The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 players auction was an action-packed affair. All the eight franchises put in their best to assemble a solid squad for this year’s T20 tournament.
While the mega-auction took place in Bengaluru, the Indian cricket team is on the long tour of South Africa.
As it turns out, though, Virat Kohli & Co. kept a thorough track of all the happenings at the IPL players auction, and at the forefront of the excitement was none other than the skipper himself who was retained by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for a whopping 17 crores.
But Kohli’s lofty price tag was not the only reason to attract attention. He made head turns when he passed a casual remark after the sale of KL Rahul. His former RCB team-mate was bought for a hefty Rs 11 crore by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).
RCB were keen on retaining Rahul but KXIP’s persistence, guided by former Indian opener Virender Sehwag, made sure the Karnataka batsman will turn-out for the Punjab outfit.
Once the deal was done, Kohli was heard saying, “Viru pa pagal ho gaye hain.” (Sehwag has gone mad).” The Indian captain was referring to Sehwag’s keenness to acquire Rahul for KXIP as quoted by DNA.
While we’re pretty sure Kohli said that in jest, one wonders if there’s more to what meets the eye. After all, Viru had only a few days ago said that Kohli should drop himself from the Indian Test team if he fails with the bat in South Africa. The Nawab of Najafgarh had made that statement after some questionable team selections by Kohli.
Kohli, of course, had gone ahead and given the best reply to Sehwag and all other critics by slamming a masterful 153 in his next innings (2nd Test). India won the final Test against South Africa but lost the three-match series 2-1.
Meanwhile, Rahul wasn’t the only Indian cricketer to rake in the big bucks at the auction. Fast-bowler Jaydev Unadkat was the highest-earning Indian with a stunning deal of Rs 11.50 crore with the Rajasthan Royals. Middle-order batsmen Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey were some of the other big gainers.