A few days ago, the existing franchises in IPL announced their list of retentions ahead of the upcoming auctions. The decision that the franchise takes at this point in time has an impact on the success of the unit over the next few years. Hence, in some choices, there was a hint of surprise. In this article, we take a look at five players who have been surprisingly retained by their IPL teams ahead of IPL 2022 Auctions.
1) Suryakumar Yadav – INR 8 Cr (Mumbai Indians)
Suryakumar Yadav is one of the players who have been surprisingly retained by their IPL teams ahead of IPL 2022 Auctions. SKY is the most consistently performing batsman for the Mumbai Indians since 2018. However, there is a reason why many consider his retainment as a surprise.
Firstly, SKY is picked ahead of Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya, both of whom are multi-utility cricketers. Moreover, in terms of age, too, Ishan and Hardik would offer more to the franchise. SKY had a forgettable campaign in 2021 and this further raised doubts if the decision was a good one.
2) Mayank Agarwal – INR 14 Cr (Punjab Kings)
It is only since IPL 2019 that Mayank Agarwal has started to well in the competition. He is one of the best openers in the league and belongs to the topmost bracket when it comes to playing spin. While thinking of having him in the squad is a great decision, retaining the player at INR 14 Cr does not seem to solve the puzzle.
Mayank could have been targeted at the auction for a price well under INR 14 Cr. Of course, the new teams could have picked him, but the likelihood of that scenario was low. Hence, PBKS retaining Punjab is a debatable choice.
3) Umran Malik – INR 4 Cr (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Umran Malik is also one of the players who have been surprisingly retained by their IPL teams ahead of IPL 2022 Auctions. Despite playing only three games in IPL, Umran has been retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad. He has also been assigned a salary of INR 4 Cr.
Umran’s raw pace did impress many, but the sample size seems to be too low. At the moment, the Jammu & Kashmir bowler has shown only one aspect of his bowling, which again seems to be a concern. Especially with SRH not having been able to retain other star cricketers, the confidence in Umran appears too high.
4) Venkatesh Iyer – INR 8 Cr (Kolkata Knight Riders)
For a player who was uncapped until recently, a whopping sum of INR 8 Cr has been blocked by Kolkata Knight Riders for Venkatesh Iyer. Yes, his profile of a left-handed opener who can bowl medium pace is tempting, but KKR could have thought about Shubman Gill.
Considered the next superstar of Indian cricket, Shubman did well in the UAE leg of IPL 2021. He could have also been a good captaincy option for the franchise. Yet, the team has placed faith in Venkatesh, who is not very much experienced at the highest level.
5) Andre Russell – INR 12 Cr (Kolkata Knight Riders)
In IPL 2020 and IPL 2021, Andre Russell managed a total of 117 and 183 runs respectively. He also collected 17 wickets during this period. For a star all-rounder, this is not a worthy performance.
While form is something that the player can improve, his fitness is a concern. Last two seasons, the West Indian did not play 100% of the games. With new teams entering the fray, KKR may not afford a quality backup for him. Hence, retaining Andre Russell was a surprising decision.