IPL Auction 2016 was filled with plenty of surprising and questionable buys. There were some that made sense and others which made one wonder whether those making the decision were in the right state of mind.

As usual, IPL Auction 2016 saw plenty of expensive players and ones who were steals. While the likes of Kevin Pietersen and Shane Watson certainly belong to the former category, the latter also saw some interesting steals.

Whether it was by design or accident, there were some bargain buys in the IPL Auction 2016.
Here are the 5 best bargain buys:

#1 Colin Munro

Colin Munro  - IPL Auction 2016: 5 best bargain buys
Munro holds the national record for the fastest fifty by a New Zealander
Purchased by Kolkata Knight Riders for 30 lakhs

Courtesy of his 14-ball fifty against Sri Lanka in a T20I last month, many predicted that Colin Munro would go for big money. After all here is a batsman, who strikes at almost 150 and has scored close to 2,000 runs in his 102 T20 matches.

If him almost breaking Yuvraj Singh’s fastest fifty record wasn’t enough, his numbers in the shortest format of the game alone warranted selection. So it was certainly surprising to see the 28-year-old go for his base price of 30 lakhs to Kolkata Knight Riders.

Even if he doesn’t play all of the matches for the KKR, at just 30 lakhs, he is certainly a steal. And if he can replicate his national form, which sees him strike at almost 160, then plenty of other teams will be questioning why they didn’t go for the hard-hitting middle-order batsman.

#2 Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan - IPL Auction 2016: 5 best bargain buys
In the form Pathan is in, he is an absolute steal
Purchased by Rising Pune Supergiants for 1 crore

Despite being in arguably the form of his life in domestic cricket over the past few months, Irfan Pathan has certainly been unlucky to not have made more of an impact during that time.

His form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy should have given him an outside chance of making a comeback into the Indian side, but not only has he not been picked for both the Asia Cup and the World T20, but he also surprisingly had no takers aside from Pune, who bought him for his base price.

His ability to finish the innings with a flourish and pick up wickets with the new ball should be an invaluable asset to Pune, who have got themselves a bargain in the IPL Auction 2016. While 1 crore might not seem like a bargain, considering the amount some of the uncapped players were going for, it certainly is.

#3 Pravin Tambe

Pravin Tambe - IPL Auction 2016: 5 best bargain buys
The wily leg spinner will be a tricky proposition
Purchased by Gujarat Lions for 20 lakhs

When uncapped Indian players like Murugan Ashwin (4.5 crore) and Nathu Singh (3.20 over) were going for a lot of money, Pravin Tambe, who was plucked from obscurity in 2013 by the Rajasthan Royals at the age of 41, would have been hoping for a bigger payday.

Unfortunately for the legspinner, despite finished the 2013 Champions League T20 as the competition’s leading wicket-taker with 12 scalps in five games at an average of 6.50, better than both Sunil Narine and Ravichandran Ashwin, he was sold for just 20 lakhs to the Gujarat Lions.

At 44, Tambe might be no spring chicken, but he is still a valuable asset and Gujarat Lions, who snapped him up for just 10 lakh more than his base price, will certainly be happy about picking one of the bargains of the IPL Auction 2016.

#4 Travis Head

Travis Head - IPL Auction 2016: 5 best bargain buys
Head has already represented Australia
Purchased by Royal Challengers Bangalore for 50 lakhs

The fifth-highest run-getter in the recently concluded Big Bash League and one of the finds of the tournament, Travis Head was supposed to make quite a few waves in the IPL Auction 2016. A hard-hitting batsman who is also a handy off spinner, Head would have been a valuable addition to any side.

Ever since he became the South Australia Redbacks’ youngest captain at the age of 21, last February, he has not looked back since. So it was certainly a surprise to see Head go for just above his base price of 30 lakhs to Royal Challengers Bangalore.

With Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers already in RCB top four, it is unlikely that Head features too often in this year’s edition but he is certainly a steal at just 50 lakhs and a handy substitute for having on the bench should they decide to try something new.

#5 Sam Billings

Sam Billings - IPL Auction 2016: 5 best bargain buys
Will he outshine Buttler?
Purchased by Delhi Daredevils for 30 lakhs

All eyes before the start of the action was on England's first-choice limited-overs wicketkeeper Jos Buttler, who ensured he was in the spotlight with a century in the first ODI against South Africa. But almost under the radar, another promising English keeper was snapped up.

While Sam Billings might have only played 10 matches for England across all formats, he is a more than handy wicketkeeper-batsman, especially in the shortest format of the game. While his numbers might not be especially impressive, they don’t portray the complete picture.

The 24-year-old has every shot in the book and then some and while his propensity for the unorthodox might not be new, his ability to execute them certainly is impressive. Although unproven on spinning conditions in India, he has the potential to be a fantastic bargain buy for the Daredevils, who splashed the cash in the IPL Auction 2016.


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