Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra 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 excluded two of the franchise’s IPL 2021 stars in naming four Indians that he feels are most likely to be retained.
Talking about the retention list on his YouTube channel, Aakash opined that RCB will retain Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, and Devdutt Padikkal. He excluded Harshal Patel, who was the Purple Cap winner in IPL 2021, a season that helped the 30-year-old break into the Indian T20I team for the first time. He picked 32 wickets in 15 games at 14,34 and at an economy rate of 8.14.
“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 explained that if RCB pick Siraj, they will be looking at a long-term prospect rather than Harshal, 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.
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 admitted that he is worried about his consistency and would rather not take chances.
“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 team will be allowed to retain up to four players from their IPL 2021 squads. This can include up to three Indian players or a maximum of two overseas players, meanwhile, 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.