The IPL 2022 will see the league expand to feature ten sides, including the new Lucknow and Ahmedabad franchises.
Recently, in a walk-in auction bid process, the BCCI sold the Lucknow franchise for the sum of INR 7,090 crores, while the Ahmedabad side went for a total of INR 5,625 crores.
The Ahmedabad franchise will be playing their home games at the rebuilt Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.
One of the two new sides, the Ahmedabad franchise will get a purse of INR 90 crores to try and bid for the right set of players in the mega auction for the IPL 2022.
The bidding process will be of great importance for the side keeping in mind the playing pool will already be weakened by the absence of multiple big names that the existing franchises are expected to be retain.
Within that weakened playing pool, the side will have to also identify and bid for their first-ever IPL skipper, someone who can lay the correct foundation to the franchise’s journey and propel them to success.
Here are the three potential captaincy candidates that they can look at.
3 potential captaincy options for Ahmedabad side ahead of IPL 2022
1. David Warner
David Warner is more or less certain to leave Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) after a controversial IPL 2021 which saw him getting sacked from the captaincy duties and dropped from the playing XI twice. In a season of turmoil, Warner made just 195 runs from his eight innings with a strike-rate of 107.73.
But Warner is easily one of the batting greats of IPL, with an average of 41.59 and strike-rate of 139.96 over 150 matches. The Aussie left-hander may not be the player he once was but he is still very much capable at the top of the order and will be entering the IPL 2022 with a point to prove to his naysayers.
2. Dinesh Karthik
Given he is approaching the deeper side of his thirties and they have other stronger retention candidates, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are not expected to keep their experienced wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik for the IPL 2022. Karthik also didn’t have the best of IPL 2021 and made only 223 runs from his 15 innings at a strike-rate of 131.17.
Having said that, if Karthik is willing to bear the captaincy burden again, he is definitely a strong option for the Ahmedabad franchise to consider keeping in mind his experience with KKR and also his capabilities as a middle-order bat who can don the gloves.
Karthik has a magnificent record as an end-over specialist in the IPL, having made 1,040 runs at a strike-rate of 177.77. His batting exploits and glovework offers a great balance to the side when Karthik is on song and firing.
3. Suryakumar Yadav
In case Mumbai Indians (MI) aren’t able to find a place for Suryakumar Yadav in their retention list, India and Mumbai right-hand bat would be an attractive captaincy option for the two new franchises. Suryakumar didn’t have the best of IPL 2021 but his game has been on an upward curve for a while now.
It shows Suryakumar’s impact that when he dominated the bowling in IPL 2020 – 480 runs; AVG 40; SR 145.01 – MI went on to win their fifth title. But when he faltered in the next season – 317 runs; AVG 22.64; SR 143.43 – they failed to make the playoffs.
Suryakumar is an excellent player of spin, with an ever-imroving range against the pacers, which makes him such a good middle-order player to have. On the captaincy front, he hasn’t led any side in the IPL previously but was once touted as KKR’s ‘next captain’ by Gautam Gambhir himself. The 31-year-old has captained Mumbai at the senior domestic level.