The eight IPL franchises released their retention list on November 30 which included a lot of surprising exclusions. These exclusions have left a choice of plenty for the two new IPL franchises Lucknow and Ahmedabad who can pick a maximum of three players each before the mega auction. Amongst the plethora of talent that was released, let’s look at the players who may not make it to the mega auction as they are likely to be picked by the two new franchises.
Here’s the list of five players who could be picked by the two new IPL Franchises:
1. KL Rahul
It is almost certain that KL Rahul will go to the Lucknow camp. Reportedly, Lucknow bagged India’s new vice-captain for a whopping Rs 20 crore, which will be the highest-paid salary in IPL history. KL Rahul was not retained by Punjab Kings as the right-handed batter wanted to try his luck in the auction or with the new franchise who would be able to shell out more money than what Punjab could offer. If picked by Lucknow, KL will be their likely choice for captaincy.
2. Rashid Khan
In a shocking decision, Sunrisers Hyderabad did not retain Rashid Khan. According to reports, Rashid wanted to be the first choice retention for SRH but team management went ahead with their skipper Kane Williamson. According to various sources, Rashid is in touch with the Lucknow franchise who has closed the world’s best leg spinner for a healthy amount. Being one of the best T20 bowlers in the world, it was expected that Rashid would be picked by one of the franchises before the auction.
3. David Warner
The pocket-sized dynamite and one of the legends of IPL, David Warner was also released by SRH. David Warner has been in terrific form since his poor IPL 2021. He was the player of the tournament in the recently completed T20 World Cup and helped Australia win their maiden title. He is also one of the top performers in the ongoing Ashes series. With Warner, the IPL franchises will get an experienced opening batter and a tactically sound captain. He led SRH to a title-winning performance in 2016 and has an excellent win-loss ratio.
4. Shreyas Iyer
Post the ICC World Cup 2019, Shreyas Iyer has been India’s mainstay in the white-ball format. A shoulder injury in March this year halted his World Cup plans but he came back strongly with a century on debut in tests. Iyer has an excellent track record in the world’s richest cricket league both as a captain and player. He led Delhi Capitals to their maiden IPL final appearance in 2020. Also, he has an excellent success ratio as a skipper. So the new franchises would be keen on locking Iyer as a part of their squad ahead of the mega auctions.
5. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya has had a rough 2021. He had a terrible IPL, Sri Lanka tour, and couldn’t perform to the best of his abilities in the T20 World Cup. Now, he was also released from the Mumbai Indians set up. But Hardik is one of the rare fast bowling allrounders in Indian cricket and no one doubts his hitting abilities. When he is fit, Hardik is one of the most destructive batters in the World who can take the game away. Hence, a franchise like Ahmedabad would be keen on signing a hometown face in the form of Hardik Pandya.