With the introduction of two new teams in the Indian T20 League, a mega auction was always going to be around the corner. The existing franchises were given an opportunity to retain up to four players and there were bound to be some players who were not going to be retained. But when players of the pedigree of KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan go unretained, then all the attention would surely fall on them.
We’ve seen cases where the franchises have wanted to retain an individual but the player fancies his chances in the auction hence has gone unretained. At the same time, there have been some players who seemed like sureshot picks for retention but the franchises have thought in another direction. So in this blog, we’re planning to cover five of these players who went unretained ahead of the mega auction.
It was one of the worst kept secrets that KL Rahul never wanted to be retained by Team Punjab. Rahul is certain that he wants to embark on a new journey in the Indian T20 League and one can’t blame him given the track record of the ownership of Team Punjab. Rahul seems like a certain pick for either of the two new teams and most probably would be handed over the captaincy as well.
One of KL Rahul’s best friends, Hardik Pandya has also surprisingly gone unretained this time around. Pandya was a gem of a find for Team Mumbai and they groomed him to become the player he is right now. But lately, there have been some concerns regarding his back issues and he hasn’t been able to bowl a single over in the previous two Indian T20 League seasons. His numbers purely as a batter haven’t been up to the mark hence Team Mumbai decided not to retain him for the next few seasons. It’ll be interesting to see whether the new teams would make Hardik their first few picks and if not then whether Mumbai would go for him in the auction.
Yuzvendra Chahal’s case seems like an interesting one to decipher. From the outside, it seems like Team Bangalore would have loved to retain him but Chahal was looking for a new challenge in the league. Team Bangalore’s home ground, Chinnaswamy Stadium is a nightmare for any spin bowler to ply his trade hence this decision of moving away from the franchise would have come about for Chahal. He has been a loyal servant to the franchise and his services would surely be missed by the Bangalore faithful.
If one of the best T20 bowlers goes unretained then it is only natural to look at the matter carefully. It was surprising to see Rashid Khan go unretained given Team Hyderabad only retained two uncapped Indian players and their captain Kane Williamson. They would have thought that Rashid would be their first name on the retention list but it seems like the Afghan spinner sees his future someplace else. He surely would be one of the first picks for the two new franchises, such is his quality.
Shikhar Dhawan has consistently been amongst the top run-getters in the Indian T20 League so his name in the non-retention list is somewhat of a surprise. Team Delhi’s strategy seems clear though. They have made the retention decisions keeping the age of the cricketers in consideration. Dhawan would be on the list of plenty of franchises now as many of them are out in the auction looking for a top-order Indian batter. Dhawan can expect a big payday coming up in the mega auction.
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