Glenn Maxwell will join India captain Virat Kohli at the Royal Challengers Bangalore after they paid $2.5 million for the explosive allrounder in a spirited IPL auction bidding duel.
After a frantic 14 minutes of action, Bangalore had too much firepower for the Chennai Super Kings to secure the services of the Melbourne Stars captain.
With former Australian Test opener Simon Katich as coach and Kohli as skipper, Maxwell will also play alongside South African master batsman AB de Villiers in a star-studded Bangalore line-up.
Perth Scorchers' quick Jhye Richardson almost matched Maxwell as the highest-paid Australian.
The leading wicket-taker in the 2020-21 Big Bash League attracted interest from three franchises before the Punjab Kings won out over Bangalore with a bid of $2.48 million.
Richardson collected 29 wickets in an impressive BBL campaign, two years after the 24-year-old had suffered a dislocated shoulder.
Maxwell's 2021 price tag is the fifth highest for an overseas player in the IPL as well as the richest of his career in the league.
It surpasses the $1.9 million Punjab Kings XI paid for him last season when the 32-year-old managed just 108 runs in 13 matches.
However, Bangalore's director of cricket operations Mike Hesson insists Maxwell could fit into any team structure because of a multi-skills and versatility.
"(It) depends on what role each team wants him to play, he's used often as a finisher," Hesson said.
"We know how good a player he is away from the IPL ... he can help AB out, provide an extra bit of power in the middle.
"We have other players doing other jobs, we were after that X-factor player in the middle."
Steve Smith, released by the Rajasthan Royals, was the first Australian player to go under the hammer on Thursday.
And after a last-minute bid, Smith found a new IPL home at the Delhi Capitals, albeit on a much-reduced rate to his $2.5 million deal in 2020.
The Test star, one of the world's premier batsmen, fetched $389,000 after the Capitals, coached by Ricky Ponting, outbid Bangalore.
Maxwell's Melbourne Stars teammate Nathan Coulter-Nile has been picked up by the Mumbai Indians for $885,000.
Australia's ODI and Twenty20 captain Aaron Finch, who watched the auction unfold with Maxwell from Christchurch ahead their T20 series against New Zealand, went unsold.
Maxwell was upstaged as the auction's dearest player by South African Chris Morris.
The 33-year-old allrounder fetched $2.8 million to the winning bid of the Rajasthan Royals, making him the IPL's most expensive overseas player sold under the format.
"He's one of those players with experience who can deal with a price tag like that," Rajasthan chief operating officer Jake Lush McCrum told a video conference.
Alex Carey, along with English BBL stars Alex Hales and Jason Roy, joined Finch on the unsold list.