The eight current Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises announced their retention list ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction last month. The eight franchises retained a total of 27 players. Most teams utilized the maximum limit of retaining four players. The deadline for the two new franchises – Ahmedabad and Lucknow – will end on December 25. The IPL 2022 mega auction is likely to be held in January. With a cap of four players on retention, all franchises were forced to release a majority of their squad. In the wake of the same, we look at one released player each team might be looking to purchase back at the auction.
1. Mumbai Indians – Trent Boult
Mumbai Indians (MI) retained Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard and Suryakumar Yadav. They would have liked to retain Trent Boult as well. The Kiwi left-arm seamer and Bumrah formed a deadly pair over the last two seasons. Their yorkers at the death became next to unplayable. Boult claimed 25 wickets at an average of 18.28 during the IPL 2020 season. He was the player of the final as well. In IPL 2021, he finished with 13 scalps in 14 games. MI might be keen to reunite Boult and Bumrah during IPL 2022.
2. Chennai Super Kings – Faf du Plessis
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have every reason to pick Faf du Plessis at the IPL 2022 mega auction. He was one of the prime factors behind their win in IPL 2021. In the leading run-getters list, the former South African captain amassed 633 runs during the season and finished next only to Orange Cap winner Ruturaj Gaikwad (635). Du Plessis and Gaikwad formed a brilliant opening pair. The former was also the player of the final for his spectacular knock of 86 in 59 balls. Although he is 37, Du Plessis is still very fit and was one of CSK’s best fielders in the 2021 edition, arguably the safest pair of hands after Ravindra Jadeja.
3. Kolkata Knight Riders – Shubman Gill
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) recovered from a horror first half to reach the final of the IPL 2021 season. One of the key factors behind their renaissance was the opening pair of Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill. While the latter was subdued in the first half, he lifted his game in the UAE leg and became solid support for the aggressive Iyer. Gill ended IPL 2021 with 478 runs in 17 matches at a strike rate of just under 120. As a pair, Gill and Iyer were a class apart. There is every reason KKR would want their successful opening combination for IPL 2022 edition as well.
4. Royal Challengers Bangalore – KS Bharat
KS Bharat will always be remembered in IPL history for hitting a last-ball six off Avesh Khan to seal a victory for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) against Delhi Capitals (DC) during an IPL 2021 encounter. Bharat scored a fine half-century under pressure, and, with Glenn Maxwell tiring at the other end, Bharat took it upon himself to take the team over the finish line. Bharat recently registered 161* and 156 in consecutive matches during the Vijay Hazare Trophy. RCB might want Bharat back in the side, considering his current form and confidence.
5. Delhi Capitals – Avesh Khan
If we take out the last couple of matches during the IPL 2021 season, Avesh Khan was brilliant for Delhi Capitals (DC). He bowled with extreme pace and even kept Anrich Nortje out of the playing XI in the first half. Avesh was constantly among the wickets and ended the season with an impressive haul of 24 wickets in 16 matches. On days when he got it spot on, Avesh was next to impossible to play. The fast bowler’s inexperience came into play as he was clattered for a last-ball six by RCB’s Bharat. Then MS Dhoni took him on the 1st Qualifier and lifted CSK into the final. IPL 2021 ended on a disappointing note for Avesh, but he would certainly learn his lessons.
6. Sunrisers Hyderabad – Jason Holder
Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) had a horror season during IPL 2021. Everything that could go wrong for them did. They changed their captain midway and made some haphazard changes, which did not do any good. Jason Holder’s presence was among the few bright spots for SRH in an otherwise disastrous campaign. He claimed 16 wickets in eight matches at an average of 15.43. He played a couple of fine cameos even with the bat when the team was under pressure. SRH could look to retain him.
7. Punjab Kings – Shahrukh Khan
He did a decent job in the few matches that Shahrukh Khan played for Punjab Kings in the IPL 2021 season. He came in at the death and found boundaries at crucial intervals. His big-hitting talent has never been in question. Shahrukh has been in fine form for Tamil Nadu in the domestic circuit. He turned the Syed Mushtaq Ali final on its head with an unbeaten 33 off 15. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he clobbered 66 off 35 balls against Mumbai. Shahrukh is a talent PBKS should perhaps have not let go of.
8. Rajasthan Royals – Chetan Sakariya
Another IPL season, another disappointing return. Barring the 2008 season, when they lifted the inaugural championship, Rajasthan Royals have not looked like a match-winning unit. If we look at the performance of their players during IPL 2021, left-arm seamer Chetan Sakariya was among the few bright spots. Sakariya picked up 14 wickets in 14 matches at an economy rate of just over eight. In a game against CSK, he dismissed MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu. Despite his lack of experience, Sakariya looked the part and made an impression during the season. RR can ponder upon buying him again at the auction.