Retention was the first of many key steps towards the most-attended cricket league in the world and the 8 franchises hope to have played well by retaining their cores, by bidding farewell(at least temporarily) to the dispensable lot in order to free some purse ahead of the auctions on December 19, Kolkata. After been allotted a purse of Rs. 85 crores each, the managements must have had a tough time making certain tactical decisions to fill most of the lacunae and stay economic at the same time.
While powerful names like Robin Uthappa, Sam Curran, Chris Lynn and so many more will make this auction exciting with the majority of the franchises wanting to close them at the earliest, there are some veterans who might end up nowhere.
1) Yusuf Pathan-
Once acclaimed as one of India’s hardest white ball hitters, the elder Pathan brother started his IPL career with a bang at the Rajasthan Royals in 2008. His sublime stint continued when he was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014. Shane Warne, the great Australian leg-spinner labeled Yusuf’s 100 against the Mumbai Indians as ” probably the best innings ” he has seen.
The later half of the IPL brought in problems for this 37-year-old batsman when he was seen as a rusty batsman and even a slow fielder. Pathan’s part-time bowling also lost its usefulness and Kolkata released him in 2018. His below-average season with Hyderabad last year and a series of failures in domestic cricket has almost closed his case this year.
Yusuf scored 40 runs in 10 games at an average of 13.88 and had a strike-rate of 88.88 in IPL 2019.
2) Dale Steyn-
Age and injuries have marred the most prolific fast bowler world cricket has ever seen. The 36-year-old struggled with injuries and ended up playing only two matches for RCB in IPL 2019. The fearsome bowler was known for puzzling the best batsmen with swing and pace. He also missed what had to be his last World Cup in 2019 owing to an injury in the warm-up games.
The South African pacer hasn’t played enough games this year to fall in the bracket of any IPL squad. He will be well taken as a mentor instead, to guide young bowlers and create one like himself. His 96 wickets at a rate of 6.77 runs per over make him one of the best bowlers the league has seen but the probability of him being picked by a side has drastically shot down.
3) Mohit Sharma-
The Haryana pacer was a hit in his first two seasons with Chennai outlined by 20 wickets in his first and 23 in the following season. His tight line and smooth variations helped him transform into one of the best powerplay bowlers in the league. His form only crashed after CSK’s two-year ban, when he played for Punjab. Mohit had two mediocre seasons at Mohali and he failed to impress on his return to CSK. Mohit is another pacer who has been prone to regular injuries and breaks. He last played a recognizable game in April. Sharma has also missed the domestic season which results in no practice.
4) Barinder Sran:
This pacer from Punjab has continuously failed to match any of his franchise’s expectations and this makes him a regular member of the auction pool, looking into the face of uncertainty every year. He was picked by Dravid, who played him for a solitary game for the Royals. His predictable bowling and almost no variations make him the weak spot of a bowling attack.
After his no-so impressive stint with Punjab, SRH picked him to only play him after Ashish Nehra’s injury. Last year after another disappointing season with champions Mumbai Indians, he has come back into the pool. Sran was the pick of the young pacers in the early years of his career but he has lost his touch which sends him off- competition with other young pace guns around.
5) Yuvraj Singh:
Probably this southpaw is the biggest star of this list. His career has not only been a delight for Indian cricket but also earned respect worldwide. However, he has always struggled in the IPL due to poor form, first with Punjab and then with Pune Warriors and Hyderabad. Yuvraj was the hottest buy in the inaugural season of the IPL and his degrade is evident when he wasn’t signed in the first list last season.
His stint in Mumbai last year was a dry one. The only innings Singh played well was the first game when he scored a half-century but his side lost. Yuvraj’s woes are a clear example of how IPL works on form and not reputation. This year may be the one where this Punjab batsman will have to go unsold unless a miracle gets him into a squad.