With upcoming cricketers pitching in with match-winning contributions consistently in the past year, the upcoming IPL auctions promises to be an enthralling affair.
Young guns and promising stars are likely to be in the limelight with a bidding war expected to ensure for more than a couple of players. With a bundle of new stars present, teams will have the option of filling the void in their side. Hence, it was surprising when a few franchises retained players who were unable to put up a decent show in 2018 when they would have found more consistent players from the IPL Auction pool.
Here are some of the worst retentions by sides for IPL 2019.
Harbhajan Singh (Chennai Super Kings)
The Turbanator, who is out of the international fray, had a torrid IPL 11, wherein he picked up only 7 wickets in 13 games, bowling with an average of 38.57. He was not economical as well, conceding runs at a rate of 8.48 per over. CSK spent almost 2 crores on the player, who is not even participating in the Ranji Trophy. The team from the south could have done well to ditch his services and brought on a younger star instead.
Rinku Singh (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Kolkata Knight Riders have plenty of international stars like Andre Russell, Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine in their mix along with a competitive bunch of Indian youngsters like Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana in the batting order. While these players have been rightly retained, the baffling retention was that of Rinku Singh’s, who played more as a substitute fielder in 2018. He hardly left an impact when he was given a chance in the playing 11, scoring only 29 runs in 4 games with a strike-rate of 93.54.
Colin Munro (Delhi Capitals)
At 1.9 crores, Colin Munro was considered as a steal in the IPL auctions earlier this year. The Kiwi player, who has three T20I tons to his name has a strike-rate of 161.23 in international 20-over games, and a lot was expected from the 31-year-old at the top for Delhi this year. However, he was underwhelming this season, scoring only 63 runs in 5 games. His inability to fire, along with Jason Roy’s inconsistency pushed the Delhi team on the backfoot, and with the star struggling in Indian wickets against spinners, the retention of Munro seems a strange step. Also, the Delhi Capitals side have a number of top-order batsmen like Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant and Shikhar Dhawan along with Shreyas Iyer who comes in at three or four. Retaining yet another opener in the form of Munro then is baffling.
Keiron Pollard (Mumbai Indians)
Though Pollard has been a match-winner for Mumbai over the years, his prowess was clearly on the wane this season. In 9 games, the West Indian star accumulated only 133 runs at a dismal average of 19 with only one fifty. The franchise was forced to drop him midway into the season and with him not contributing with the ball as well – he did not bowl a single ball the last season – Pollard bought for 5.40 crores, seems a debatable retention. Instead, Mumbai could have instead focused on procuring the services of Shimron Hetmyer or Sherfane Rutherford, who are in disastrous form at the moment.
Pawan Negi (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
After surprising all by retaining Sarfraz Khan ahead of the 2018 season (the player has been released by them for 2019), RCB sprung another shocker as they retained Pawan Negi, who had a disastrous IPL campaign this season. The player got to play only 2 matches, where he scored just 3 runs and picked up a solitary wicket. At 1 crore, Negi might prove to be an expensive retention.