The auction for the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) took place on Kolkata. 62 players were sold even as a majority had to return empty-handed. The tournament is set to get underway on March 29 and will continue until May 24, though the full schedule is yet to be released.
Next time, the mega auction will take place with a number of more players going under the hammer. A number of big names, who have been part of the last few seasons, will be trying out their lucks in the auction. The franchises can retain around three players and it goes without saying that it can be an arduous task.
But there are a few cricketers who are in the team mostly owing to their stature. The franchises may contemplate letting these names go and then bring in fresh faces in the mix.
In the article, let’s take a look at five players, who could be released ahead of the mega auction: –
Dinesh Karthik’s journey with the Knights has been an indifferent one thus far. In 2018, he was appointed as their skipper and he took his team to the Qualifier 2 where Sunrisers Hyderabad beat them. Back then, Karthik also had a spectacular outing with the bat in hand.
However, the previous season turned out to be bit of a nightmare for the Tamil Nadu cricketer from all departments. KKR lost games in heaps in the middle-phase of the tournament and were knocked out before the playoffs. Karthik scored a 97* against Rajasthan Royals, but apart from that he wasn’t at his best.
During the last season, he also had to face a lot of criticism for his tactics. Karthik has been retained as the skipper for the next edition and another poor season could lead to his franchise releasing him.
Aaron Finch doesn’t have a record to boast off in the IPL. In 75 matches, the Australia limited-overs skipper has scored 1737 runs at an average of 25.93 to go with 13 half-centuries. His last season in the T20 extravaganza was back in 2018 when he represented the Kings XI Punjab.
The Victorian is set to make his IPL comeback in 2020 after Royal Challengers Bangalore picked him for INR 4.40 crore. Ever since Finch became the national captain, his batting has also improved leaps and bounds.
The fact that he has heaped runs in India will augur well for the 33-year-old. In the IPL, Finch will also get a chance to wield the willow on a decent batting pitch at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. But if he flatters to deceive, the Challengers may wish to free the veteran batter off his services.
Kieron Pollard got into the Mumbai Indians’ setup after his match-winning half-century in the final of the 2009 Champions League T20. From there on, the West Indies limited-overs skipper, is with the same franchise. He is one of the most experienced players in the IPL, having plied his trade in 148 matches.
The right-hander has 2755 runs at an average of 28.7, most importantly, striking at 146.78. Last time, he got 279 runs with a solitary half-century, but couldn’t quite show his very best.
Pollard is also one of the leading run-getters in the format, something which speaks volumes of his potential in the shortest format. The Mumbai franchise has pinned hopes on him for quite a few seasons. However, a poor outing could see MI contemplating freeing the Caribbean batsman from his role.
Kane Williamson’s fortunes in the IPL opened up after David Warner didn’t take part in the 2018 edition. The New Zealander was made the skipper of the Sunrisers Hyderabad and he impressed one and all. He was the leading run-scorer that season, scoring 735 runs at a strike-rate of 142.44.
En route his masterful outings, he also manged to amass as many as eight fifties under his belt. The Kiwi also took the Sunrisers to the final where Chennai Super Lings beat them. Last season, Warner was back in the mix and Kane had to bat in the middle-order.
Williamson didn’t have the most memorable season. In nine matches, he could notch 156 runs with his top score being 70*. With Jonny Bairstow now in their setup, the Sunrisers may not wish to retain Kane next time.
MS Dhoni has been a fulcrum of Chennai Super Kings’ setup since the inaugural edition of the IPL back in 2008. It’s only when CSK was serving a two-year suspension period that Dhoni played for the Rising Pune Supergiant. In 190 IPL matches, he has 4432 runs at an average of 42.21 with 23 fifties.
The veteran is the second-most successful skipper in the IPL, having won three championships. But now the Super Kings are likely to release the 38-year-old before the mega auction for the 2021 season.
Reports surrounding the same was doing the rounds and N Srinivasan, CSK’s owner, confirmed the same. But he also said that Dhoni will be retained in the auction. It means that the cricket world would be seeing at least a year of the Jharkhand-born in the prestigious T20 championship.
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