Indian Premier League was created in 2008 with a motto, “Where talent meets opportunity.” Fourteen years down the line, it has remained kind to uncapped players. Every season throws up a few youngsters who go on to make it big in international cricket. Think Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Suryakumar Yadav, Pandya brothers and Pathan brothers – the list goes on.
Teams are always keen to go all out for a promising talent who can add depth to the team. They don’t mind spending fortunes on a player who is yet to play an international game. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if an uncapped player bags a hefty contract with a top IPL team. A few years back, Krunal Pandya earned a massive 8.8 Crore contract, the highest for an uncapped player.
Come 2021, Krishnappa Gowtham surpassed Pandya’s record when Chennai Super Kings bought him for a staggering 9.25 Crores. With this, he became the highest auction player in IPL who is yet to earn an international cap. The Karnataka all-rounder has been awarded decent contracts previously as well. In 2017, Mumbai purchased him for 2 Crore and a year later, Rajasthan Royals paid 6.2 Crore for him. But this time, CSK went just too far for him.
Elated Gowtham in a video message said, “I’m very excited. I’m still nervous and shivering. I’m very pleased that CSK has so much faith in me. I will try to win as many games as possible.”
CSK already has an off-spinner who can bat well in Moeen Ali. Gowtham would serve as the backup, should Ali be rested due to form or injury. Being an Indian player, he provides the team with added flexibility. Note that, only four overseas players are allowed in a given playing XI. Gowtham’s inclusion also provides cover to Ravindra Jadeja who has injury concerns lately. Like Jadeja, Gowtham is adept at batting down the order and finishing games with big hits.
Krishnappa Gowtham in Numbers:
Krishnappa Gowtham has been a proven performer in the domestic circuit with both bat and ball. His first appearance was for Karnataka against UP way back in 2012 and has accumulated 1045 runs thus far at an average of 20 and strike rate of 78.98. He scored a century and four half-centuries, with 149 being his highest score. Gowtham has accounted for 166 dismissals in 74 first-class outings, averaging 23.98. His best bowling figures read 8 for 60.
Gowtham’s IPL debut was in 2018 for Mumbai Indians against Sunrisers Hyderabad and he took 13 wickets and scored 186 runs, thus far. His highest score is 33* and the best bowling stats read 2/12. His high strike rate (169.09) makes him well suited for the format. The figures, to an extent, justify Gowtham as the highest auction player in IPL.
Table 1: Batting Performance
Table 2: Bowling Performance