Disastrous, disappointment, disheartened: Three worst retentions of IPL 2022
Yashasvi Jaiswal has not been a regular at RR anymore.|
The ideologies of each and every franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL) are quite different from one another as some plan for long-term success, while others remain happy to focus on the present. The principles are difficult to understand if one wants to scrutinize them step by step.
The IPL 2022 caravan is almost a month old now. The questions have been asked to them, who are yet to match the expectations, while some have yielded very rich dividends by performing on a consistent basis, whether it is with the bat or the ball. But above all, the franchises, similar to the past, have received criticism mostly for their strategic blunders at the 2022 mega auction, as well as the retentions they made before heading to the bidding wars.
Let us have a discussion on the three worst retentions made by different franchises ahead of IPL 2022:
1. Abdul Samad - Sunrisers Hyderabad - INR 4 crore
The 20-year-old cricketer from Jammu & Kashmir, who has been representing Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for the last three seasons, seemed to be one of the next big things in the lucrative cash-rich league, if not the Indian cricket. His brisk 33 off 16 balls against Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2 in IPL 2020 attracted many at that point. But more notably, it still remained his best individual score in IPL.
Samad’s brutal power hitting was visible in 2020, striking at 170.76 for his 111 runs. But his phenomenal scoring rate saw a steep decline in the following season when he averaged 12.33 after 11 outings, striking at 127.58.
Still, the SRH think tank, ahead of the latest mega auction, decided to retain Samad for INR 4 crore, probably considering him as a long-term prospect. He got chances to improve his numbers in SRH’s first two games, against Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) respectively. But all he managed to score there was a six-ball four, followed by a golden duck.
Since then, the SRH have not allowed him to impress any further, and have brought in Shashank Singh in his place in their lineup.
2. Yashasvi Jaiswal – Rajasthan Royals - INR 4 crore
Similar to SRH’s long-term prospect theory, Jaiswal – the 20-year-old uncapped Indian – was retained by the RR at INR 4 crore ahead of the mega auction. The decision made sense before the bidding wars began, as the talented left-handed opener showed composure last season, aggregating 249 runs in 10 matches at an impressive strike rate of 148.21. However, his debut season – in 2020 –was not so memorable. He scored 40 runs in three outings, striking at 90.9.
But when the RR splurged INR 7.75 on Devdutt Padikkal at the recent mega auction, the questions relating to the franchise’s new opening combination rose right from there. With Jos Buttler in the mix already, the inaugural IPL champions decided to go with him and Jaiswal at the top and Padikkal at No. 3 initially. It did not work out, as Jaiswal’s scores read 16-ball 20, two-ball 1, and six-ball four respectively in the opening three fixtures.
Unsurprisingly, the franchise dropped him from thereon and went with their best possible opening duo – Buttler and Jaiswal. The new pair have not disappointed. In fact, they forged 155 together against the DC in their latest encounter, which is notably RR’s highest opening-wicket partnership in the tournament’s history. So as things stand, no one can predict how long will take for Jaiswal’s next opportunity.
3. Axar Patel - Delhi Capitals - INR 12 crore
There was a huge surprise when Delhi Capitals (DC) retained Axar Patel ahead of someone valuable as Kagiso Rabada at INR 12 crore. Though Axar’s salary is INR 9 crore, the additional money was deducted from the DC purse for the mega auction.
To be fair, Axar’s numbers in IPL 2021 were quite decent. He took 15 wickets in 12 matches at an outstanding 6.65 economy rate, which played a pivotal role in the DC reaching the Playoffs. But he seemed to be lacklustre more often than not in the ongoing edition, where he has only managed to snare three wickets in seven matches so far, averaging 60. His economy rate of 7.83 is not great either.
Over the years, Axar has been considered the bowling all-rounder. But his batting records in IPL are in no way near to justifying that. However, thanks to a breezy 38 not out off 17 balls against Mumbai Indians (MI) in their tournament opener, his strike rate, at this moment, stands at 171.74 in IPL 2022.
There are a few as well who deserve to be mentioned in this chart, including the KKR duo Venkatesh Iyer and Varun Chakravarthy and the RCB's Mohammed Siraj. But among the above three, barring Axar, there is a little chance for the others to turn things around this season. Hopefully, they all prove the critics wrong soon.