Ever since the end of the IPL 2021, there is an air of excitement and speculations around the potential number of maximum retentions that the BCCI will allow existing franchises to make ahead of the mega auction for the IPL 2022.
Reports are that the Indian board would put a limit of four retentions for the current eight sides to make ahead of the much-awaited ten-team edition of the tournament next year.
While the BCCI is expected to ensure a level-playing field for the two new franchises based in Lucknow and Ahmedabad, they will also be offering a chance for existing teams to keep at least some part of their core intact.
If the number of retentions allowed are indeed – as reported – capped at four, here is a list of individuals that the teams could look to keep with themselves even before walking into the IPL 2022 mega auction.
With a surprising but legitimate omission of their legendary skipper MS Dhoni, CSK should look to retain their excellent Gaikwad-Du Plessis opening combination and fantastic utility all-rounders Jadeja and Moeen ahead of IPL 2022. While Du Plessis and Gaikwad dominated the run-charts for the season, the presence of Moeen and Jadeja allowed CSK to lengthen their batting and also nail their planning with the ball in terms of match-ups.
After winning two consecutive IPL seasons, MI failed to make the semis in the league’s 2021 edition. But the five-time winners are unlikely to disturb their core too much. Rohit is likely to retained as a leader, especially after topping the batting charts for his team in challenging conditions. Pollard showed from time to time that he remains his team’s mighty end-overs hitter, capable allrounder and a fantastic vice-captain.
Bumrah, the ace quick, was IPL 2021’s third-highest wicket-taker and had an economy rate of 7.45. He is not going anywhere. For the fourth slot, allrounder Hardik Pandya could be tempting, but given the concerns around his fitness and form, MI think-tank could tilt in favour of Suryakumar. The right-hander didn’t have the best of seasons. But for an MI side likely to be targetted by spin, it makes sense to retain one of their better players of spin.
Premier allrounders Narine and Russell are KKR’s two most likely retentions, given the balance they bring to the side because of their explosive batting and decent bowling capabilities. Russell missed the back half of the IPL 2021 with injury, but is expected to get back in the moment he recovers. Narine was fantastic in UAE with 13 wickets and an economy rate of 6.22.
Like Narine, Chakravarthy also impressively retained his mystery and wood over batters. He was also instrumental to KKR’s resurgence and picked up 11 wickets with an ER of 5.72 in the second half of the tournament. Gill, with Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik’s returns on the wane, is expected to be KKR’s new leader going forward. The young Indian batter didn’t get going in the Indian leg but came back to perform really well in UAE.
Pant’s successful surge to captaincy may have coincided with an indifferent season with the bat. But with IPL set to return to India and be played on truer wickets next year, that is expected to change. Shaw’s impact at the top of the order makes him another bright option for retention for DC ahead of IPL 2022.
Nortje and Axar were easily the two best performers with the ball for DC. While the South African speedster emerged as his team’s four-over bank in the second half, the Indian left-arm spinner was fantastic throughout. Axar was terrific with his unwavering accuracy and consistency even in IPL 2020.
Kohli may have not had the best of times with the bat in recent couple of seasons but the outgoing RCB skipper and great batter is expected to find a second wing to his career in the coming years – which, surely, the RCB think-tank wouldn’t want to miss out on. Kohli is a much safer bet approaching deeper into his thirties than AB de Villiers, a legend himself but also one who’ll be 38 next year and 40 by the end of the coming three-year cycle.
In terms of batting options, Maxwell is a much more rewarding retention choice at this stage. The aggressive and unorthodox Aussie right-hander has earned that right with a terrific IPL 2021 where he was RCB’s most exceptional batter.
Talking of exceptional seasons, Siraj and Chahal surely had that on the bowling front. Chahal took 18 wickets, while Siraj bagged 11. Their economy rates were only 7.05 and 6.78, respectively.
Samson should be retained as opener and captain by RR after a terrific IPL 2021 with the bat where he showed encouraging signs in terms of maintaining his consistency. Despite missing the second half, Buttler was RR’s second-highest run-getter and the star wicketkeeper-batter commands retention.
A player that showed promising signs with his batting was Jaiswal, who had a better strike-rate at the top of the order this year and was only third in the list of run-scorers for his side. Not many in the bowling department are enticing retention picks for RR, but young Kartik Tyagi can be given the vote of confidence considering his undoubted potential.
Amid reports that KL Rahul is likely to part ways with PBKS, experienced opening batter Agarwal emerges as their potential next skipper. He commands a place in the XI at the top, with 441 runs in IPL 2021 with an average of 40.09 and strike-rate of 140.44. Another batter that the franchise could look to retain is young in-form South African Aiden Markram.
Shami had one of his better IPL seasons as the leader of the attack, going for a respectable 7.5 runs per over and taking 18 wickets. Bishnoi, the promising young wristspinner, was in his element too. He took 12 wickets while going for just 6.38 runs per over.
After a disastrous season, SRH are expected to undergo revamp. But they are unlikely to part ways with some of their prominent picks. Despite an indifferent season with the bat, Williamson is likely to retain his captaincy post. Bairstow and Rashid will be other names in the list, considering they had exceptional campaigns despite the struggles of the rest of the cast. The fourth slot could go to Holder, keeping in mind his allround prowess.
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