The 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League has not ended yet but a report has emerged claiming that the captain of the Punjab Kings team, KL Rahul will probably part ways with the franchise before the mega auction scheduled to happen next. Rahul has been a very consistent performer for the Punjab Kings team. Thus, it has a come as a surprise for many fans that the two parties are ending their association.
KL Rahul had been released by the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise ahead of the 2018 IPL Mega Auction, and the Punjab Kings secured his services at the mega auction. Even though Rahul scored runs consistently for the Kings, the Mohali-based franchise failed to qualify for the playoffs even once from 2018 to 2021. Rahul became the team’s leader in 2020 and won the Orange Cap. However, the luck did not favor his side as they crashed out of the tournament early by losing some close matches. Rahul is not just a fantastic opener but also a captaincy option. Hence, the following five teams may target him at IPL Mega Auction 2022 if the Punjab Kings decide against retaining him.
1. New IPL team could sign KL Rahul and name him captain
Almost every fan would know by now that there will be two new teams in the upcoming Indian Premier League season. KL Rahul could be a great option for captaining one of the two new teams. Rahul has excellent numbers in the league.
He will have a completely new squad to work with. It should not be a surprise if either of the two new franchises break the bank at the 2022 Mega Auction to sign the Punjab Kings wicket-keeper batter. After all, he has been the most successful batter in the league stage of the previous two editions of the Indian Premier League.
2. Sunrisers Hyderabad
KL Rahul played two seasons for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014 and 2015 before the franchise traded him to the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2016. SRH could buy their former player especially because they need an Indian opener and also a captaincy option.
Teams should prefer having an Indian captain because if an overseas captain underperforms, it is becomes challenging to keep the other overseas stars out from the playing XI. SRH could target Rahul as a long-term captaincy candidate and a replacement for David Warner in the top order.
3. Will KL Rahul come back to Royal Challengers Bangalore?
Another team that KL Rahul has represented in the past in the IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore could be in the race to sign the wicket-keeper batter. Rahul has played a lot of cricket in Karnataka.
In fact, he came into the limelight while playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore team in IPL 2016. Virat Kohli has announced that he will no longer be the captain of the RCB franchise. Thus, RCB could bid a big amount for Rahul.
4. Rajasthan Royals
Rajasthan Royals are another outfit that need a new skipper and a consistent Indian opener. They finished in the bottom 2 of the standings in the last two seasons. Thus, RR could revamp their entire team.
They could spend big for KL Rahul’s services and build a team around him. Rahul could take RR to the top if given the freedom.
5. Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings have the perfect opening pair in Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis right now. However, it is unlikely that both batters will be retained by the Chennai Super Kings for the next season.
Also, MS Dhoni may not continue for 3 or 4 seasons. So, the Super Kings will need a captaincy option. KL Rahul can field with MS Dhoni keeping the wickets, but most importantly, he can score runs at the top for CSK or even in the middle-order if needed.