The Retention Games : Part 2

The 15th edition of the Indian premier league will kick start a new era in T20 Cricket. The cash-rich product has successfully entered the third decade of its existence. The first mega auction after the 2018 season will surely surprise the fans. The retention, however, has not been less surprising to many.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Source – BCCI

The two times champions had a major turnaround in the second half of the 14th season. The decision to open with Venkatesh Iyer paid well, as the Kolkata-based franchise was in the tournament till the very end!

The retentions, however, have raised many eyebrows. The Men in Purple have trusted the Jamaican superstar Andre Russell with yet another season. The team used their first retention card on the all-rounder. The injury-prone nature of the right-hander is a major worry. 

Sunil Narine has been the go-to player for the team in the last few seasons. The West Indian has contributed immensely from the ball and with his unusual batting style in the top order. Varun Chakravarty and his mystery element have won him retention. Southpaw Venkatesh Iyer was one of the reasons for KKR’s success in 2021 and has also been retained. 

Kolkata has let go their skipper and his deputy in Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik. They will be looking at a new captain in the auction.

Punjab Kings

Punjab Kings vs MI, IPL 2021
Source – Twitter/IPL

PK has been infamous for some of their management decisions, on and off the field. The team has not retained their star player and captain KL Rahul. Coach Anil Kumble confirmed that Rahul decided to part ways from the team and enter the auction.

The Mohali-based franchise has retained Mayank Agrawal. The opener scored 327 runs in the eight matches, last season. Besides, he maintained a strike rate of almost 150. Punjab Kings is without a captain at the moment. The management will be expecting Mayank to play an important role in the leadership group.

The second retention card was used on local boy Arshdeep Singh. The left-arm pacer fared well in the 14th season. He is an uncapped player, which helped the team retain the youngster. 

Sunrisers Hyderabad 

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Source – Twitter/IPL

The Hyderabad Franchise had a forgettable IPL 2021. Regular captain David Warner was dropped from the squad after the first half of the tournament in India. Even though the team tried to rejuvenate under Kane Williamson, they couldn’t find themselves anywhere near the top 4.

The team has stuck with the captain. Kane Williamson has been retained for a whopping 14 crores. Having several young Indian players was an opportunity for the team before 2021. However, with the underwhelming performances from most of them, the team let go of most of them.

SRH used two retention cards on Abdul Samad and Umran Malik.  These uncapped players were retained at four crores each. The team has decided to part ways with several big names in Bhuveneshwar Kumar, Johnny Bairstow, and Rashid Khan. 

David Warner, who was pivotal to the team’s trophy-winning campaign in 2016, will also be seen in other colours.

Rajasthan Royals

Sanju & Sanga
Source – Twitter/IPL

The winners of the first edition of IPL have not yet been able to recreate the same magic again. The team, which was filled with T20 superstars from around the world, decided to retain only three of them.

RR will continue with Sanju Samson as their skipper, along with Jos Buttler. The Englishman is a hot property in world cricket at the moment. RR would be expecting to use the firepower of the Wicket – keeper batter in the upcoming season.

For the third retention, the team has gone with young Mumbai Opener, Yashasvi Jaiswal. The opener showed promise in 2021 but could not quite capitalise. It will be interesting to see how this retention will work out in the future.

Among those left out, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer are the prominent ones. The price bracket limitation perhaps did not allow the team to retain them, although they will be looking to get the two all-rounders back in the mega auction.

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