The eight existing Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises revealed their retention list. A total of 27 players were retained ahead of IPL 2022 auction, With two new teams set to be part of IPL 2022, teams are set for a complete overhaul.
Mumbai Indians had to release all-rounder Hardik Pandya who has played a key role in Mumbai Indians winning IPL in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. With Hardik set to go under the hammer, the Baroda-born all-rounder is set to be in high demand at the auction table.
Hardik Pandya has been troubled by injury issues and his batting form is also a concern. However, reports state that one of the 2 new IPL franchises would pick Hardik Pandya in Pre draft held before the IPL 2022 auction.
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As it looks, the newly drafted Ahmedabad-based franchise will pick Hardik Pandya but if he doesn’t get pre-pick draft, he will surely be on the radar of a few teams during IPL 2022 auction given the skills he brings to the table.
Here is a look at top 3 teams that might Bid for Hardik Pandya in the auction.
#3 Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB over the past few years have been looking for a pace-bowling all-rounders to strengthen their lower-middle order. They have tried a couple of options in the last few years but it didn’t work upto the potential.
RCB have retained Glenn Maxwell, who is spin bowling all-rounder and will be in search of a pace bowling all-rounder and Hardik Pandya perfectly suits the bill.
Although Hardik has not bowled to his full potential in recent times but with a lot of time for IPL 2022, he is expected to regain full fitness and resume bowling. The all-rounder from Baroda can turn out to be a real superstar in the RCB colours.
#2 Chennai Super Kings
CSK Have built their team most around the all-rounders be lt batsman who can bowl a few overs or bowlers who can bat. This time around as well, the MS Dhoni-led side have retained two all-rounders in Moeen Ali and Ravindra Jadeja before the IPL 20222 auction.
CSK captain and Former India captain MS Dhoni has always backed Hardik Pandya. Incidentally, Dhoni was the captain when Hardik made his international debut. The 41-year-old CSK captain knows Hardik in and out and it will not be a surprise if Chennai raise the bar adding Hardik to their squad for the next season.
#1 Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians have not retained Hardik ahead of IPL 2022 auction. Incidentally, Mumbai had identified Hardik and had picked him for a base price of INR 10 lakhs. He shined in the Mumbai jersey and made his way into the Indian side.
However, with a sharp dip in his form, the franchise has not retained Hardik for the new season. But considering the impact he has on the game, it won’t be a surprise if the franchise buy him again in the auction.
It will be interesting to see if Mumbai Indians bid for their favourite son yet again.