Aakash Chopra, former Indian opener turned commentator, on Tuesday placed his predictions for the four players Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) might retain ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2022) auction.
Aakash Chopra excluded two of the franchise’s IPL 2021 stars in naming four Indians that he feels are most likely to be retained for the next IPL 2022. Talking about the retention list on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra opined that RCB will retain Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, and Devdutt Padikkal.
Aakash Chopra: It Will Be A Toss Up Between Harshal Patel And Mohammed Siraj, But RCB May Feel To Retain The Latter
He excluded Harshal Patel, who was the Purple Cap winner in the last IPL 2021, a season that helped the 30-year-old break into the Indian T20I team for the first time. He picked up as many as 32 wickets in 15 games, making him the highest Indian wicket-taker in a single season and joint-most with Dwayne Bravo.
Mohammed Siraj who has picked 50 scalps in as many IPL matches, picked up 11 scalps in 15 appearances averaging 32.09 in IPL 2021, but RCB lost the Eliminator to runners-up KKR despite the two pacers’ excellent performances.
“Virat Kohli and Yuzi Chahal will be my first two choices. If I have two more in my hand, I will try for Mohammed Siraj and Devdutt Paddikal. These will be my four. I will think about these four for sure. In fact, I can think about Harshal as well – Siraj/Harshal,” he said.
Adding more to his final choice, Aakash Chopra explained that if RCB pick Mohammed Siraj, they will be looking at a long-term prospect rather than Harshal Patel, which is more of a two-season vision.
“It might be a toss-up between Harshal Patel and Mohammed Siraj. You can look at Siraj with a slightly more long-term vision. Harshal, the way he is developing, the last 12 months have been extremely good, so maybe Harshal Patel. But then you are looking at three seasons, not just one or two,” he explained.
Harshal Patel was able to bag 32 wickets in just 15 IPL 2021 games at an average of 14.34 economy of 8.14 and strike rate of 10.56. His best bowling figure was 5/27. Harshal Patel won the Gamechanger of the season, Most Valuable Player of the season, and Purple Cap award during his sensational run.
Aakash Chopra Doesn’t Want To Retain Glenn Maxwell For Not Having 100% Confidence In His Consistency
With AB de Villiers retiring from all formats of the game, many expect RCB to retain Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, who was one of their top performers last season. He scored 513 runs, his second-highest run-tally in an IPL season after 2012, at 42.75 and at a strike rate of 144.10 with six half-centuries. But Aakash Chopra admitted that he is worried about his consistency and would rather not take chances.
Glenn Maxwell had a poor IPL outing in 2020 (for KXIP at UAE), managing just 108 runs in 13 matches averaging a pathetic 15.42, but managed to earn big bucks when RCB signed him for a whopping INR 14.25 crore.
“You might be thinking about Glenn Maxwell, why am I not wanting to retain him. It is because I don’t have hundred percent confidence. He is doing very well but I don’t know if he will continue doing that. So, I don’t want to take that chance,” he explained.
According to the retention rules, each IPL team will be allowed to retain up to four players from their IPL 2021 squads. This means a franchise can include up to three Indian players or a maximum of two overseas players, whereas the two new franchises – Ahmedabad and Lucknow – will be allowed to make their picks of three players from the pool of un-retained players ahead of the auction.