In an exciting finish to the IPL 2021 auction here on Thursday, several names exceeded all expectations to return with fat paychecks.

From a day of hits and misses with 298 players put under the hammer, Sportstar takes a look at the stars from the Indian domestic circuit that emerged as big winners in the IPL 2021 auctions on February 18.

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Krishnappa Gowtham

Karnataka allrounder Krishnappa Gowtham was in for a massive surge in his IPL career as MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings snatched him for a jaw-dropping Rs 9.4 crore.

CSK, who lacked the option of an Indian off-spinner, made a beeline for Gowtham who ended up being the highest Indian uncapped player of all-time at the IPL auctions.

In 24 appearances across three seasons, Gowtham has compiled 186 runs alongside 13 wickets to his name, making the price-tag an eye-popping bid at the auction.

Gowtham began his IPL career with the Mumbai Indians in 2017 before making his debut in the 2018 season with the Rajasthan Royals. He was part of the Kings XI Punjab squad for the 2020 season.

Gowtham's lusty blows in the lower-order will, however, add cushion to his bowling prowess as he makes a move to the Yellow Army.

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Shahrukh Khan

Tamil Nadu’s explosive batsman Shahrukh Khan has finally made the cut for the cash-rich tournament after suffering disappointments at the auctions in the previous years.

The 25-year-old was roped in by the Punjab Kings for a massive Rs 5.25 crore contract, with bids starting from his base price of Rs 20 lakh.

The Chennai-born youngster displayed a shade of his raw strokeplay at the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Shahrukh’s 19-ball 40, powered Tamil Nadu into the semifinal before his side went onto win the tournament for the second time. Shahrukh's lower-order blitz will come in handy for the Punjab, which struggled to have a solid bat in the death overs.

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Chetan Sakariya

Left-arm sensation has stormed into the IPL with a sizzling run through the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy season of 2020/21. The 22-year-old will feature in the 14th edition of the tournament with the Rajasthan Royals which brought him for a hefty Rs 1.2 crore.

The Saurashtra pacer became the only bowler in the top-15 to concede less than 100 runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. Sakariya's mature handling of variations with the ball bagged him 12 wickets from five matches at a stunning economy rate of 4.90.

With Sakariya joining Rajasthan, the Sanju Samson-led side will have decent options to team up with pace spearhead Jofra Archer in its bid to regain the elusive title.

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Arjun Tendulkar

Arjun Tendulkar made a last-minute entry into the auction pool and was bought at his base price of Rs 20 lakh. The bid came from none other than Mumbai Indians - the five-time IPL champion with which his famed father teamed up for an iconic connection.

While Sachin Tendulkar will be seen in the role of a mentor of Mumbai, Arjun will be welcomed into a environment he is quite familiar, having featured as a net bowler in the past for the side.

The left-arm paceman made heads turn with a sensational all-round performance of a 33-ball 77 and a three-wicket haul in a local tournament in Mumbai, right ahead of the auctions.

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Lukman Meriwala

Baroda’s left-arm paceman Meriwala has cracked open the doors to the IPL after a prolific Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy campaign.

Delhi Capitals roped in the domestic white-ball pro for Rs 20 lakh on Thursday.

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Meriwala was at the heart of Baroda's SMAT-2021 campaign as he led the bowling charts with 15 wickets from eight matches - the second-most in the tournament. The 29-year-old was instrumental in lifting his side to the final, as his 3-28 blew away Punjab in the semis.

The feisty paceman had recorded one of the tournament’s best figures (5/8) during the league stage to further his chances at the auctions. Meriwala's adept skill in Indian conditions where he has bagged 72 wickets from just 44 wickets will come in handy for the 2020-runner up as it aims to go one notch higher this season.