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IPL 2022 Mega Auction: Ashwin, Boult, Warner, Shreyas and du Plessis — where could these marquee players go next?

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IPL 2022 Mega Auction: Ashwin, Boult, Warner, Shreyas and du Plessis — where could these marquee players go next?

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Over the course of two pieces, we bring to you everything you need to know about these 10 players and also try and  guess where they could be heading next. In the first piece, we look at Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, David Warner, Shreyas Iyer and Faf du Plessis.

IPL 2022 Mega Auction: Ashwin, Boult, Warner, Shreyas and du Plessis — where could these marquee players go next?
The 2022 Indian Premier League Mega Auction is scheduled for February 12 and 13. The upcoming auction will be keenly watched, as the existing eight teams have had to release most of their players. On the auction days, the eight teams will be joined by the two entrants to the IPL--the Lucknow Super Giants and the as-yet-unnamed Ahmedabad team.
These 10 teams will look to rebuild their squad nearly from scratch. If whispers are to be believed, then the 2022 Mega Auction are is likely going to be the last big auction that we could witness before a season of the IPL--the competition could soon be moving to a club football-like format with mid- or post-season transfers and grooming local players.
Over a thousand players have registered themselves for the 2022 auction.
Of all the players that will go under the hammer for the auction, the lens will be sharply focused on 10 "marquee" players: Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Pat Cummins, Shikhar Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Faf du Plessis, Shreyas Iyer, David Warner, Mohammad Shami and Quinton de Kock. The fight--or lack of it--over these players will make for riveting watching and could even rival your favourite television drama.
Each player commands a base price of Rs 2 crore and, without exception, is each a phenomenal talent that has done wonders for his national team.
Over the course of two pieces, we bring to you everything you need to know about these 10 players and also try and  guess where they could be heading next.
In the first piece, we look at Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, David Warner, Shreyas Iyer and Faf du Plessis.
1. Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (Image: www.iplt20.com) Ravichandran Ashwin (Image: www.iplt20.com)
Ravichandran Ashwin is an IPL veteran, having played 167 games representing four teams along the way. Ashwin is the sixth-highest wicket-taker in the league with 145 wickets to his name. Ashwin has an IPL career economy of just 6.91, which is the second-best among the top 10 wickets-takers in the league. Ashwin also has captaincy experience , having let the Kings XI Punjab (now rechristened as Punjab Kings) in the 2018 and 2019 campaigns. Ahead of the 2020 season of the IPL, Ashwin was traded to Delhi Capitals.
For the two seasons that Ashwin stayed at the Capitals, his off-spin was overshadowed by some brilliant pace bowling. In the 2019 season, the South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje combined to take 52 wickets. Rabada with 30 scalps and Nortje with 22 wickets were the team's highest and second-highest wicket-takers, respectively. In comparison, Ashwin picked up only 13 wickets that season. Last year, upcoming pace sensation Avesh Khan finished as the team's leading wicket-taker with  24 wickets. Ashwin was off-colour last season too, managing to take only seven wickets from 13 matches. Moreover, Ashwin lost his place as the team's strike spinner to Axar Patel. Ashwin was released by Delhi Capitals, as the 2020 finalists retained Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Prithvi Shaw, and Anrich Nortje.
Which teams could bid for R Ashwin in auction?
Once Ashwin's name comes up for auction we could very well witness an intense tussle for the player between his home franchise Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad, and Rajasthan Royals. Ashwin's star started rising when he started playing under the tutelage of MS Dhoni at CSK. But ever since he left CSK, Ravindra Jadeja assumed the mantle of the team's lead spinner. But the team has been unable to fit in a backup spinner for Jadeja. Although Imran Tahir and Mitchell Santner have been part of the CSK squad, but they have been not been able to make playing XI as they use up an overseas spot. CSK players would love to see Ashwin back in the team's yellow jersey and bowl in tandem with Jadeja.
Yuzvendra Chahal is RCB's all-time top wicket-taker with 139 wickets. But he was surprisingly left out from the team's retention list ahead of the auction. RCB could look to buy back Chahal and also bring in Ashwin as a second spinner. Over the years, Chahal has been the only premium spinner in the RCB ranks. In Ashwin, RCB could also have a player who could lead the team.
Rashid Khan became synonymous with SRH, but the superstar spinner decided to join the Ahmedabad franchisee for the 2022 season. In such a scenario, SRH would be looking to replace for a topline spinner. Given Ashwin's experience and his ability to bowl in the Powerplay like Rashid, Ashwin could be a decent enough replacement for Rashid.
Last season, Rajasthan Royals came up with an entertaining bunch of fast bowlers in form of Chris Morris, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman and Kartik Tyagi. A season before that, Jofra Archer was the team's leading wicket-taker. But the team lacked quality spinners. Shreyas Gopal had a poor season last year and Rahul Tewatia is not a genuine spinner. In the past few seasons, it has only been the fast bowlers who have delivered the goods. for the team. It would do the team a world of good if they are able to bring into their fold a quality spinner. Hence the team could bid hard for Ashwin.
2. Trent Boult
Trent Boult (Image: Ravichandran Ashwin (Image: www.iplt20.com)) Trent Boult (Image:: www.iplt20.com)
In the past two seasons, left-arm pacer Trent Boult has been very good for Mumbai Indians (MI) and has complemented Jasprit Bumrah well.  In the 2020 season, Boult picked up 25 wickets and was the third-highest wicket-taker of the season behind Kagiso Rabada and Bumrah. Last season,. Boult's form dipped a bit, but still, the Kiwi took 13 wickets and was MI's third-best bowler of the season in terms of wickets.  In 62 IPL matches, Boult has taken 76 wickets at an average of 26.09.
Boult did nothing wrong to not be retained by MI. But the rules of the league forced the five-time champions to retain Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard.
Which teams could bid for Boult in the IPL 2022 auction?
It has almost become habitual for the IPL fans to see Boult opening the bowling for MI. Although MI have not retained Boult, they are very likely to bid hard and do everything possible to get him back.
Boult could turn out to be one of the biggest earners at the IPL 2022 auction as he could attract attention from almost all the teams. A quality left-arm pacer improves the balance of the team and Boult is the only premium left-arm pacer amongst the 10 marquee players.
3.  David Warner
David Warner (Image: www.iplt20.com) David Warner (Image: www.iplt20.com)
Australia's David Warner is an IPL great. With fifty half-centuries, the left-handed opener holds the record for the most fifties by a batter in the IPL. Warner is also the leading overseas run-scorer with 5,449 runs to his name. The opener has won IPL's coveted Orange Cap on three occasions, in 2015, 2017 and in 2019.  Warner also finds his name in the list of batsmen with most fours in the tournament's history. Warner has hit 525 fours--third-highest in the IPL and the highest by an overseas batsman. Batting records aside, Warner also led Sunrisers Hyderabad to a title win in 2016.
However, IPL 2021 turned out to be a nightmarish experience for the Aussie. Warner struggled to get runs and could only muster 195 runs from eight innings at an average of 24.37. Warner's poor form with the bat resulted in him losing his first captaincy, and subsequently his spot in SRH's playing XI.  Warner's poor show caused the team management to lose confidence in him. Ahead of the IPL 2022 mega auction, Warner was released by the franchisee.
Which teams could bid for David Warner in the IPL 2022 auction?
David Warner is a proven opener in the IPL and has plenty of captaincy experience. The teams that could go bid heavily for Warner are CSK, RCB, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Punjab Kings. CSK  could go for Warner as they have a history of overseas batsmen opening the innings. RCB don't have a regular opener in the three players they have retained. The team could also bank Warner for his captaincy after Virat Kohli relinquished the captaincy at the end of last season. In a surprise move, KKR let go of star opener Shubhman Gill ahead of the auction. The team is also looking for a captain as the four players retained by the team, Andre Russell, Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer and Sunil Narine, don't have proven leadership experience. KL Rahul, who led Punjab Kings for two seasons, has moved his base to Lucknow Super Giants. Hence Punjab Kings are in search of a player who could tag along with Mayank Agarwal to open the innings.
4. Shreyas Iyer
Delhi Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer plays a shot during the VIVO IPL T20 cricket match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals in Bangalore, India, Sunday, April 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi) Shreyas Iyer (Image: Reuters)
It would have been hard for Delhi Capitals to let go of Shreyas Iyer but eventually, the choice had to be made. The attacking top-order batsman has only played for Delhi Capitals up until the previous season and had emerged as one of the team's most consistent batters.
Iyer was picked by Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in the 2015 auction for a staggering sum of Rs 2.6 crores. Iyer immediately impressed as he scored 439 runs in the season, finishing as the team's top scorer. The fine run with the bat won Iyer the Emerging Player of the Season award that year. In 2018, Gautam Gambhir stepped down from Delhi Daredevil's captaincy in the middle of the season as the team found itself sitting at the bottom of the table with just a single win from six matches. The team appointed Iyer  the new captain. The period between 2017 to 2020 was Iyer's golden run for the team as he consistently finished among the top-three run-getters for the team in each of these four seasons.
However, a shoulder injury disrupted Iyer's stunning run. Ahead of the 2021 season, the batsman injured his shoulder while playing an ODI against England. Iyer was initially ruled for the entire season, but he made a comeback as the 2021 IPL season resumed in the second half of the year in the UAE following a COVID-forced interruption.  The Capitals anointed Rishabh Pant the skipper in Iyer's absence. On his return, Iyer could not get back the captaincy as the team management continued with Pant at the helm of affairs.
Iyer clearly sees himself leading an IPL team. But once it became clear to him that Pant will continue as DC's captain for years to come, he decided to part ways with the team.
Which teams could bid for Shreyas Iyer in the IPL 2022 auction?
IPL teams are aware of Iyer's ambition to head an IPL team. Seven of the 10 teams have their captaincy issue sorted. Kane Williamson will lead SRH. Rohit Sharma will continue to be the captain of MI. PBKS will very likely promote Mayank Agarwal as the team's new captain. Lucknow Super Giants will be headed by KL Rahul. The team from Ahemdabad will be captained by Hardik Pandya. DC will continue with Rishabh Pant as the skipper.
The three teams where the leadership role is up for grabs are CSK, RCB and KKR.
MS Dhoni is nearing the end of his IPL career. Once Dhoni retires, CSK will have a massive hole to fill. So CSK could go for Iyer and groom his leadership skills under Dhoni. And once Dhoni retires, Iyer could be promoted as the long-term skipper of the team. Iyer could also fill the No 3 spot nicely for the team, a position which was commanded by Suresh Raina over the years. CSK have released the ageing Raina and would be looking to fill that gap with fresh legs. Hence CSK could be a possible destination for Iyer.
RCB too are looking for a player to take the torch from Kohli. If the team does manage to acquire Iyer, then he could be immediately appointed  the captain. Moreover, a batting order comprising Kohli, Iyer and Maxwell looks like an enticing option for the team.
KKR is the third team looking for a captain. Another reason for KKR to sign Iyer is to fill the gap of a star Indian batter. Shubhman Gill is no longer part of KKR and Iyer is almost a perfect option.
5. Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis (Trent Boult (Image: Ravichandran Ashwin (Image: www.iplt20.com) Faf du Plessis (Trent Boult (Image: Ravichandran Ashwin (Image: www.iplt20.com)
Faf du Plessis is a seasoned campaigner and has become a globe-trotting T20 player. Du Plessis had a stellar 2021 season along with fellow CSK opener Ruturaj Gaikwad. The South African batter scored 633 runs and was the season's second-highest run-getter. In the 2020 season was CSK's top run-getter collecting 449 runs from 13 innings. Du Plessis is a brilliant fielder too and has been part of two successful IPL campaigns with CSK.
Far du Plessis has played 100 IPL games and has plenty of experience leading T20 teams. The form that du Plessis showed in 2021, it would have been a very tough call for the CSK team management to not retain the South African.
Which teams could bid for Faf du Plessis in the IPL 2022 auction?
According to former Aussie spinner Brad Hogg, du Plessis will be one of the most sought-after player in the auction.
According to Hogg, although CSK will try hard to get back du Plessis, they will have to face stiff competition from RCB, PBKS and KKR. Speaking on du Plessis on his YouTube channel, Hogg said:  "He has leadership skills as well, which is why the other three teams (RCB, PBKS and KKR) will look to bring him in."
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