Aakash Chopra feels Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness concerns might make it a tricky decision for the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to retain the seamer ahead of the IPL 2022 auction.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has suffered a spate of injuries in the recent past. While he missed the majority of IPL 2020, he was also sidelined for a couple of matches in the now-suspended current edition of the league.
Aakash Chopra: Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s Fitness Has Been An Issue As SRH Might Be In A Dilemma To Retain Him Or Not
While reflecting on SRH’s possible retention strategy in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out the franchise might be in a dilemma due to Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness issues.
“Hyderabad has Bhuvneshwar Kumar amongst the Indians to be retained, whom they might think about. But Bhuvi’s fitness has been an issue. If it persists like this, it will be a problem because the first retention might be for 17 crores and the second might be for 12-15 crores. Would he be available at the auction for a cheaper price, maybe yes, maybe not,” said Aakash Chopra.
The cricketer-turned-commentator-picked leg-spinner Rashid Khan is the first player SRH should look to retain.
“So in my opinion, Rashid Khan will be SRH’s first retention. He is going to be an expensive player although you want to keep more Indians in the retention list,” stated Aakash Chopra.
Rashid Khan has been SRH’s standout bowler over the last few seasons of the IPL. The Afghanistan leg-spinner has ten scalps in IPL 2021 to date, while the next highest wicket-taker for SRH has just four to his name. He has picked 85 scalps in only 69 IPL matches averaging an impressive 20.1 at an extraordinary economy rate of 6.23 and a strike rate of 19.34. His economic rate is the best in IPL history.
Aakash Chopra Feels SRH Should Retain David Warner
Aakash Chopra feels SRH should retain David Warner, discounting the southpaw’s somewhat insipid performances in IPL 2021 to date. He scored 193 runs in 6 games averaging 32.16 at a below-par strike rate of 110.28.
“Second could be Bhuvi but I might just want to go with David Warner. You can leave the current performance but he is a terrific player,” said Aakash Chopra.
The former KKR player concluded by picking Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kane Williamson as the two possible RTM options for SRH.
“You can use the RTM card for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. You can also use it for Kane Williamson. Other than them, I don’t feel you might have to think too much. You can let Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy go, you will be able to get them back,” signed off Chopra.
While the number of retentions is yet to be decided, the franchises might not have an option to retain more than two overseas players, including the ones via the RTM card. SRH will be able to retain either David Warner or Kane Williamson in such a scenario, assuming Rashid Khan is their first overseas pick.
SRH handed over the reins to Kane Williamson after suffering defeats in five of their six matches under David Warner’s leadership. However, the move did not yield immediate dividends as the Orange Army was handed a 55-run drubbing by the Rajasthan Royals.
With Jonny Bairstow and Kane Williamson in good form, SRH did not have any other option but to leave David Warner out of their playing XI. With 5447 runs, David Warner is fifth on the list of the leading run-getters in the IPL and the highest run-getter among overseas players.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly shelved its proposed 10-team plan for the next edition of the IPL in 2022. The Indian cricket board would go ahead with all the existing eight franchises in the next season as well. BCCI was planning a mega auction to add two more teams to the 2022 mega-auction.