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The IPL auction is set to be held on February 12 and 13 with the tournament set to begin in late March

IPL 2022 auction

With the 2022 IPL Mega Auction less than three weeks away, cricket aficionados, both casual and serious, are buzzing with anticipation of the two-day event. With the arrival of the Lucknow and Ahmedabad-based franchises, the first mega IPL auction since 2018 is expected to generate major buzz.

For the original franchises, this arrival creates an additional problem as the added competition could mean further difficulty in getting their desired players. However, all eight original teams will be looking at their non-retained past players and want some of them back.

Whether it’s due to good performance, city loyalty, or brand value; teams will be eager to get some old hands on board. So today, I’ll be looking at all eight original franchises and postulating one player each of them would want to bring back:

Chennai Super Kings: Faf du Plessis

A team that has been a pillar of consistency, Chennai Super Kings have created one of the most formidable cores across the years and auctions. One of the key components of their success right from 2012 has been South African limited-overs legend Faf du Plessis. The swashbuckling opener has enjoyed a rich vein of form under MS Dhoni, his batting being a key contributor in guiding CSK to two IPL titles and several finals.

Faf du Plessis IPL 2020
Faf du Plessis scored the most runs for CSK in IPL 2020. (Credit: Twitter/@IPL)

In fact, he was the second-highest run-scorer in last year’s IPL, missing out on the Orange Cap to his team-mate Ruturaj Gaikwad by just two runs. And while he is on the wrong side of 30, CSK love to surround their team with experience. So expect du Plessis to return to his old stomping grounds.

Delhi Capitals: Avesh Khan

One of the teams most hurt by the disruption due to the mass exodus of players prior to the mega auction will be Delhi Capitals. Their name change has coincided with a change in fortunes from perennial wooden spooners to tournament favourites. This has been due to a combination of backing youth, extremely competent backroom staff and an exceptional auction strategy.

Avesh Khan IPL wickets
Avesh Khan dented Sunrisers’ chase with three wickets. (Credit: BCCI)

Delhi had one of the most balanced units in the IPL and will rue having to let go of players like Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Kagiso Rabada. And while they might purse the aforementioned names, one player who they might go all out for is Indian right-arm quick Avesh Khan.

Purchased by Capitals in 2018 for just Rs 70 lakh, Avesh repaid their faith manifold in the latest edition of the IPL. Picking up 24 wickets at an economy of just 7.37, he was Capitals’ highest wicket-taker in 2021. And while quality Indian quicks are in demand and Delhi has the lowest auction purse, I expect to see them break the bank for Avesh.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Rahul Tripathi

Having been purchased after a stellar stint with the defunct Rising Pune Super Giants, Rahul Tripathi had a slightly hit-and-miss time with Kolkata Knight Riders initially. He was in and out of the team and played out of position, but gave it his all whenever he got the chance. Last year, however, the fans got to see Tripathi in full flow.

rahul tripathi six
Rahul Tripathi hit the winning runs for KKR with a six off the penultimate ball. (Credit: BCCI/IPL)

Having scored 397 runs and emerging as their second-highest run-scorer, Tripathi played many a vital innings for KKR. This included a match-winning 74 against Mumbai Indians and smashing R Ashwin for a six in the Eliminator against Delhi to send them to the finals. With Shubhman Gill going to Ahmedabad, Tripathi can prove to be an able partner to Venkatesh Iyer for the upcoming edition of the IPL.

Mumbai Indians: Ishan Kishan

Much like Capitals, Mumbai would be extremely disappointed having to let go of a majority of the team that led them to two consecutive titles. With talents such as Quinton de Kock, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Chahar and Trent Boult having been let go, the player they would probably miss the most is Ishan Kishan.

Ishan Kishan fastest IPL 50
Ishan Kishan’s 32-ball 84 was not enough to overhaul KKR for the last play-off spot. (Credit: BCCI)

Kishan, who is just 23 and brimming with talent, is someone you can build your team around. The southpaw can bat anywhere in the top five and scored over 500 runs, striking out 145 in Mumbai’s 2020 title-winning season. Mumbai will definitely look to get him back into the Paltan.

Punjab Kings: Mohammed Shami

It’s safe to say that Punjab Kings have not had the best time in the previous cycle of the IPL. They are a team that has constantly looked at chopping and changing in order to find the winning formula without much success. Therefore, it is no surprise that they head into the mega IPL auction with the largest purse and the least number of retentions.

Mohammed Shami T20 World Cup
Mohammed Shami was terrific against Scotland, but lacklustre overall during the T20 World Cup. (Credit: ICC)

With former skipper KL Rahul and leggie Ravi Bishnoi both plying their trade for Lucknow, PBKS would look to add Mohammed Shami back into their ranks. One of their most consistent performers over the last few years, Shami had a spectacular 2021 with the ball for them with 19 wickets. The Mohali-based franchise would love to have him back in their ranks.

Rajasthan Royals: Chetan Sakariya

Over the past few years, Rajasthan Royals have looked at filling their team with international superstars and complimenting them with young domestic up-and-comers. Getting one of their big international stars, however, seems tricky this year; with both Stokes and Archer ruled out, and Chris Morris having retired.

Therefore, Rajasthan would potentially look at bringing back their left-arm pace bowling sensation, Chetan Sakariya. The 24-year-old has seen a meteoric rise in his career, going from net bowler in IPL 2020 to making his India debut in 2021.

Chetan Sakariya IPL 2021
Chetan Sakariya ended up with figures of 3/36 from his four overs. (Credit: BCCI)

He took 14 wickets for RR during UPL 2021, and with a dearth of quality left-arm seam bowlers, Rajasthan will try their level best to bring Sakariya back.

RCB: Yuzvendra Chahal

A team on the lookout for a new captain as well as a replacement for an icon of the game, Royal Challengers Bangalore are a team in transition. And as the search for Virat Kohli’s successor and AB de Villiers’ replacement continues, they will try and retain much of their core to provide stability in transition.

Virat Kohli Yuzvendra Chahal RCB
Virat Kohli and Chahal celebrate a wicket during the UAE leg of IPL 2021. (Credit: BCCI/IPL)

On top of that list, without a doubt, would be Yuzvendra Chahal. The 31-year-old legspinner, who has been with the franchise since 2014, is their leading wicket-taker with 139 from 112 innings. RCB’s think-tank of Mike Hesson and Sanjay Bangar would definitely be looking to bring him back to the franchise.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Jason Holder

Having retained Kane Williamson, Umran Malik and Abdul Samad, Sunrisers Hyderabad have got some bases covered. They have a captain and two young prospects who have done well for them in recent times and who could stay with the team for a decade.

Jason Holder IPL 2021
Jason Holder made an immediate impact for SRH with three wickets. (Credit: IPL)

But given the youth in the team, SRH need to look at getting some experienced hands back as well. With Rashid Khan at Ahmedabad and a David Warner reunion looking unlikely, the franchise could look at bringing Jason Holder back at the auction.

The West Indian allrounder offers them four guaranteed overs and is an able finisher with the bat, while his leadership skills will benefit both Samad and Malik. And with a lack of genuine fast bowling allrounders at the auction, SRH would do everything in their power to bring Holder back. The allrounder made headlines this week after taking four wickets in four balls to finish the deciding T20I match versus England as West Indies won the series 3-2.

Written by Siddhant Shah

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