The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 mega auction is set to be held in January next year. Before the auction, the eight current franchises have been given a chance to retain a maximum of four players, with the combination being three Indians and one overseas or two Indians and two overseas. The deadline for retaining players for the existing franchises has been set as November 30. Following that, the two new franchises, Ahmedabad and Lucknow, can pick three players before the auction. The window for the two franchises to choose their players has been set as December 1 to December 25. While the franchises haven’t confirmed their retention list, numerous media reports have been giving details and updates. In that vein, we take a look at six players who are likely to join the Ahmedabad franchise.
David Warner (likely captain): Considering the shabby treatment David Warner received at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), he is definitely not staying on with the franchise. The T20 World Cup-winning batter was sacked as captain midway through IPL 2021 and was even dropped from the team as a player for the last few games of the season. He wasn’t even seen with the team in the last few games and stayed back at the team hotel. Warner has made it clear with his social media posts and interviews that he is done with SRH. Given his experience and success as captain of Hyderabad, he is a bright prospect to lead Ahmedabad.
Shreyas Iyer: Another former skipper, Shreyas Iyer was supposed to lead Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021. However, a shoulder injury ruled him out of the first half of the season. Rishabh Pant was appointed captain in his absence and the management carried on with him even after Iyer was fit and ready for the UAE leg. Reports have emerged that DC are set to retain Pant as captain and Iyer is not too keen to continue as player with DC, having led the team. He could come to Ahmedabad and could be a captaincy candidate apart from Warner.
Faf du Plessis: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) opener Faf du Plessis had a sensational IPL 2021, amassing 633 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 138.2, which included six half-centuries. He was even the man of the final for his superb 86 off 59 balls. His performance forced fans and critics to wonder why he wasn’t in the South African T20 World Cup team. However, despite his brilliance at the top of the order, he is unlikely to be retained by CSK. Du Plessis is 37 and might not play for too long. With CSK set to retain MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Moeen Ali/ Sam Curran, Ahmedabad might try for the experience of Du Plessis.
Jason Holder: The former West Indies captain excelled for SRH with the ball. Jason Holder picked up 16 wickets in eight matches at a strike rate of 11.93 and an economy rate of 7.75. Even with the willow in hand, he played a couple of crucial knocks. However, according to reports, SRH are unlikely to retain too many players. Kane Williamson seems like a certainty and, maybe, Rashid Khan. Holder could be smart pick for Ahmedabad franchise.
Shardul Thakur: The Chennai Super Kings all-rounder was excellent for the franchise in the second half. He kept striking crucial blows and turned the final around with key wickets at a time when Kolkata Knight Riders seemed to be running away with the game in the chase. Thakur claimed 21 wickets in 16 IPL 2021 matches at a strike rate of 17.09. Despite being one of their star performers, he might not find a place in the retention list due to abundance of choices for CSK. A potential all-round candidate for Ahmedabad.
Mohammed Siraj: The pacer had a surprisingly low key IPL 2021 for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) as Harshal Patel dominated proceedings. Mohammed Siraj claimed only 11 wickets in 15 matches although he had an impressive economy rate of 6.78. According to reports, RCB are set to retain Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Glenn Maxwell and Devdutt Padikkal. That being the case, Ahmedabad won’t mind picking Siraj.