Contemplating Challengers’ Captaincy Conundrum
Written by: Prithvi (@Puneite_)
After two days of high intensity, action-packed drama, IPL 2022 Mega Auction has come to an end in Bangalore with 204 players securing slots in 10 teams. There were 137 Indian players and 67 overseas players. There was a spending spree among the Franchise owners who lavishly spent crores while fiercely competing with each other to build the best teams. A staggering 551.7 crore was spent by the ten franchises
Almost every team knows who is going to lead them in the tournament except for Punjab Kings and RCB who are yet to name their new captain. KKR have announced Shreyas Iyer as their new captain and Punjab Kings are looking towards Shikhar Dhawan and Mayan Agarwal as possible options. Fans and pundits are busy with all sorts of permutations and combinations to post their best possible XI of every team. And of course the million dollar question going around since last week is “Who Should be RCB’s new captain? ” From local boys Rahul Dravid to Anil Kumble, from appointing the most expensive player Kevin Pietersen in 2009 to the Kiwi legend Daniel Vettori in 2011 and at last handing the reigns to Virat Kohli in mid 2012, RCB has failed to win that coveted prize under everyone.
Coming to the auctions, at no point it looked like RCB are hunting for a new captain. It did not reflect in their strategy or it was a result of the auction dynamics that forced them not to. RCB did not go all-out after Shreyas Iyer and backed out of the bid at around 4 crores. If Warner’s name had appeared first, what might have happened? To know whether he would have made RCB go all-out in pursuit of him is a question best left up to RCB management.
With the squad they have assembled, following players are the front runners for the Job.
The Aussie, known as the ‘Big Show’ for his big match performances was the standout performer for the franchise last year with 513 runs at an extraordinary Strike Rate of 144. It was the first time since 2014 that Maxwell had shown such a consistent performance in any season and credited the management for the team environment and making his role clear in the side which he missed in his previous teams. Maxwell captained Punjab in the year 2017 and led the team to a 5th place finish in the points table with 7 wins. He also captains Melbourne Stars in the BBL but the club has not managed to finish above 5th place in last 2 years. RCB will rely heavily on Maxwell in the middle order and captaincy can prove to be a double edged sword. They cannot afford his form to decline because of the added responsibility. Having a overseas Captain is tricky because team will have to play him irrespective of his form. Many sides have suffered carrying a non performing overseas captain in the XI.
Faf Du Plessis
Faf was first appointed as T20I captain in 2013-14 and has lead the team in 3 ICC events-2014 WT20, 2016 WT20 and 2019 ODI World Cup. du Plessis took over the captaincy after the retirement of AB de Villiers and has led the team in 36 Tests with 18 wins and has a success rate of 50 percent.
In ODIs, he captained the team in 39 matches and won 28 of them. Whereas in the T20Is, Faf du Plessis has won 23 out of 37 matches. Having spent a decade in the CSK dressing room, Faf must have learnt many tricks of the trade under Fleming and Dhoni. Composure and standing firmly behind his players are 2 standout qualities that have defined Faf’s captaincy for the Proteas. He is in tremendous form in the ongoing BPL and RCB would hope he carries that form into IPL.
Virender Sehwag had stepped down from Delhi Daredevils Captaincy and the new captain Gautam Gambhir had flown to Sri Lanka to nurse his injury. That’s when a young DK was first handed captaincy in 2010 and got the opportunity to lead Delhi in few games. DK has grown leaps and bounds as a captain and a player since that season. He has regularly led Tamil Nadu season after season in all 3 formats. He led Tamil Nadu to victory in SMAT in 2020/21 season and finished runners-up in the season before. He has a good experience in leading and has led KKR to Playoffs in 2018 but missed out on playoffs on Net Run Rate in 2019. He started off the 2020 season well by winning 4/7 games before amicably handing the captaincy to Eoin Morgan.
As soon as WT20 squad was announced, Kohli announced it will be his last assignment as captain in this format. A week later, he surprised everyone by announcing his resignation as RCB captain at the end of the season. No one including him knew at that time he will eventually not be the captain of Test and ODI side as well. Growing workload was the driving factor behind Kohli’s decision, but now with no International duty it won’t be a bad idea to take the job again. RCB management even said that they will try and speak to Virat about it. Kohli led RCB 140 times and won 64 games with a win percentage of 48.16%.
Complete List of Odds of all IPL Teams
Chennai Super Kings – 4.00
Mumbai Indians – 4.50
Delhi Capitals – 5.50
Royal Challengers Bangalore – 7.00
Kolkata Knight Riders – 7.50
Kings XI Punjab – 9.00
Rajasthan Royals – 9.00
Sunrisers Hyderabad – 11.00
Lucknow – 11.00
Ahmedabad – 11.00