IPL 2023 Auction: 3 Franchises That Can Buy Mayank Agarwal At The Auction
Punjab Kings decided to part ways with their captain from IPL 2022, Mayank Agarwal, and released him along with 8 other players as they prepare for the IPL 2023 auction, slated for December 23 in Kochi.
Despite being an experienced campaigner in the IPL and also part of the Indian Test side until earlier this year, Punjab, headed by new coach Trevor Bayliss, moved away from Agarwal for a couple of reasons. They have named Shikhar Dhawan as their new captain for IPL 2023.
Leading for the first time as Punjab’s full-time skipper after KL Rahul’s departure, under Agarwal, Punjab finished 6th in the points table. The right-hander had a dismal time with the bat in IPL 2022: 196 runs in 13 matches at an average of 16, and even pushed himself down the order to have Dhawan and Bairstow open.
Also, perhaps Punjab felt Agarwal’s hefty retention price of 14 crores was too much. Punjab will have the chance to buy back Agarwal in the auction, but a few other teams will also line up to gain the services of the experienced Agarwal, who has in the past shown selflessness in being willing to be aggressive and play risky shots.
Here are 3 teams (other than Punjab) who might go after Mayank Agarwal in the IPL 2023 auction:
Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR released 16 players in all, including a number of opening options like Aaron Finch, Alex Hales, KS Bharat, Sam Billings, Baba Indrajith, and Ajinkya Rahane - all of whom opened last season. This might mean that KKR has decided Venkatesh Iyer will be opening the innings for them, after being pushed around the order last season due to his poor form.
KKR would want a stable and experienced opener who can not only play attacking but also anchor the innings when needed. They don’t have a lot of money in the purse left, though, so they might pursue Agarwal in the IPL 2023 auction if not many other teams chase the opener.
KKR struggled with proper opening options last season and nailing down that one position would be their priority. Agarwal seems a good player to go after for KKR in the auction.
Sunrisers Hyderabad made an interesting move to drop their skipper Kane Williamson, who opened for them in 12 matches last season. Williamson’s retention price of 14 crores and his poor form in 2022 forced SRH to release him, though they could buy him back.
This opens up the opening slot at SRH as the partner of Abhishek Sharma. Mayank Agarwal could see a lot of interest from SRH at the auction table. What Agarwal gives over Williamson is an Indian flamboyant opening option for SRH. And even if SRH buys back Williamson at a lower price, the Kiwi batter will be happy to slot in at number 3 and anchor the innings as he does for New Zealand rather than risking himself to the new ball as an opener and doesn’t have to bat in an attacking manner in the powerplay, a job Agarwal has shown he’s capable of doing.
There is plenty of upside for SRH to buy Mayank Agarwal at the IPL 2023 auction.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Is there a homecoming in the stars for Mayank Agarwal? It could very well be. For a return to RCB - his home city franchise of which he was part in 2011, 2012, and 2013 - could benefit both RCB and Agarwal.
RCB’s top three last season - Faf du Plessis, Anuj Rawat, and Virat Kohli - were often behind the game with their conservative approach, even at times in the powerplay. Agarwal brings in the combative nature of a belligerent opening approach, and the flat pitch at the Chinnaswamy Stadium will also suit his kind of player who likes to play his strokes with freedom.
Another factor that might force RCB to ponder over roping in Mayank Agarwal is that he could be their captaincy replacement for Faf du Plessis, who will be 39 soon after the IPL next year concludes.