Former Australia cricket captain Mark Taylor says the bids during last week’s Indian Premier League auction were “extraordinary”, while making a particular point of Glenn Maxwell pocketing a multimillion-dollar deal despite having not fired in India in recent times.
Maxwell later this year will take on a mega IPL contract after he was sold to Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore for $2.52 million.
The 32-year-old is widely regarded as one of the most damaging players in short-form cricket. Maxwell has regularly impressed on home soil, especially in the Big Bash League, with an average of 32.90 runs and a strike-rate of 149.63 through 86 games.
However, Taylor pointed out Maxwell can be a “none or not many” player having struggled at IPL level.
Maxwell during the 2020 IPL season averaged just 15.42 with the bat through 13 matches.
“Some of the bids were extraordinary,” Taylor told 2GB’s Wide World of Sports radio.
“Even for Maxi, we all know he’s nicknamed the ‘big show’ at times.
“He tends to be either none or not many, he hasn’t been great in the IPL in recent times. I can’t think of the last time he’s made a 50 in an IPL game, he’s really struggled over there.
“Once again, people know what he can do, so they tend to get excited at that auction. He’s done well.”
Another big surprise during last week’s IPL auction were the fortunes of former Australia captain Steve Smith, who copped a $2 million loss.
Smith, who last year was retained on a $2.5 million contract with the Rajasthan Royals, was the first player sold at Thursday’s IPL auction after Ricky Ponting’s Delhi Capitals snatched up the champion right-hander for just $389,000.
The 31-year-old Smith last year scored 311 runs at an average of 25.91 through 14 games, which was well down from 2019’s average of 39.87.
“I can’t believe that [he went so low], I really can’t,” Taylor added.
“That’s the best buy in the IPL auction over the 10 years.”
But with Smith copping such a large cut, Taylor said he wouldn’t be surprised if the star batsman elected to remain in Australia due to COVID-19 complications.
“I think he will be weighing it up (remaining in Australia),” Taylor said.
“It’s not just the two months over there; there will probably be quarantine, probably either side of it.
“There will be talk about having your vaccination before you go or over there. All these sorts of things.
“Is it going to be worth the hassle? $300,000 is a lot of money, but for a guy like Steve smith – two months of playing and two weeks either side of quarantine. He might, if he doesn’t have to, say, ‘No thanks, I’m staying here’.”
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