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Warne humbled in bidding

India Cements, which owns the Chennai Super Kings, opened bidding with a bang, splashing $2.1 million out of a possible $5.5 million in the first round to pouch two of the top level players.

The brain behind the team's choice of players is former Indian selector V B Chandrashekar.

By buying Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni -- he will most probably be handed the reins of the team that does not have a so-called iconic player -- and Sri Lankan off-spinner Mutthiah Muralitharan, the team now effectively has arguably the world's best wicketkeeper-batsman and also the leading Test wicket-taker.

More than anything, the historic bidding was a humbling blow for big-talking, charismatic former Aussie spin wizard Shane Warne. The player with the highest base price was bought for just that. Though details of the bidding are not yet known, this means no one was interested in him and he was bought by the first bidder.

Warne, who retired from last year's Ashes and has asked to be relieved from Hampshire duty to concentrate on the Indian Premier League, was seen as the biggest marketing draw in the pool of 78 players. The legend, who has 708 Test wickets and 293 ODI wickets, is expected to lead the Jaipur team.

The big teams -- Mukesh Ambani's Mumbai, Vijay Mallya's Bangalore, and Delhi did not buy anyone in the first round. They, however, have an iconic player each in Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virender Sehwag, who was promoted to an 'icon' at the eleventh hour.

Just as averages are a better indicator of a player's class, the percentage difference between the base price and the selling price should be a better indicator here.

In those terms, Adam Gilchrist towers over the others, outside of Indian superstar Dhoni that is.

Gilchrist, whose base price was $400,000, went for a whopping $700,000, 75 per cent more than his base price.

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