PBL Season 5: Analyzing the top buys of each franchise
The fifth edition of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) is around the corner and the auction for the same took place on Tuesday. As always, the auction had some top buys and surprising ones as well. As the seven franchises look to battle it out with their best players, we analyze the top buys from each of them.
PV Sindhu: A no-brainier for Hyderabad Hunters
The no-brainer top buy of the tournament had to be in the form of India's ace shuttler PV Sindhu. The champions of the inaugural edition, who were ousted in the semis last season, had no choice but to retain India's hotshot, for a whopping price of Rs. 77 lakh. Besides being the captain, her World Championship gold this year justifies her retention.
Tai Tzu-ying: Defending champions shock everyone with the Taiwanese
In one of the shocking top buys during the auction, defending champions Bengaluru Raptors shocked everyone after they roped in Taiwan's Tai Tzu-ying for the same price as Sindhu. As for her 2019 performance, she has won three BWF titles and has finished as runner-up on two occasions. With a win-loss ratio of 23-5 this year, she has somewhat justified the high bid.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy: The superstar for Chennai!
When it comes to surprises, Chennai Superstarz pulled off a super surprise when they roped in Satwiksairaj Rankireddy for a stupendous Rs. 62 lakh. The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold and silver-medallist has performed fairly this year, winning two doubles BWF title, besides finishing as the runner-up during French Open. Known to be a doubles specialist, he could well be Chennai's hotshot in the department.
Mumbai Rockets and North Eastern Warriors, too, grab eyeballs
Among other franchises, Mumbai Rockets retained Kim Ji Yung as their top buy, for a price of Rs. 45 lakh. Although he is yet to win a title in 2019, being a seven-time gold-medalist, he is likely to come in handy. Meanwhile, North Eastern Warriors went all-out for Lee Cheuk Yiu (Rs. 50 lakh), having won the singles gold in Hong Kong this year.
Awadhe Warriors spend hard, Pune Aces go smart shopping
Awadhe Warriors too went on a spending spree, as they roped in South Korea's Ko Sung-hyun for a majestic Rs. 55 lakh, who has won four doubles gold this year. Pune Aces, on the other hand, played smart and did not go overboard with huge spending. Their top buy was Indonesia's Hendra Setiawan (Rs. 40 lakh), who has won two doubles tournament this year.