2020 IPL Auction is fast approaching with fans fantasizing about the numerous combinations possible. While IPL Retentions did throw a few surprises in releases, a few retentions also turned heads. A number of factors go into the IPL Retentions. While local and overseas status is one, talent and belief in one’s ability could also be another telling factor. Over the years, there are cases of teams benefiting from such moves. Prior to IPL 2011, Virat Kohli was the only one retained by RCB. Although they had the likes of Ross Taylor and Jacques Kallis in their ranks as well, Kohli was the lone retained player. Similarly, this year teams have taken a few punts. Regardless of performances in IPL 2018 and IPL 2019, certain franchises stuck to their guns. As part of SFL, here are three players who are lucky to be in the squad prior to 2020 IPL Auction.
1 Murali Vijay (Chennai Super Kings)
Murali Vijay is a bonafide CSK legend. His exploits in IPL 2011 and IPL 2012 are still fresh on everyone’s minds. Nevertheless, Murali Vijay isn’t the same player he was a couple of seasons ago. Originally picked in the side as a backup opener, Vijay hasn’t done too well with the chances he was given last season. In spite of his poor returns, Vijay’s retention is quite baffling. Although CSK already has a reserve opener in Ruturaj Gaikwad, Vijay was spared the axe. While his performances in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and TNPL 2019 are commendable, 2020 IPL is a different ball game. With his dwindling fortunes, Murali Vijay is a benefactor of CSK’s loyalty to its players prior to the 2020 IPL Auction.
2 Kamlesh Nagarkoti (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Injuries are part and parcel in the world of cricket. However, fame and injuries do not go hand in hand. Kamlesh Nagarkoti is one of India’s best fast bowling prospects. On the back of a successful Under-19 World Cup 2018, Kamlesh Nagarkoti found a place in the KKR roster. However, the pacer hasn’t played a game for the two times IPL champions owing to injuries. Bought for a hefty price, all the signs pointed towards a release prior to 2020 IPL Auction. But KKR management stuck with the youngster for one more season. Although they had a certain Sandeep Warrier in their ranks as well, they chose to stick with Nagarkoti and look to unleash him in IPL 2020. All in all, Nagarkoti would be a relieved man after being retained by KKR without any concrete reason for the aforementioned.
3 Mohammed Siraj (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
RCB oversaw an overhaul prior to the 2020 IPL Auction. One surprising name that still features for RCB is Mohammed Siraj. Having made his RCB debut in IPL 2018, Siraj has been good at times. His searing pace is his USP but this doesn’t make him worth being retained. His economy rate exceeds 8.5 and also doesn’t have the wickets to show for as well. While RCB looks hell-bent on improving their bowling reserves, Mohammed Siraj’s retention is baffling. While the experienced duo of Dale Steyn and Nathan Coulter-Nile were shown the exit door, Siraj’s status as a local talent seems to be the only reason he is set to skip the 2020 IPL Auction.