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Uthappa, Rohit Sharma hit jackpot

It was the turn of India's young batting stars to hog the limelight in Round Seven of the Indian Premier League's player auction in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Robin Uthappa garnered the maximum bid as Mukesh Ambani's Mumbai team bought the hard-hitting batting ace for a massive US $8,00,000 against his base price of US $2,00,000 in the penultimate bidding round.

The next-best bid in the round was for Mumbai's batting sensation Rohit Sharma, who was taken over by Hyderabad for US $7,50,000, a massive jump from his starting price of $1,50,000.

Left-handed batting sensation Gautam Gambhir was snapped up by his home team Delhi for US $7,25,000 against the same base price of Uthappa.

There were surprises in store, as India discard Mohammad Kaif was purchased by Jaipur for US $6,75,000 after starting at US $1,25,000, while Manoj Tiwary also went for the same price to Delhi.

The impressive Suresh Raina also registered a sharp rise from his base price of $1,25,000, with Chennai buying him for a huge US $6,50,000.

It was quite an irony as far as Michael Hussey was concerned. The Australian left-hander is regarded as one of the best batsmen in limited-overs cricket, but there were no takers for him and he was relegated to the reserves pool. However, his younger brother David, who is yet to play international cricket, was purchased for an impressive US $6,25,000 by Shah Rukh's Kolkata team.

It was no surprise that VVS Laxman was bought by the Hyderabad team for US $3,75,000, who also announced that the stylish right-hander, also the captain of the team, had given up his iconic status so the team could have a bigger budget.

"It was a great gesture from Laxman. He put the team ahead of him and gave away his iconic status so the team could have a larger budget. He told me the team comes first and the iconic status doesn't matter to him," P K Iyer, Managing Director, Deccan Chronicle said.

Wasim Jaffer, another Mumbai player, failed to impress his local team owners and was promptly snapped up by Bangalore for US $1,50,000. Sri Lanka's talented batsman Chamara Silva went for his base price of US $1,00,000 to Hyderabad.

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