The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) got suspended midway due to the awful situation in India due to COVID-19. While there's uncertainty around the future of IPL, a mega auction is expected to be held ahead of IPL 2022. As per the IPL norms, the mega auction is scheduled after every three years. However, due to less time available between the last two seasons, the 2021 mega auction was postponed to be held in 2022 with the probable inclusion of two more teams. As a result, all the IPL teams can retain a maximum of three players ahead of IPL 2022 and will have to release all the other players to be available in the auction.
Chennai Super Kings is one such IPL franchise that will be most worried about the prospect of releasing their players for the 2022 IPL mega auction. With an eye over a three-year IPL cycle, CSK might not retain the likes of Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo for some youngsters who can serve the franchise in the upcoming few years. Raina, who has been an inseparable part of CSK in IPL, might not be retained by the franchise in IPL 2022. However, CSK would aim to get back the veteran IPL performer using Right To Match (RTM) but would certainly release him to enter the auction pool.
Here's a look at 3 players who can be retained by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) instead of Suresh Raina at the IPL 2022 Mega Auction:
1. Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad is one of the few Indian uncapped players who has earned a lot of praises in the last couple of IPL seasons. The CSK opener was in tremendous form with the bat and as he constantly helped CSK to good starts in IPL 2021. Despite being out of form in the first few matches, the CSK management showed enough faith in the youngster which later paid off with some brisk innings that he played at the top of the order.
Ruturaj can be one of the key players for CSK in the upcoming few IPL seasons. He plays spin very well and has shown his prowess to attack the fast bowlers. He's athletic in the field and with a calm head on his shoulders, it calls for a longer association with his current IPL franchise. Chennai Super Kings might consider Gaikwad as one of their retained players in IPL 2022 ahead of Suresh Raina.
2. Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis has been a constant in the CSK top-order for more than a few years now. The Proteas white-ball player seems to get better with age in terms of hitting abilities. Even in IPL 2021, du Plessis was at the top of his game with four fifties in the seven innings for his franchise. He was the leading run-scorer for CSK in 2021 and played a crucial in Chennai's dominant run in the truncated IPL season.
Given what he brings to the table, Chennai can surely look at the 36-year old to sustain for another three years in the IPL. He's a live wire in the field and brings a lot of T20 experience to his team. Faf also edges someone like Raina for being a constant feature in the South Africa white-ball teams while the latter has retired from the game. CSK can rely on the former Proteas skipper to sustain his penchant for run-scoring in the next years in the IPL.
3. Sam Curran
Chennai Super Kings roped in Sam Curran to address the lack of seam bowling all-rounder in their IPL squad. The English all-rounder was bought in the 2020 IPL auction and has been a regular feature in CSK playing since then. Under the leadership of MS Dhoni, CSK utilized Curran in different roles throughout the 2020 season. While he was more effective with the ball, he couldn't contribute a lot with the bat in hand.
However, in IPL 2021, Curran had a pre-defined role that saw him sharing the new ball duties on helpful tracks. He was even promoted up in the batting order in an attempt to finish games for his side. Looking at the future of CSK in the IPL. Sam Curran could be one of their key players going forward. As a result, Curran might be retained by CSK as part of their players ahead of the 2022 IPL mega auction.