With the auction dynamics coming in, a few franchises tend to make mistakes while retaining and releasing cricketers. It is only a few years later or in the immediate season itself after the released player starts performing well, that the mistake comes to the fore. In this article, we take a look at the list of five Indian players whom franchises should not have released in recent years in IPL.
As seen so far in the history of IPL, every three years, franchises have to take part in the mega-auction. While it is important for teams to focus on the next cycle, a few take this too far. Hence, they tend to play it very safe before the mega-auction. This has come back to haunt a few squads in recent years.
1) KL Rahul – Royal Challengers Bangalore
KL Rahul is one of the popular names in this list of Indian players whom franchises should not have released in recent years in IPL. Before the 2018 auctions, KL was released by RCB. Although they tried to buy him back at the auctions, the bid had gone too far ahead for them to attempt it.
Since then, the right-hander has arguably been the best batsman in the competition. He has scored above 500 runs in every completed season for Punjab Kings after being released by RCB. Had KL been in RCB now, the majority of the team’s issues would have been solved. The team would have had a reliable wicket-keeper apart from not having to search for a new captain from IPL 2022.
2) Suryakumar Yadav – Kolkata Knight Riders
While Suryakumar Yadav did not cross the 200-run mark in four consecutive campaigns, after he made the move to Mumbai Indians in 2018, he made above 400 runs in three continuous seasons. He has also made his India debut and is set to represent the country in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
In KKR, SKY was not used properly. He was given opportunities in the lower middle-order. However, everyone around him was aware of his potential. He was also an uncapped cricketer then. Yet, KKR made no attempt in retaining him. Even Gambhir recently admitted that he did not handle SKY well at KKR. Had he been in the squad now, KKR’s middle-order would have been even stronger.
3) Ambati Rayudu – Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians usually do not make a mistake when it comes to this aspect. However, before the 2018 auctions, they let go of Ambati Rayudu. This had an immediate impact as Rayudu helped CSK win the title in 2018 after he made 602 runs in that campaign.
Had he been in the squad now, Mumbai could have rotated their middle-order. They could have also afforded to play another overseas all-rounder. In case of any injury, as well, Rayudu could have easily stepped in.
4) Rahul Tripathi – Rajasthan Royals
Rahul Tripathi is also a part of this list of Indian players whom franchises should not have released in recent years in IPL. Rajasthan Royals let go of the underrated cricketer who played 20 matches for them.
Since moving to KKR, Rahul has been in good form. He has exhibited the brand of fearless cricket and has been striking at around 136. The Maharashtra player has also been one of the best fielders for KKR. Had RR not released him, the team’s batting line-up could have been better now.
5) Varun CV – Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings paid a lot of money to hire Varun CV for IPL 2019. The team made two mistakes across that season. Firstly, they could not provide sufficient chances for Varun to succeed. He played only one encounter and in that game against KKR, he bowled only three overs.
It is understandable that it was tough to retain him considering his hefty price. However, Punjab Kings had enough funds in the 2020 auction to get him. They did not do it despite releasing R Ashwin to Delhi Capitals. To provide context, the team still does not have a settled spin attack.