Although the size of the IPL auction 2020 is not very huge, it still has managed to garner a lot of attention from different parts of the world. Not just the Indian talents who performed well in recent times in domestic cricket, but a lot of overseas cricketers too will be eagerly waiting to see if their fate has an IPL contract in store.
The league is getting bigger, better and attractive with every passing season and the star players getting involved is an indication of why so many Indians cue up near the stadiums to watch these games. Most of the franchises besides Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad have released a lot of players and will be assessing the situation of some players which they released.
Here is a list of five players who we believe could end up joining their former clubs:
1. Glenn Maxwell – Kings XI Punjab
The Australian all-rounder previously represented the Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals in the IPL. His best time in the tournament came when he smashed more than 600 runs in the 2014 season for Kings XI Punjab and steered his side to their best finish in their history (2nd). If fortunes can have a say, Maxwell could perhaps end up back with Punjab.
Kings XI have roped in some amazing Indian talents and releasing the likes of David Miller and Sam Curran is a clear indication that they’re looking for an all-round option. They definitely have the purse to spend big money on him and also go all-out on other big players like Pat Cummins and Chris Lynn, but a homecoming for Maxwell seems likely.
Maxwell even captained Punjab in the 2017 edition, where he nearly took the side into the playoffs. He has had a memorable time with the franchise and is loved by their fans even now, which should make him one of the favourites to get back home.
2. Chris Lynn – Kolkata Knight Riders
Although there was no official statement from the Kolkata Knight Riders, the only plausible explanation behind releasing Chris Lynn could be that they wish to retake him in the auction, perhaps for a better price. Lynn cost them INR 9.4 Crore, after which he scored nearly 900 runs for the franchise in two seasons.
His strike-rate has remained around the 140-mark and is perhaps the best choice franchises have among the openers. Lynn has had some struggles against spinners, where his approach clearly wasn’t as aggressive, but he knows when and where to pick his bowlers. His street-smart cricket has helped him do well in this tournament in the last two years.
Kolkata will definitely go back bidding for the Australian opener and there is a good chance that he could go out of their reach. Having said that, they will be having a keen eye on alternate choices like Evin Lewis, Ben Dunk, Tom Banton and Shimron Hetmyer as a potential replacement for Lynn, give they lose out on him.
3. Baba Aparajith – Chennai Super Kings
The story of Baba Aparajith has been way too unfortunate and saddening. The talented all-rounder from Tamil Nadu made his mark as a U19 World Cup winner in 2012 and was immediately picked up by the Chennai Super Kings. Although he got into a side he favoured to join, Aparajith barely got any game time to back his talent.
Aparajith has remained with the Chennai Super Kings for a major time while being a part of the interim franchise Rising Pune Supergiant. He struggled to break the deadlock and get a game in the last couple of seasons, but he is still 25 and has some good time left in him to contribute to Indian cricket.
His domestic performances in recent months too has been outrageous. Tamil Nadu enjoyed a sensational run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and in both these tournaments, Aparajith was at the heart of things with the willow in hand. Given he gets a chance to play for CSK again, he definitely will be given more opportunities than before.
4. Shimron Hetmyer – Royal Challengers Bangalore
One of the most attractive young cricketers in the market, Shimron Hetmyer joined the Royal Challengers Bangalore last season with a lot of expectations surrounding him. Apart from the one match-winning knock which came against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the fag end of the tournament, the southpaw was nowhere close to solving their middle-order problems.
It is important to realize a fact that he is still a youngster and some cricketers do take some time to build themselves. Hetmyer has shown enough glimpses to prove he is a talent worth investing and he has a lot of the Caribbean aesthetics in-built in his game, which is one of the many reasons why he is watchable.
Virat Kohli sounded very optimistic last season about Hetmyer and there are indications that suggest he could head back to the club for a cheaper price. It could be a challenge for the franchise to get him at a price that fits their budget, but they definitely will be happy to see him back.
5. Rahul Tripathi – Rajasthan Royals
Ever since Rahul Dravid joined as a player in 2011 and later donned the role of a mentor in 2014, Rajasthan Royals have been investing significantly in young talents and once the club was back in the tournament after a two-year suspension, they made their intentions clear again in the 2018 auction.
Among the many young players, they invested in was Rahul Tripathi, who came into limelight after a spectacular season with the Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017. He scored 391 runs that edition at a strike-rate in excess of 145, which prompted the Royals to go all-out for him in the auction. But unfortunately for both parties, he is not getting a chance to bat at his favoured opening spot.
Nevertheless, Rahul Tripathi could once again be heading back to the Royal regardless of what the hullabaloo suggests. The Royals need good quality opening options in backup and Tripathi has done well coming in the middle order for Maharashtra as well, making him a suitable and versatile option.
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