Mumbai Indians coach Ponting happy to have Buttler, Southee

Bengaluru, Feb 6 (IANS) Mumbai Indians (MI) head coach Ricky Ponting on Saturday said he was happy to have England wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler and New Zealand pacer Tim Southee in the side after the players went under the hammer in the Indian Premier League (IPL) players’ auction here.

The 27-year-old Southee who had a base price of Rs.1 crore was bought by the defending champions for Rs.2.5 crore while Buttler, who had a base price of Rs.1.5 crore, was bought for Rs.3.8 crore.

“We have got two boys, two overseas players, Jos Buttler and Tim Southee. We are very happy with those picks,” Ponting said via a video message posted by MI in twitter.

“I was very keen to have Buttler to have as a backup batsman and a wicket keeper as well. Tim is a very good new ball bowler and can easily take the place of Lasith Malinga. So we are happy with the buys,” the two-time World Cup winning former Australian skipper said.

On the other hand, veteran Australian all-rounder Shane Watson commanded the highest bid of Rs.9.5 crore from Royal Challengers Bengaluru while star batsman Yuvraj Singh was snapped up by Sunrisers Hyderabad for Rs.7 crore.

“Incredibly excited to join @RCBTweets. Can’t wait to meet up with my new teammates in April.#IPL2016,” Watson posted on Twitter.

South African all-rounder Chris Morris, who was bagged by Delhi Daredevils for Rs.7 crore, tweeted: “Unbelievably grateful! Very excited to be part of @DelhiDaredevils #humbled.”

Among other big buys, medium pacer Mohit Sharma went for Rs.6.5 crore to Kings XI Punjab, while Hyderabad splurged Rs.5.5 crore for veteran left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra.

Delhi bought young Kerala wicket-keeper Sanju Samson and West Indian batsman Carlos Brathwaite for Rs.4.2 crore each. Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh went to new franchise Rising Pune Supergiants for Rs.4.8 crore.

Mitchell joined England star Kevin Pietersen, who was picked up for Rs.3.5 crore. The duo will join India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at Pune.

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