IPL 2023 auction: Sunrisers bag Mayank Agarwal for 8.25 crores

The aggressive India and Karnataka right-hander entered the bidding war at a base sum of 1 crore after being released by Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the end of IPL 2022.
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Mayank Agarwal was one of the most enticing Indian players up for grabs at the forthcoming IPL 2023 mini-auction. The aggressive Indian right-hand batter from Karnataka entered the bidding war at a base sum of INR 1 crore in set 1 which featured all the star batters. 

Agarwal wouldn't have been part of the auction if not for a shocking end to his partnership with the Punjab Kings (PBKS) franchise at the end of the IPL 2022. The Indian international got released during the recent retention and release process ahead of the mini-auction in Kochi on December 23. 

The development came only one season after PBKS appointed Mayank Agarwal as their skipper. Integral to their batting plans over five years, the franchise parted ways with the player after a disappointing run with the bat for him, which coincided with them missing out on the playoffs again. 

In a surprising decision, PBKS entered yet another transition phase, bestowing leadership duties to veteran opening batter Shikhar Dhawan and letting go Agarwal, who approached the mini-auction with high hopes after sensibly keeping his base sum at a reasonably low-key 1 crore despite multiple franchises eyeing an Indian batter in his mould. 

IPL 2023 mini-auction: Mayank Agarwal goes to SRH

Agarwal had his worst IPL season to date in 2022, the 31-year-old aggregating only 196 runs over 12 innings at a below-par strike rate of 122.50.

At no stage did the right-hander get going in a campaign where even though he rightfully backed his aggressive instincts to propel him through against opposition attacks, the execution of intent went missing throughout the campaign. He averaged only 16.33 runs and less than 14 balls per stay in the middle. 

That, in complete contrast to his returns for PBKS in the previous three years, where he became their triest and trusted man for the job in the middle-order, blasting off attacks and allowing the rest of the cast to minimise risks.

From the start of IPL 2019 till the end of IPL 2021, Agarwal made his 773 runs over 25 innings at a fantastic strike rate of 141.05, averaging a healthy 32.20. 

Those were the years that reinforced Agarwal as an exceptional hitter of spin bowling in the middle-order, one whose stocks were recognised at the mini-auction in Kochi, with Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)  franchise bagging him at INR 8.25 crores for the next edition of the league.