However, the unpredictability of an auction is such that there will always be a few bids that no one can predict ahead of the event, with teams ending up in a bidding war over players many fans would never have heard of.
Here are five bids made during the auction on Tuesday (December 18) that took almost everyone by surprise:
Prabhsimran Singh (Rs. 4.8 crore to Kings XI Punjab)
He might have decided to take up cricket after watching cousin Anmolpreet Singh batting in the nets, but Prabhsimran ended up fetching a much bigger sum than his family member.
Anmolpreet was also part of the auction but was snapped up by Mumbai Indians for Rs. 80 lakhs, which while a decent sum in its own right, pales to the kind of cash Kings XI Punjab splashed on Prabhsimran.
Prabhsimran, who is a wicket-keeper batsman, idolises Virender Sehwag and Adam Gilchrist while he has also modelled his game around former India skipper MS Dhoni.
Only time will tell if the massive expenditure on behalf of the Mohali-based side will be worth it, but the bid certainly raised a few eyebrows as well as expectations around him!
Prayas Ray Barman (Rs. 1.5 crore to Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Not much is known about this leg-spinner from Bengal, which is what made it more than a little surprising when the Royal Challengers Bangalore ended up shelling out a cool sum of Rs. 1.5 crore for him.
The teenager only made his debut for the state in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this year but shone on debut against Jammu and Kashmir, ending the game with figures of 4/20 as they went on to win the game in convincing fashion.
His economy rate of 4.45 in 9 List A games is what perhaps prompted teams to shell out what is a considerable sum for a 16-year old. The fact that very few would have played him before would certainly help when he gets a look-in to the side.
Colin Ingram (Rs. 6.4 crore to Delhi Capitals)
The South African’s credentials with the bat are solid enough and as someone who is known to be able to hit a long ball, he has always featured in T20 tournaments around the world.
However, his IPL record with the side formerly known as the Delhi Daredevils doesn’t exactly make for inspiring reading – in three matches he scored 21 runs at a strike rate of 80.76. Hardly the stats of a player worth over Rs. 6 crore.
Nevertheless, the man’s career has been on an upward trajectory since he took a Kolpak deal with Glamorgan in 2015 and he will look to make a splash with the Capitals this time around.
Sam Curran (7.2 crore to Kings XI Punjab)
Sam’s elder brother Tom has already had a taste of the IPL when he was signed by the Kolkata Knight Riders last season as a replacement for the injured Mitchell Starc.
Sam, on the other hand, came to prominence during India’s tour of England when he put in valuable performances with both bat and ball in the absence of Ben Stokes, who was dealing with court hearings due to the Bristol nightclub incident.
Yet while Sam’s talent and application cannot be questioned, the decision to spend that much money on a youngster while more experienced campaigners like Dan Christian and Brendon McCullum were ignored altogether would have surprised some fans.
Akshdeep Nath (Rs. 3.6 crores to Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The Uttar Pradesh-based Akshdeep breezed through the junior cricket ranks in his state but has since found success in domestic cricket hard to come by, with his struggles spilling over to the IPL.
Akshdeep was bought for his base price of Rs. 10 lakhs by the now-defunct Gujarat Lions in 2016 but only played four games that year. In 2017, he played just one game.
He was bought for Rs. 1 crore in the January 2018 auction by Kings XI Punjab yet only played one game for them and was released.
But despite having scored a combined total of 58 runs in three seasons of IPL cricket, he amazingly ended up bagging a contract in excess of Rs. 3 crores for the 2019 season.
First Published: December 19, 2018, 6:22 AM IST