bought him for Rs 10 crores. Although his numbers with the bat have been less prolific in the last two IPL seasons, he did boast an average of 30 with a strike rate in excess of 160 during IPL seasons between 2015-18.
RR’s purchase of Shivam Dube for Rs 4.4 crore was also praised by Sangakkara. The former Sri Lanka batsman said, “From our point of view, we were targeting certain players and we’re happy to get our targets. We were looking at Shivam Dube for that middle-order spot in our batting line-up and finally got him.”
Along with these two big acquisitions, the Royals have obtained Chetan Sakariya for Rs 1.2 crores, Mustafizur Rahman for Rs 1 crore, Liam Livingstone for Rs 75 lakhs, C Cariappa for Rs 20 lakhs, Akash Singh for Rs 20 lakhs, and Kuldip Yadav for Rs 20 lakhs.
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