New franchises and new squads for IPL 2022 means that among the most important roles that will be earmarked at the mega auction will be captaincy. The IPL Mega Auction takes place on 12 and 13 February in Bengaluru and quite a few teams are in there needing a new skipper.
The likes of highly decorated Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings of course are pretty sure of their captains in Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni, but a team like Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders need to find another skipper.
While RCB have retained Virat Kohli, he has relinquished the captaincy and Eoin Morgan has been released by KKR.
The two new franchises too have their captains locked in with Hardik Pandya set to lead Ahmedabad and KL Rahul taking on the role at the Lucknow Super Giants. One expects Sunrisers Hyderabad to hand over the duties to Kane Williamson while Delhi Capitals are likely to go the Rishabh Pant way again.
Punjab Kings, KKR, RCB and Rajasthan Royals will be keen to sign on the best possible candidate for captaincy and have a fair few options to work with.
One of the absolute stars in the history of the IPL, Australian David Warner’s previous season was the most forgettable as off-field matters saw SRH strip him off captaincy. However, before that Warner had been talismanic as he led SRH to their maiden title in 2016 after taking over in 2015.
While the ball-tampering scandal meant Warner missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons, his overall record as captain of SRH has seen him win 35 games out of 67.
The Australian’s abilities as a batter at the top of the order is well documented and in a year where the men’s T20 World Cup will be held in his backyard, Warner will be eyeing a good IPL season too.
All in all setting it up perfectly for franchises to cash in on his determination, especially after the disappointing season last year. The Australian is known to lead from the front and is likely to be one of the most prized players due to his captaincy coupled with his destructive abilities with the bat.
The West Indies cricketer is currently in India playing a white-ball series and has started off well. While he has not been the most impactful in terms of an IPL career yet, Jason Holder is vastly experienced and is not new to a leadership role.
The fast bowling all-rounder has picked 30 wickets in his last two seasons in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad and can do a fair bit of damage with the bat as well.
In recent months, Holder has stood out in his performances for the WI team as well and the experience along with ability that he brings to the table make him an asset. He can not only support the new ball bowlers but can be a dangerous customer in the final phase of the innings, with both the bat and ball.
Add to that a good cricketing brain, and Holder might well spark off a bidding war at the Auctions.
The England captain has led his national team quite well and was one of the important factors as KKR turned their season around in IPL 2021. However, the problem for Morgan last year was his poor run of form in the IPL scoring just 133 runs from 17 matches at an average of merely over 11.
But, since taking over as KKR skipper in 2020 from Dinesh Karthik, Morgan has a win percentage of 47.91, with 11 victories in 24 matches.
The England batter though can be quite dangerous with the bat when in-form. However, even though that has not been his friend in recent months, Morgan’s captaincy makes him a big plus for any team.
Like Warner, he too will be looking turn over a new leaf and at 35 will be eager to do so sooner than later.
The Indian middle-order batter was one of the most prolific scorers for the Delhi Capitals in recent years with 2020 being his best season for the team. As captain, Shreyas led from the front, scoring 519 runs and driving Delhi to the final of the tournament, where they were defeated by Mumbai Indians.
Shreyas was expected to lead in the following season too but injury forced him out of the side. While reports suggested, Shreyas wanted to captain Delhi again, the team backed Rishabh Pant for the job. He returned for the second half of IPL 2021 but it was Pant who continued as captain before Iyer was released later on by Delhi.
According to a Times of India report, Iyer is being eyed as a potential skipper by RCB, but KKR and PBKS might also bid for him.
“Post Virat Kohli quitting the RCB captaincy, RCB are really interested in having Iyer as their next captain. Expect them to bid aggressively for the Mumbaikar in next month’s auction in Bangalore,” a source close to the development was quoted as saying by Times of India.