There is a lot of T20 action remaining in the calendar year. While the Caribbean Premier League will get underway in some time, there is a lot of anticipation for the second leg of IPL 2021 which will be followed by the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. While fans are excited about the resumption of IPL 2021, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is already planning ahead and looking at the IPL 2022.
Earlier it was learned that a maximum of four players- either two overseas and two domestic players or three domestic and one overseas cricketers in the team- could be retained by the franchises ahead of the mega auction. More recently, it has come to the fore that only 3 players could be retained by respective teams.
Furthermore, it is being learned that the salaries of the three retained players will be deduced from their auction purses before heading into the auctions. The BCCI is also reportedly set to increase the purse from INR 85 crore to 90 crores with the addition of two new teams from next year. With all of this going on behind the scenes, here is a look at the possible players that Punjab Kings could retain before going into the auctions.
1. KL Rahul
There is very little doubt regarding the first name on that list. It is that of captain KL Rahul who has been amazingly consistent with the run-scoring at the top of the order. While his strike rate at times has become a matter of concern, that could be partially because he was bothered about the fact that their batting relies too much on him. However, with a chance to address that in the auctions, Rahul could bat with more liberty and treat his fans to a range of strokes coupled with exquisite timing.
2. Mohammed Shami
Mohammed Shami should get the nod ahead of other quality bowlers in the team simply because of his experience and the fact that he will be an India pacer. It is likely that only one overseas can be retained although this clause lacks clarity for now. Shami's only possible competitor for a retention birth could be Mayank Agarwal given that he is the another Indian player who has done well for the franchise. But since it is quite often that there is the problem of plenty in batting options and scarcity in quality bowling, the management may be temped to go ahead with Shami.
3. Nicholas Pooran
Despite his failures with the bat in his recent outings for Punjab Kings, Nicholas Pooran remains one of the highly-rated young cricketers. He can not only keep wickets but is electric on the field and can play the most audacious strokes. If they are looking to build a team for the future and have the option of just one overseas pick, Pooran can well beat the likes of Chris Gayle and others to book a place in the team ahead of the auctions.