The Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to see two new teams from the upcoming edition in 2022. The most famous franchise tournament, IPL currently has eight teams but there were a few seasons where more than eight teams participated.
The IPL 2011 saw 10 teams compete with Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK) and Pune Warriors India (PWI) being the new teams. While the former lasted only one season, the Pune-based franchise played three seasons in a row (2011, 2012 and 2013).
Not to forget, when Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) were banned, two new teams – Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) and Gujarat Lions (GL) were introduced for two years.
Hence, we can once again witness two new teams as the IPL Governing Council plans to extend the number of teams to 10. Thus, assuming that there are two new teams for the 2022 edition of the IPL, here we look at five players who could possibly lead these two new teams.
1. David Warner
A few days before the suspension of the T20 Championship, 2016-champion Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) grabbed all the limelight as they sacked their skipper David Warner to make Kane Williamson the new leader of the squad. The management took a harsh call as the team was languishing at the last position on the points table with just one win from five games.
Not just this, but the team also decided to exclude Warner from playing XI in their last encounter against Rajasthan Royals. The decision was inspired by Warner’s poor run in the IPL 2021 with the willow. In six matches, the left-hander accumulated just 193 runs at an average of 32.16 and a strike rate of 110.28. Though SRH succumbed to defeat against Royals, the head coach made it clear that they will persist with the same playing XI.
The same is being considered as the end of David Warner’s stint in IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). The franchise is expected to release the Australian star batter ahead of the mega-auction for IPL 2022. The presence of Warner under the hammer will likely initiate a bidding war between the two new teams on the auction table.
With so much experience of the IPL, the skilled batsman can give his best if given a chance with another new team. Talking about his IPL stats, the skilled batsman has played 148 matches while producing whopping 5447 runs at an average of 42.22 and a strike rate of 140.13.
2. Steve Smith
The Australian batsmen is currently one of the best batters in the cricket world. He has been topping the batting tally for many years now. He was the Test skipper of the national Australia team before the Sandpaper gate saga tarnished his image in the cricketing world.
He has been the king of the limited-overs format. He has also enough experience of leading teams in the T20 format. He is currently with the Delhi Capitals and failed to fire for them even once. In the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, he was leading the Rajasthan Royals but failed to deliver goos results and hence was dropped.
Smith has a brilliant record in terms of captaincy, its just that this is not his time but he will surely bounce back in the game. With the kind of potential and strength he boasts of, one can not take him lightly. If a new team wishes to rope him as a skipper, it will not be a bad idea.
3. Suresh Raina
The IPL 2022 will witness a mega auction before its start. IPL mega auctions shuffle a lot of players and teams go through many changes during mega auctions. According to the rules, every team is allowed to retain only 5 players out of which 1 is an overseas player. Looking at the current squad of Chennai Super Kings, the franchise is expected to retain young guns like Ravindra Jadeja, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Sam Curran. The team can also use the Right to Match (RTM) card for Deepak Chahar and MS Dhoni.
In such a situation, Suresh Raina might be compromised by Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2022 mega auctions. Moreover, CSK pays whopping Rs. 11 crores to Raina for every IPL contract and the left-handed batsman has also retired from international cricket so he does not play continuous cricket. In such a case, many other franchises, including the new additions will seek to buy Suresh Raina. Given his international and IPL exposure, he would be good enough in captaincy role.