Five Best Trades in IPL History

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is not just about talented players performing on the field. It is also about the planning and strategizing that goes on behind the scenes from the respective IPL franchises. There are special think tanks to understand what attributes each player has and what can they contribute to the game. Based on their effect a final decision is taken on whether to retain the player or release him for the trade.


There are times when a certain player doesn’t fit in the style or culture of a particular IPL team, but he is something that other team needs. At such times, the IPL franchises tend to trade the player and either get another player in return or make it an all-cash deal.

There are a few players who have revived their IPL career brilliantly after such a trade move. Let’s have a look at five such brilliant trades in IPL history.


5. Ashish Nehra (Mumbai Indians to Delhi Daredevils)

Mumbai Indians had failed to make it to the semifinals of the inaugural season of the IPL. One of the main reasons was their bowling leaking runs. Fast bowler Ashish Nehra didn’t have the best of seasons by his standards, as he picked up just 12 wickets in the 14 games that he played and had an economy of 7.76.

Thus MI decided to trade the pacer to the Delhi Daredevlis in the following season and took opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan in return. While Dhawan was a decent batsmen, it were DD that got the better of the trade. 

Ashish Nehra had a sensational IPL 2009 season, where he picked up 19 wickets and bowled at a brilliant economy of 6.51. He was the third-highest wicket taker in the tournament and one of the main reason why DD reached the semifinal of the season.


4. KL Rahul (Sunrisers Hyderabad to Royal Challengers Bangalore)

KL Rahul in 2015 had already made his Test debut and was one of the growing names in domestic cricket. However, his game was considered to be not suitable for T20 cricket since he was very technical in his approach.

He had a poor 2015 season for SRH where he scored just 142 runs at an average of 28.40. With the likes of David Warner and Dhawan in their ranks, SRH couldn’t give Rahul a chance to bat in their top order.

Before the 2016 auction, SRH decided to trade Rahul to RCB. This proved out to be a fantastic opportunity for the youngster as he got consistent game time under the leadership of Virat Kohli. Rahul filled the void in the middle-order and also opened the batting when his team required him to. The right-hander scored 397 runs that season at a healthy average of 44.11.


Rahul, who was criticized for not having the game to score quick runs, had scored his runs in the 2016 IPL at an amazing strike rate of 146.49. Although Kohli won the Orange Cap that season, Rahul was one of their important players in their run to the final.

After missing the IPL 2017 season through injury, Rahul was inexplicably let go by RCB. Now with the KXIP since 2018, Rahul has gone on to become the skipper of the team and leads from the front with his bat. He won the Orange Cap in the IPL 2020 season, scoring a mammoth 670 runs.

3. Shikhar Dhawan (Sunrisers Hyderabad to Delhi Capitals)

Shikhar Dhawan has been one of the marquee players of the IPL over the years. But before the IPL 2019 season, SRH made a shock decision to let go of the left-hander to Delhi Capitals. In return, SRH got three players in Shahbaz Nadeem, Abhishek Sharma and Vijay Shankar.


Shikhar Dhawan had a fantastic first season for DC scoring 521 runs and helping them reach the playoffs. He went one step further last season giving his best to the team. Becoming the second-highest run-scorer last season, Dhawan scored a staggering 618 runs and helped DC reach their maiden IPL final.

Dhawan also scored two back-to-back hundreds last season. Having played 176 games, Dhawan has an ample experience of playing in the IPL and will look to guide DC to their maiden title win in the upcoming season.

2. Quinton de Kock (Royal Challengers Bangalore to Mumbai Indians)

Mumbai Indians seem to have a very smart think tank as they have more often than not pulled off brilliant trades. One of them has been South African star, Quinton de Kock.


De Kock was bought by RCB in IPL 2018 and looked to provide them with a real impetus at the top of the order in the absence of Chris Gayle. However, he could only score 201 runs in the 8 games that he played at a modest average of 25.13.

Instead of showing faith in the southpaw, RCB decided to trade him to the Mumbai Indians, who were themselves looking for a strong opener after the inconsistency of Evin Lewis in IPL 2018. In return, MI paid RCB INR 2.8 crores. Suddenly, De Kock unleashed his beast mode and became one of the most important players in the MI setup.

De Kock scored a staggering 529 runs in the IPL 2019 season and was the highest scorer for MI. He was instrumental in MI’s title win that season. Giving consistent starts at the top of the order, De Kock was able to terrorize the opposition bowlers.


In IPL 2019 season, his role was even more crucial since MI missed Rohit Sharma for a few games. However, after a slow start, De Kock rediscovered his mojo and scored 503 runs, helping MI comfortably retain their title.

1. Trent Boult (Delhi Capitals to Mumbai Indians)

Trent Boult signing for MI has to be arguably the best trade in IPL history. The left-arm pacer was bought by the Delhi franchise and was hoping to form a lethal combination with Protea quick Kagiso Rabada. However, he got to play just five games and picked up five wickets at a slightly expensive economy of 8.58.

Subsequently, he was traded to MI for INR 3.2 crores. However, this proved to be the deal-breaker for MI as they got a match-winner on their hands, who formed an unbelievable bowling combination with Jasprit Bumrah.


Boult ended up as MI’s third-highest wicket-taker picking up 25 wickets at a phenomenal strike rate of 13.76. He will be looking to contribute well this season too and help MI win a hattrick of IPL titles.

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