In a shocking development ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction, a report has emerged claiming KL Rahul could part ways with his current IPL franchise Punjab Kings. Rahul joined the Mohali-based franchise in 2018 and has been a cornerstone of the team since then.
The right-hander played under Ravichandran Ashwin for two years before taking over the leadership role in IPL 2020. Rahul led the Kings from the front in the 2020 season, winning the Orange Cap award. In IPL 2021 as well, the PBKS captain was the highest run-scorer during the league phase of the tournament.
— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) October 12, 2021
Many fans believed Rahul would be the only player retained by Punjab Kings before the IPL 2022 mega auction. However, it seems the Indian batter could be in the auction pool as well. On that note, here are three teams that could target him at the auction.
#1. Royal Challengers Banglore (RCB)
KL Rahul could return to his first Indian Premier League franchise, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), ahead of the 2022 IPL season. Rahul played exceptionally well for RCB in 2016. However, the franchise did not retain him for the 2018 season.
Rahul belongs to Karnataka, and the only Karnataka-based franchise in the IPL will need a new captain next season. Former RCB speedster Dale Steyn had earlier predicted that Rahul could be one of the candidates to take over the reins of RCB from Virat Kohli.
#2. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
Many fans will recall that KL Rahul has also represented the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in his IPL career. In fact, SRH traded him to RCB prior to the 2016 IPL season.
Like RCB, SRH will likely also appoint a new captain for the 2022 season. The Orange Army finished last in IPL 2021. Then David Warner could be released from the team, and KL Rahul, in that case, would be an excellent replacement. for the Australian. Both Rahul and Warner have similar roles in the batting lineup.
The learning has been immense and I am so proud of the boys. Together as a team we fought and always strived to give our best. It's been an honour to lead the team and I thank each one of you for your support. 🦁❤️@PunjabKingsIPL pic.twitter.com/R17e8QBGSE
— K L Rahul (@klrahul11) October 9, 2021
Hyderabad needs a captaincy option, as well as a reliable Indian starter, and KL Rahul ticks both boxes. Therefore, SRH could opt for Rahul in the IPL mega auction next year.
#3. Rajasthan Royals (RR)
Rajasthan Royals are another franchise that needs an Indian opener as well as a captain. Sanju Samson did not have a great outing as captain in the IPL 2021 season. In case the Royals opt for a complete revamp of their squad for the 2022 season, they could spend big on KL Rahul at the mega auction.
RR has not reached the IPL final since the competition’s inaugural season. If they wish to achieve success in the upcoming season, they should try to target someone like KL Rahul and build a team around him. It will be exciting to see which team ends up signing Rahul if the Punjab Kings do not retain him.