IPL 2021: Big players who could be released on ‘Retention Day’

India is still on a high, a day after probably one of their greatest Test series wins — 2-1 win over Australia to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy — but now the focus shifts to Indian Premier League (IPL) for a day ahead of the England series. Ahead of the IPL mini-auction on February 11, the last date of player retention for the eight franchises is Wednesday (February 20).

The heroes of India’s triumph like Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar and T. Natarajan are going to prized assets for their franchises and are unlikely to be put back into the auction pool. However, there is strong speculation that some top players like Suresh Raina, Piyush Chawla, Glenn Maxwell, Kedar Jadhav, etc might not be retained by their respective teams. 

We take a look at some of the potential big names that might be released by the franchise on Wednesday…

1. Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings)

The former India soutpaw called time on his international career last year along with CSK skipper MS Dhoni. Raina walked out of the CSK bio-bubble ahead of IPL 2020 in the UAE due to ‘alleged’ issues with team management.

Raina, though, has been a proven match-winner for the franchise — scoring 5368 runs at an average of 33.34 from 193 IPL games at a strike-rate of 137.14. Age is not on Raina’s side though as he has already turned 34 and if CSK decide to release him it would free up Rs 11 crore in their purse.

2. Kedar Jadhav (Chennai Super Kings)

Raina is not the only senior player whose position is under threat in CSK. Jadhav also had a very modest outing in IPL 2020, scoring only 62 runs in eight games at a strike-rate of just 93.93. His failure with the willow was one of the reasons why CSK struggled throughout the last season.

If sources are to be believed the CSK management will have a word with skipper MS Dhoni before taking a call on Jadhav, who has a salary of Rs 7.8 crore. In his 87-game IPL career, Jadhav has 1141 runs with four fifties.

Apart from Jadhav, CSK are also considering two other former India stalwarts — Piyush Chawla who costs Rs 6.75 crore and opener Murali Vijay who comes with a salary of Rs 2 crore.

3. Steve Smith (Rajasthan Royals)

The Royals could take a massive call by deciding not to retain their skipper and former Australia captain Steve Smith. The prolific Australian bat commands a salary of Rs 12.5 crore but could not lift his side from the bottom-half of the points table last season.

In 14 games last season, Smith scored 311 runs with three fifties and a top score of 69 with a strike-rate of 131.22 but has been largely uninspirational as a skipper since he replaced Ajinkya Rahane.

4. Glenn Maxwell (Kings XI Punjab)

The KXIP team will be in a quandry about retaining or releasing Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. The Aussie big hitter, nicknamed ‘Big Show’, had a shocking time in IPL 2020 scoring only 108 runs from 13 games at an average of just 15.4.

Maxwell was bought at a whopping salary of Rs 10.75 crore but has failed to live up to his billing for KXIP. However, immediately after the IPL, Maxwell hit top form against India in the ODI series down under.

Apart from Maxwell, KXIP are also considering leaving out the likes of Karun Nair (Rs 5.6 crore), Sheldon Cotterell (Rs 8.5 crore) and Krishnappa Gowtham (Rs 6.2 crore).

5. Chris Morris (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

RCB skipper Virat Kohli could take a call on whether to retain big South African all-rounder Chris Morris for the upcoming season. Morris managed only 34 runs from 9 games in IPL 2020 although he did manage to pick up 11 wickets at an average of 19.09.

Morris, however, has a massive salary of Rs 10 crore and RCB will have to decide whether he is reaping the appropriate benefits. Apart from Morris, RCB could also take a close look at young Indian all-rounder Shivam Dube, who claimed a salary of Rs 5 crore but failed to shine with either bat or ball last year.

(IPL 2021 retention will be telecast live on Star Sports and Hotstar from 6pm onwards)

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Sagar Biswas

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