That will be all for day one! Join us for day two of the IPL auctions. What a day it has been and KXIP and RR have definitely stolen a march over the rest of the pack. CSK have an aging team but that should not be a deterrent in this format. RR have thrown history out of the window and have managed to maintain the core team of RPS, who reached the final last year.

While it was Ben Stokes, Chris Lynn and Mitchell Starc who dominated the early part of the day, massive bids for Krunal Pandya, Manish Pandey and importantly KL Rahul soon emerged as the major talking point of the day. The biggest surprise, though, had to be Harbhajan moving to Chennai and Ashwin going to KXIP.

RCB decide against keeping Avesh Khan and this time, he goes to Delhi Daredevils for Rs 70 lakh. Ankit Singh Rajpoot attracts bids from KKR and KXIP. The owners are all smiles as the bids oscillate back and forth. KKR also enter the race late in the day but KXIP get another successful bid in. He goes for Rs 3 crore.

India youngster Syed Khaleel Ahmed sold to SRH for an excellent deal – Rs 3 crore. Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini also goes for the same amount and had many suitors for him. He will play for one of Delhi’s famous sons, a young man named Virat Kohli, who is quite decent in the game of cricket.

Vidarbha’s Ranji Trophy star Rajneesh Gurbani doesn’t get a bid. That was surprising. Aniket Choudhary, meanwhile, is sold to RCB for Rs 30 lakh.

Basil Thampi goes to SRH The Kerala pacer immediately finds suitors with Mumbai leading the race for his signature for much of it before SRH clinch the deal with a late bid of Rs 95 lakh – a good value for money given Thampi’s rise over the last year

SRH get Siddarth Kaul for Rs 3.80 crore. They launch another successful bid, singing up Tamil Nadu pacer T Natarajan for a modest Rs 40 lakh. Tom Moody and co are on fire.

Kulwant Khejroliya sold to RCB for Rs 85 lakh Mumbai Indians, RCB and the Sunrisers are interested and it’s Vettori’s camp who win the battle.

Into the uncapped fast bowlers now...

Jitesh Sharma and Nitin Naik remain unsold. Vishnu Vinod and Sheldon Jackson’s fate also remains the same. Ranji Trophy star Prashant Chopra also goes unsold. Much needed breathing space after a gladiatorial bidding war.

Ishan Kishan goes to Mumbai Indians for a whopping Rs 6.20 crore Mumbai Indians steal a march and blow away the competition with a determined bidding run. They are finally successful in getting a keeper in their ranks. Remember, the southpaw’s base price was Rs 40 lakh.

Rajasthan Royals bag Jofra Archer for Rs 7.20 crore CSK have woken up from their slumber. They are entangled in a tug-of-war with Delhi, who give up once it crossed the Rs 4 crore-mark. KXIP too, enter the fray. At Rs 5.40 crore, Rajasthan Royals slip in a bid of their own. SRH have also entered the race. The Royals have the final say for the West Indian, and they bag him for an eye-watering fee.

D’Arcy Short goes to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 4 crore Delhi and Rajasthan Royals are intersted in the man who has been in dream touch in the Big Bash League. Ricky Ponting, who has seen exploits from up close, convinces his team to carry on. RCB also briefly expressed in an interest in the Australian before pulling out. SRH also try to push for a bid but RR reign supreme in the end. What a squad the inaugural winners are assembling. All-rounder Shivam Dube goes unsold.

Kolkata Knight Riders snap up Nitish Rana for Rs 3.40 crore It was surprising that Mumbai decided against keeping him, especially after his exploits in the group stages last year. Once again, it’s a bid that stretches on and the KKR camp is thrilled to welcome the hard-hitting southpaw

Mumbai Indians keep Krunal Pandya via RTM Krunal was expected to get the big bucks and the bid certainly lived to the hype so far. SRH, Rajasthan and RCB lock horns but Mumbai Indians use their RTM card and keep the all-rounder. It’s a bumper deal worth Rs 8.8 crore.

U-19 star Kamlesh Nagarkoti will play for KKR SRH, KKR and KXIP are interested in the speedster, who is all of 18 years-old...and it’s Jacques Kallis and co who are successful – it’s a bid worth Rs 3.20 crore. What a whirlwind month it has been for the Rajasthan pacer.

But SRH decide against using the RTM for all-rounder Vijay Shankar. Delhi make a steep bid of Rs 3.20 crore and get him. Delhi make another successful bid, snapping up Harshal Patel for Rs 20 lakh.

Deepak Hooda retained by SRH KXIP, RCB, and Delhi are intested. When the bidding process reached Rs 1.5 crore, KXIP pulled out. But, SRH decide to use their RTM card and keep the explosive Baroda batsman for Rs 3.60 crore.

The final session of the auction begins and spinner Rahul Tewatia goes to Delhi Daredevils for Rs 3 crore. KXIP decide against using their RTM option.

Another sports enthusiast messages The Field’s whatsapp community: “Excuse me, there is Grand slam final going on between two ladies who have compelling stories and a Test match India is playing, which is taking twist and turns. And only I see discussion on something called auction, which is not even sport.”

Fair point, sir/madam.

Catch India vs South Africa’s live updates, day four here

Catch the Australian Open final between Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki here

Samir writes in: “IPL has moved on from a reality sportainment product to a mature sport product, despite its restrictions/deficiency in terms of duration and organic development of its sport and talent.

The auction is faulty because:

1. It erodes the brand equity of its franchise teams by reintroducing most players back in the auction pool.

2. This format is not most cost efficient for the franchisees in talent procurement. If we had agents’ representation of players, talent procurement cost would go down by atleast 30%.

3. At the end of the day, a player should have the choice of choosing his team of choice as he also needs to evaluate parameters beyond the financials, like playing opportunity in side. A star-studded side may not be best option for a budding talent vis-a-vis an emerging side.”

Prithvi Shaw sold to Delhi for 1.20 crore Easily the most decorated among the Indian young players, Delhi and Rajasthan enter the battle early on. Mumbai Indians join in but the bidding face-off ends in a whimper for the India U-19 captain. This could be a steal and Delhi continue to stockpile young Indian talent like it’s nobody’s business.

Rahul Tripathi goes to the Royals Tripathi is in popular demand and there are atleast three franchises who are interested in him. The Rajasthan Royals, true to their philosophy to hone young players, who get him. It’s for a mammoth bid of Rs 3.40 crore. Manan Vohra will play for RCB – the successful bid was for 1.10 crore

Mayank Agarwal has sparked off a bit of a bidding war with RCB and KXIP entering the race, and it’s the latter who is successful – with a Rs 1 crore bid. U-19 star Himanshu Rana goes unsold.

KKR also bag Ishank Jaggi, who moves for his base price, which was Rs 20 Lakh. It was also the price for which Ricky Bhui moved to Sunrisers Hyderabad for.

Forgotten man Suryakumar Yadav was quite an attractive prospect for atleast three franchises...and he returns home to Mumbai, for a steep Rs 3.20 crore. India U-19 star Shubman Gill piqued the interest of KKR, and he stays there. KKR snap up the Punjab batsman for Rs 1.8 crore

Kuldeep Yadav retained by KKR As expected, all the major players are interested in the ‘Chinaman’. There is a bit of a controversy with Richard Madley not pleased with teams putting their hand up and holding discussions over their bid. It was RCB who placed the final bid, one worth Rs 5.80 crore. After a lengthy team talk, KKR decide to keep the left-armer.

Yuzvendra Chahal is retained for Rs 6 crore It was a futile effort as the verdict was quite elaborately reported even before the start of the IPL auction. The bidding process rages on, though. SRH enter the race but RCB match that bid with their RTH card and Chahal stays.

Amit Mishra will stay with Delhi and he goes for Rs 4 crore. Reunions continue to come in droves for the Delhi outfit. Meanwhile, Windies’ spin ace Samuel Badree goes unsold.

Rashid Khan stays with SRH That was a blockbuster of a bidding war. RCB is interested, KXIP enter the race, albeit belatedly. KXIP also have the final bid. There is some last minute drama too. After initially deciding against using the RTM, SRH decide to match KXIP’s offer, thereby retaining him. It’s a whopping Rs 9 crore bid.

Karn Sharma is now a CSK player with a successful bid of Rs 5 crore. Mumbai Indians decide against using their RTM and Stephen Fleming and co welcome him. Pretty steep, though, don’t you think?

Imran Tahir goes to Chennai Super Kings for Rs 1 crore, Ish Sodhi goes unsold.

Piyush Chawla is retained by KKR RCB express interest but back out quickly. Chennai table an offer of Rs 4.20 crore. After a loooong discussion, KKR use RTM for Chawla and decide to retain the man, whose boundary won them their second title.

Ishant Sharma, along with Mitchell McClenaghan and IPL’s all-time highest-wicket taker, Lasith Malinga, go unsold.

Delhi Daredevils retain Kagiso Rabada It’s a tussle between Rajasthan and Chennai this time around but the final word is in Delhi’s court. They decide to match the bid and retain the South African pace ace. The price is Rs 4.20 crore.

Delhi use RTH to keep Shami After a brief intermission, SRH finally wake up and they take on Delhi Daredevils. A quick debate in the Delhi camp results in them using their RTH card, and he stays. For Rs 3 crore.

Umesh Yadav will play for RCB RCB get their noses ahead and being an India international, Yadav attracts a few suitors. KKR once again (How many times has it been?) decide against using their RTM card. Vettori and team is chuffed as the welcome their man with a bid of Rs 4.20 crore. Another surprise: New Zealand’s Tim Southee goes unsold. Yet again, it’s becoming difficult to make sense of what the strategy of some the teams are.

Here you go, KKR fans:

Pat Cummins also goes to Mumbai Indians Third time lucky for the Australian pace contingent. The two titans, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings clash in an intense bidding war. At Rs 5.40 crore, CSK back out of the race....and Cummins is sold for Rs 5.40 crore. Ricky Ponting and Delhi go against using their RTM card.

Would you believe? Ashes heroes from two different eras – Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood – go unsold.

Mustafizur Rahman to play for Mumbai Indians The Mumbai camp is absolutely delighted at the result and they are all smiles. There are high-fives too. And why wouldn’t they be? The Bangladesh pacer goes only for Rs 2.20 crore. SRH decide against using their RTM card.

The pacers now go under the hammer...

Jos Buttler is sold to Royals: Rajasthan are once again on the ball, and take on Mumbai Indians blow-for-blow. Mumbai Indians also refuse to use their RTM and there goes the hammer! Buttler is sold for Rs 4.40 crore. This could be a major coup if it pays off

Ambati Rayadu is a CSK player, Billings unsold: The dad’s army continues to take shape with yet another player past 30 entering the CSK setup. The former Mumbai Indians player goes for Rs 2.20 crore

In case you missed the early part of the post-lunch session, here’s what happened:

Sanju Samson reunites with RR, sold for Rs 8 crore: Yet another long drawn battle and a series of bids are tabled but Rajasthan were determined to get back the man who first burst on the scene with them. Samson is now the most experienced Indian keeper so far in the auctions.

Robin Uthappa stays with KKR: KKR use their RTM card here. Despite his form being patchy in recent times, the Karnataka batsman found quite a few suitors. He was sold for Rs 7.60 crore. Meanwhile, Naman Ojha went unsold.

Dinesh Karthik is a KKR player after being sold for 7.40 crore What a bidding war that was! Kolkata clinch it after Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, and Rajasthan Royals join the money battle. After a five-minute bidding rally, KKR pounce on their target. Mumbai were close, though. KKR will be Karthik’s sixth IPL team.

Wriddhiman Saha is sold to SRH, Bairstow unsold Another familiar script to the tale. KXIP and SRH start off on the first foot. Mumbai also announce their entry late in the race. For once, the Punjab management goes against using their RTH card. The Bengal keeper is sold for Rs 5 crore. Surprisingly, Jonny Bairstow goes unsold.

Quinton de Kock is RCB’s new keeper: Mumbai Indians are the first bidders. RCB also enter the race and after a long wait, also submit a bid. KKR are also lurking somewhere. Delhi mull over using their RTM card, and decide against it. RCB further bolster their batting lineup. The bid was for Rs 2.80 crore

It’s wicket-keepers who go under the hammer in the post lunch session. Parthiv Patel is the first candidate and he goes unsold.

Anil Kumble weighs in: “Chris Gayle being unsold is a bit surprising. Probably he will be back. It’s not that they have let go [completely]. I would certainly have him. He is still someone who can win you a couple of games single-handedly.

Hashim Amla being unsold is also a bit surprising because he got a couple of hundreds last year. He may not be Chris Gayle or BMac who will tee off from ball one but Hashim is effective in the shorter format. But I’m sure some of the players will be called back. Joe Root was surprising too. I thought RCB would go for him.

Karun is a good buy for Punjab. It seems Kings XI have put their batting together. They will have to start looking at bowlers. Kings XI look to have a strategy to put together a marquee player list in their playing XI. It’s worked so far.

I don’t think CSK picked Harbhajan over Ashwin. They would have had a cap for Ashwin and I think it was Rs 4 crore, so they had to give up. But I think they have retained the character of the team in terms of an off-spinner and left-arm spinner – they have bought Bhajji and retained Jadeja. It’s a good buy with Bhajji because he brings in that experience, he is a quality off-spinner, he is still doing well in the shorter format.”

Dean Jones to The Field: “I’m surprised a lot of Indian players are not getting a lot of money compared to the overseas players. That’s big. I’m surprised they went for Stokes considering the question marks around him. Ajinkya Rahane not going for much sort of blew me away a little bit.

I feel sorry for the Indian players like Bhajji [Harbhajan] and Yuvraj because they don’t get a chance to play in other leagues around the world to maintain their form. They are the guys who get hurt the most.

It’s interesting how the stocks have changed. Bhajji has left Mumbai. Gautam Gambhir to Delhi, he’s gone back home. Chris Gayle not being picked up is sad because five years ago he would have gone for at least Rs 10 crore. It’s sad because he has helped make this IPL.

“If you look at it purely economically, you can pick from 18 to 25 players. You can spend a minimum of 75% of your salary cap. I think the owners are getting smart now on who to buy, who not to buy, not to get carried away by the stardom. I personally think you only need 19 players. If you have 25 players, you need to think about their wages, their flights, accommodation. It’s quite expensive to run a franchise.”

A fan writes in, trying to make sense of some of the players who went unsold: “Root, Amla and Guptill. All the cricket they have played, seems to me they haven’t played good enough to impress the legendary IPL franchise heads. Utterly surprised on the omission of Faulkner as well. Base price was high but still...”

Agreed. Faulkner going unsold raised a few eyebrows here in the newsroom too.

That’s lunch...

KXIP use RTM for Marcus Stoinis, Ali sold to RCB: Punjab’s signing spree continues and they use the RTM to keep Stoinis for a hefty Rs 6.20 crore. RCB Moeen Ali’s debut IPL season will be with RCB, who successfully bid Rs 1.70 crore for him.

Stuart Binny is reunited with the Royals: After a lengthy break, Rajasthan Royals enter the fray and get their former player for Rs 50 lakh, much below the all-rounder’s base price. It looks like another shrewd piece of business from the inaugural winners.

In case you have just joined us, Preity Zinta’s camp went berserk with their bidding process. Here’s a pick of what Twitter had to say about that.

Yusuf Pathan is sold to SRH KKR continue to play with their RTM cards close to their chest as yet another long franchise-player association ends with the older Pathan travelling to the land of the biriyani. He is sold to Tom Moody’s camp for Rs 1.90 crore

De Grandhomme goes to RCB, Faulkner unsold No place for nostalgia value say, Kolkata Knight Riders once again. They opt against using the RTM card and the New Zealander will play for Virat Kohli’s side this season. James Faulkner, surprisingly, goes unsold despite his reputation as a valuable asset in white-ball cricket.

CSK bag Kedar Jadhav for Rs 7.80 crore! Stephen Fleming and co come to the party and once again, they cross swords with RCB, who could have retained the big-hitting Indian batsman. Jadhav will walk out in the yellow jersey. He also happens to be yet another player who is 30+ years old in the Chennai cap

Shane Watson is a CSK player: The Chennai camp get their man and it comes at a price of Rs 4 crore. There were a couple of parties who were also interested but experience continues to be CSK’s strategy for the auctions. RCB also opt against using theis RTM option.

Carlos Brathwaite goes to SRH for Rs 2 crore The burly West Indian, this time, can only command a modest bid. Remember what his stock was when he smashed four sixes to take Windies to their second World T20 win?

Someone’s feeling confident. Why not, I say?

Chris Woakes sold to RCB for Rs 7.40 crore CSK and RCB lock horns here and neither side refuse to give up but things reach a head after the Englishman’s price touches the Rs 6 crore mark. A Rs 6.60 crore bid sees CSK back out of the race, only to make a quick comeback a minute later. RCB have the upper hand here and they get their man. Vettori and co are cock-a-hoop

A die-hard CSK fan, is distraught at the two-time champions’ decision to not retain Ashwin “CSK, you lost a leader and a thinker in Ashwin. CSK dumped Ashwin and false comments from Dhoni two days ago (Read: MS Dhoni reveals CSK’s plans for IPL auction) ...Chennaites are going to miss a local lad. But, its good for Ashwin as he can now use his leadership qualities elsewhere.

To be fair, Anthuvan, you are not alone here. Many of us were baffled by CSK’s decision to not use their RTM card for the spin ace.

Manish Pandey goes to Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs 11 crore, Martin Guptill goes unsold! He is former IPL winner, he is a terrific fielder and a classy batsman when on song. The bids come pouring in for Manish Pandey. CSK express interest but back out soon. It’s a fierce tussle between SRH and KXIP (who else!) but SRH just about edge out their rivals with a Rs 11 crore bid. The KKR camp, after a long discussion, decide against using their RTM card. Wow!

Chris Lynn stays at KKR, Amla goes unsold As soon as the name of one of the biggest butchers of the cricket ball was announced, there were several ooohs and aahs in the room. Mumbai Indians, KKR, Delhi start things off. RCB also enter the race but KKR are not giving their man up that easily. Chris Lynn is sold for Rs 9.60 crore. Not for the first time in an IPL auction, Hashim Amla goes unsold.

Delhi do have the tools to build a strong batting order:

Jason Roy sold to Delhi Daredevils Delhi may have pulled off a coup here in a bid that cost them only Rs 1.60 crore. The Englishman is one of the biggest hitters around and recently registered the highest individual ODI score for his country.

RCB get Brendon McCullum Delhi Daredevils and RCB enter the race for the former New Zealand captain, whose base price is Rs 2 crore. Daniel Vettori will reunite with his former teammate and the bid was worth Rs 3.60 crore. Virat, McCullum and ABD – that’s a sumptuous batting lineup already.

Last five players sold: Aaron Finch to KXIP, David Miller to KXIP, KL Rahul to KXIP, Karun Nair to KXIP, Yuvraj Singh to KXIP

KXIP bag Aaron Finch for Rs 6.20 crore: Rajasthan express initial interest but KXIP are determined to bring the Australian into their ranks and they succeed. The Australian has been in tremendous form recently before picking up an injury. KXIP are ruling the roost. This is the fifth consecutive time KXIP have been successful with a bid.

CSK fans were puzzled when Ashwin was left out. However, there were no surprises to the delight they expressed after learning that Bravo would be back:

KXIP retain David Miller Mumbai Indians were one of the few interested parties here. After much consultation, the reigning champions submit a Rs 3 crore bid. But, KXIP retain the South African big-hitter’s services by using their RTM.

KXIP bag KL Rahul for Rs 11 crore, Vijay goes unsold Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals initially enter the race. The three-time champions soon back out and Sunrisers Hyderabad submit a late bid of Rs 6.20 crore. KXIP also express their interest. A massive tug-of-war kicks off, that stretches on for eternity, and it is between KXIP and SRH.

Finally the 2016 winners flinch. RCB are consulted and they decline to match the bid. And KXIP continue to stockpile players like nobody’s business. Meanwhile, Murali Vijay goes unsold. Rahul is the most expensive Indian buy so far.

Karun Nair goes to KXIP Punjab clearly mean business here but it is Rajasthan Royals who seem like the more determined participants early on. After much talk and deliberation, the Punjab outfit table a Rs 5.60 crore bid. Delhi are asked whether they want to match the bid, they decline. KXIP are in fine form.

Krishnamachari Srikkanth to The Field: “I don’t think any cricketer will go for beyond Rs 10.5 crore because the RTM card is there. So why should you bid? The top guys have already been retained or they will use RTM. This is a mega auction and you are forming a fresh team so the prices won’t be high.

CSK not going for Ashwin, in my opinion, it was expected. I think CSK will go for Washington Sundar. Last year Washington played under Dhoni and he was the most economical bowler. He is now a T20 bowler for the Indian team. They will go all out for Washington. CSK going for Faf was very expected. He has been part of CSK for a long time. Chennai needs a good opener. Faf has always opened for CSK. He will get you 25 runs in fielding itself.”

Break time again...

Yuvraj Singh is sold to KXIP for Rs 2 crore For the veteran southpaw, he goes back to where he started. The KXIP camp is delighted with their latest capture. Was the bid too steep, though?

Kane Williamson retained by SRH, Joe Root goes unsold With Williamson, there there were a few interested parties but SRH have exercised their RTM card and welcome the New Zealand captain back with a Rs 3 crore. Surprisingly, Joe Root goes unsold.

Dwayne Bravo is retained by CSK KXIP fire blanks once again despite entering the bid with so much promise. They submit a huge Rs 6.40 crore bid but CSK use their RTM card and retain the player who went on to become a fan favourite after his move there.

Gambhir is back with Delhi Daredevils! The Delhi Daredevils get back the two-time IPL winning captain with a Rs 2.80 crore bid. Kolkata Knight Riders refuse to use their RTM card. Gambhir had played for his home side between 2008-’10

Glenn Maxwell is sold to Delhi Daredevils for Rs 9 crore Sunrisers are desperate to get Maxwell’s signature. RCB enter the race late in the day with a Rs 6.20 crore bid. Delhi Daredevils enter the race with a Rs 7 crore bid. The room then goes silent and after much deliberation, SRH table a Rs 7.20 crore bid. SRH refuse to budge and enter a bidding war with Delhi...the battle rages on. Daredevils, though, edge it with a telling final bid.

Shakib Al Hasan is an SRH player, goes for Rs 2 crore Yet again, it’s a quiet race after what was a frenetic start to the bidding process earlier in the day. The Bangladesh all-rounder goes to SRH, who are all smiles after their latest capture.

Harbhajan Singh goes to CSK for Rs 2 crore: Chennai Super Kings opened the bid for Harbhajan Singh...and that was it. No further bids and he is sold for his base price. Look how that turned out: Ashwin at Punjab and Harbhajan at Chennai. What were the odds? This will be the first time Harbhajan will play for a team other than Mumbai Indians.

There is a 15-minute break before the second set of marquee players go under the hammer. RR manager Arjun Dev says that Rahane was a “cheap buy” for them. True to their reputation, Dev promises “more surprises” with the younger lot of players. He also stated that reuniting former Pune trio – skipper Smith, Rahane and Stokes – was already planned. The inaugural winners are the runaway leaders of the auction at this stage.

Mitchell Starc is a KKR player! Yet another big-money bidding war took place but Kolkata showed more determination than their counterparts. Starc’s reputation as the world’s best pacer played a massive hand in the two-time champions getting their man. It came at a hefty price of Rs 9.40 crore

Rajasthan Royals retain Ajinkya Rahane for Rs 4 Crore Mumbai Indians are interested but Rajasthan Royals use their RTM card and retain the player who served them with much distinction first time around. Certain change in approach from RR here, who have thrown their famed moneyball approach out of the window. Rahane’s brilliant rearguard knock at ‘dangerous’ Johannesburg, followed by a fiery press conference has restored his reputation....atleast from the looks of it.

Faf du Plessis goes to KXIP! The 2014 finalists are on fire here, and have entered the bidding race with almost every player so far. Not too many interested parties this time and the South African captain will also play a Mohali. The bid was for Rs 1.60 crore

Ben Stokes is a Rajasthan Royals player! What a scoop and it cost them a steep Rs 12.50 crore. Not surprisingly, most teams are interested here. For the first time, CSK come to the party today. KXIP are also in the fray. KKR make a belated entry to the party and after a series of bids. After a Rs 11.50 crore bid, Kolkata pull out of the race. Rajasthan stump the hall with a Rs 12.50 crore to blow KXIP out of water. Bam...sold.

Chris Gayle goes unsold Bit of a shocker but not so much considering that the West Indian’s form has tapered off over the past year. He had a forgettable last year and is not getting any younger. Don’t forget, he is the greatest T20I batsman of all time!

Mumbai Indians retain Kieran Pollard Delhi Daredevils looked front-runners to land the West Indian after KXIP once again set the pace with a Rs 4.20 crore bid. At the end of an exhausting bidding process, the Mumbai camp walked away with the all-rounder who has been a part of three title-winning campaigns.

Ravichandran Ashwin is a KXIP player! The trend continues in the second bid of the day. Rajasthan and KXIP enter a heated bidding race with each one trying to outdo each other. Preity Zinta’s entourage table a massive Rs 7.60 crore bid and Rajasthan back out of it. Hmmm...would be an interesting time to meet some Chennai Super Kings fans now.

Shikhar Dhawan is retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad! Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab enter the bid and both parties enter an intense bidding war. Punjab bid Rs 4 crore. Mumbai Indians later enter the race but Punjab trump the bid with a 5.20 crore bid...and just then, more drama ensues as Sunrisers use their RTM and snap him up.

10:05 am: Alright... the actual auction will begin anytime now. (It’s a BCCI event - of course the dignitaries have to come and talk for a while before a(u)ction. Mr. Shukla, welcomes CSK and RR back... and something about the status of Rajasthan Cricket Association. (Some humble brag about to happen..)

10:00 pm: A quick reminder: The players retained by the IPL teams

CSK: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja

MI: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah

RCB: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan

KKR: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell

DD: Rishabh Pant, Chris Morris, Shreyas Iyer

KXIP: Axar Patel

SRH: David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar

RR: Steve Smith

09:58 am: Will Rajashtan Royals try and recreate their glory days by opting for young Indian talent?

09:56 am: Will fortunes finally change for Kings XI Punjab? They have everything to play for at the IPL Auction

09:51 am: Who will get their hands on old warhorses Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh at the IPL auction? Here’s them on their IPL future.

(Video courtesy: Star Sports)

09:35 am: Will Krunal Pandya be retained by Mumbai Indians this year? Check out what the experts think

(Video courtesy: Star Sports)

09:30 am: So almost everyone thinks R Ashwin is going to draw the big bucks today.

Here’s what the experts think about CSK and their local star...

(Video courtesy: Star Sports)

09:22 am: Among the uncapped players, here’s Field’s pick of India’s finest uncapped players.

09:17 am: Player retention policy, Right To Match, Indian players, foreign players, base price, reserve price, how big can a squad be? For all the first timers, here’s everything you need to know about the IPL player retention policy.

09:15 am: Much of the talk who the biggest buy would be. Here is a look back at how the biggest buys fared over the years.

The mega IPL auction is here

09:00 am: The wait is over and the two-day Indian Premier League mega auction starts today. Expect the franchises to go for a bidding war and break all previous records as many high-profile Indians are available in the pool. Some of the most notable ones include off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, two-time IPL winning skipper Gautam Gambhir and explosive opener Shikhar Dhawan.

A total of 578 players will be available for the franchises, out of which 361 are Indians. How the eight teams use the Right to Match (RTM) card will be the key here. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is expected to reunite with Royal Challengers Bengaluru. Chennai Super Kings, a few days ago, announced that they will pull out all stops to snap up local boy and one of their mainstays in their first innings, Ashwin.

With spinners playing a big hand, left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav is also expected to attract a bumper bid. As for the other India regulars, it will be interesting to see who throws their hat in the ring for Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey.

Delhi Daredevils have made headlines in the auction in the past for some excellent buys. That has also been interspersed with some bizarre decisions. They are another franchise who are expected to break the bank once again as they search for their elusive IPL title.

As for the foreign contingent, there are some mouth-watering names up for the bidding tug-of-war. All-rounder Ben Stokes, after his exploits last year, has turned out to be the most coveted of the lot. Afghanistan spin sensation Rashid Khan, who recently sparkled in the Big Bash League, should also find a beeline to capture his signature. New Zealand’s Colin Munro, who recently became the first batsman to score three Twenty20 International hundreds, has also emerged as one of the A-listers.

How can the West Indians be far away when the IPL is around the corner. Mumbai Indians, reports say, will use their RTM to buy back Kieran Pollard. CSK should do the same with Dwayne Bravo and Kolkata Knight Riders are linked with big-hitting Chris Lynn.

Do not forget the India U-19 players, who are making waves in New Zealand. Pacer Kamlesh Nagarkoti, skipper Prithvi Shaw, and Punjab duo Abhishek Sharma and Shubhman Gill are also in the mix, and are tipped to find lucrative deals.