IPL 2022: From Shikhar Dhawan to Shreyas Iyer, players teams can target for captaincy – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

The excitement is building up towards the new season of the Indian Premier League, this time even more, with two new teams in Lucknow and Ahmedabad joining the fray.

But before the tournament proper, there’s the IPL Auction, that is slated to be held on 12-13 February.

While the likes of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI) have retained key players MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma, who look set to lead their sides yet again, others like Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Punjab Kings are in search for a new captain.

Virat Kohli had announced that he would step down as RCB skipper but continue to be in the side, while KL Rahul was a big name released by Punjab after leading the side for the last two seasons.

Here are a few players who teams could target for captaincy:

Shikhar Dhawan

India opener Shikhar Dhawan was one of the big-name players to be released by his franchise, Delhi Capitals, along with former skipper Shreyas Iyer.

Dhawan is a proven run-scorer, be it for India, or even his IPL team. He’s been plying his trade for Delhi Capitals since 2019, and has found himself among the top five run-getters in five of the last six IPL seasons.

File image of Shikhar Dhawan. Sportzpics

It’s worth noting that Dhawan was captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013, when he led them in the now-defunct Champions League Twenty20 tournament. While he took them past the qualifying stage, the Hyderabad-based franchise endured a disappointing fourth place finish in the group stage.

Dhawan once again went on to captain SRH, during the 2014 IPL, however midway through that season, SRH relieved him of captaincy and was replaced by Darren Sammy. During his time as SRH captain in IPL 2014, Dhawan only managed four wins in 10 matches.

Dhawan’s latest captaincy stint on the big stage came when he led India to a 2-1 series win over Sri Lanka in July last year, but succumbed to Sri Lanka by the same scoreline in the ODIs.

Punjab Kings are without a skipper having released KL Rahul at the end of last season. Rahul enjoyed a prolific run since joining Punjab Kings in 2018, collecting 2548 runs across the four seasons. He took over captaincy duties in 2020, and led them to 11 victories in 27 matches (Win per cent of 44.44).

What Punjab will need is an experienced campaigner of great calibre who can produce runs and a leader who can take that extra effort and procure results for his team, and despite his shaky spell at SRH as captain, Dhawan could still be one of the prime candidates for the Punjab Kings.

Shreyas Iyer

Just like Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer was another marquee name released by Delhi Capitals ahead of the IPL mega auction.

Shreyas joined the Delhi franchise in 2015 (then Delhi Daredevils), and since then, he has gone on to become one of their most prolific run-getters in the IPL. In his debut IPL season, he aggregated 439 runs from 14 matches, and his best season came in 2020 when he scored 519 runs.

However, the 27-year-old was forced out of the first half of last year’s IPL due to a shoulder injury he suffered in March. Rishabh Pant took over the mantle of DC skipper and led them to nine wins in 16 games (Win per cent of 59).

Although Shreyas returned to playing for DC in the second half of the tournament in September last year, Pant continued to lead the side, and eventually, he was released from the side.

According to an ESPNCricinfo report last November, Shreyas wanted to lead Delhi again, but with Pant having the management’s backing, it was a hard call.

However, Shreyas could have a go at another captaincy stint, having opted to go back to the auction pool. According to a Times of India report, Iyer is being eyed as a potential skipper by RCB, but KKR and PBKS might also bid for him.

“Post Virat Kohli quitting the RCB captaincy, RCB are really interested in having Iyer as their next captain. Expect them to bid aggressively for the Mumbaikar in next month’s auction in Bangalore,” a source close to the development was quoted as saying by Times of India.

David Warner

Australia’s David Warner will be hoping to start afresh with a new team in 2022. In the 2021 edition, Warner was sacked as the skipper of Sunrisers Hyderabad owing to poor results, and much worse, he was overlooked from the team’s playing XI.

File image of David Warner. Sportzpics

File image of David Warner. Sportzpics

Not to forget, Warner had some memorable days at the Hyderabad franchise, leading the 2016 SRH side that went on to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the final to clinch their maiden IPL trophy.

Warner was second on the run-scorers list that season, with 848 runs, behind RCB’s Virat Kohli (973).

Warner initially took over as SRH skipper in 2015 but missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons due to his role in the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town.

Warner played just eight matches last season, scoring just 195 runs, as SRH finished at the very bottom of the table with six points.

Despite his disappointing display last season, Warner’s captaincy record at SRH shows a win per cent of 53.73 (35 wins out of 67 matches)

KKR retained four players ahead of the upcoming auctions, with West Indians Andre Russell and Sunil Narine being among the same, but Eoin Morgan’s name was not there on that list, meaning he will too go straight into the auction.

Eoin Morgan led a remarkable KKR comeback in the second half of last season, where they reached the final (Losing to CSK).

However, a vacancy in a captaincy option would mean David Warner become a potential candidate to lead KKR.

KKR went on with captaincy experience when they named Eoin Morgan as skipper, and they could continue doing the same with Warner, who is also known for his batting prowess when he gets into the groove.

Eoin Morgan

England’s Eoin Morgan may not have had a successful stint as a batter in the 2021 IPL, but he helped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) script a remarkable turnaround to reach the final of the tournament.

However, what came as a setback was Morgan not being retained by the Kolkata franchise, meaning he is all but set to enter the auction pool.

Morgan, however, had a disappointing run with the bat last season, scoring just 133 runs from 17 matches at an average of merely over 11.

Much like Warner, Morgan will be looking for a fresh start with possibly a new team.

Since taking over as KKR skipper in 2020 from Dinesh Karthik, Morgan has a win percentage of 47.91, with 11 victories in 24 matches.

Teams like RCB and PBKS might keep an eye on a player of a calibre like Eoin Morgan, especially RCB, who will be looking to fill in that vacant middle-order spot with AB de Villiers now having hung up his boots.

Morgan, 35, may be past his prime but one can expect a bidding war for the World Cup-winning England skipper.

Jason Holder

He may not be a clear favourite for captaincy in the IPL but West Indies’ Jason Holder is a vastly experienced campaigner. There will be some teams who will be looking for a player of his experience, come the IPL 2022 mega auction.

Holder may not have had a distinguished IPL career so to say, but the last two seasons for him in the cash-rich league has been productive with the ball-14 and 16 wickets in the 2020 and 2021 seasons respectively.

RCB are known for producing fast-bowling all-rounders, and Jason Holder might be a good fit for the Bengaluru franchise.

Bengaluru have produced players like Kyle Jamieson and Chris Morris, and with the two not taking part in the tournament due to different reasons, Holder might be a perfect choice.

Holder could even provide support to Mohammed Siraj with the new ball, and could be a game-changer in the death overs.

RCB are known to build around experienced international captains, and with Kohli having relinquished captaincy, there seems to be a vacant spot there, but it may not be as easy. Expect a bidding war for Holder at the auctions.

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