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They Have A Point To Prove In IPL 2022!

By HARISH KOTIAN
March 21, 2022 09:37 IST
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IPL 2022 could be an important moment for some cricketers.

Virat Kohli and David Warner would aiming to silence the naysayers while KKR's Shreyas Iyer and Lucknow Super Giants' K L Rahul will looking to prove themselves after being handed the captaincy of their respective franchises.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya needs a good performance in the IPL to get his career back on track.

Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal will look to turn a new chapter in his IPL career after ending his long relationship with Royal Challengers Bangalore as he aims to form a match-winning spin partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin at the Rajasthan Royals.

Senior pro Ajinkya Rahane will be determined to prove that he has still a lot of cricket left him while young guns like Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad need to perform to stay in the race for the T20 World Cup.

Harish Kotian looks at the players with a point to prove in IPL 2022:

 

Virat Kohli

Kohli quit as RCB captain at the end of last season after failing to win a single title in his nine-year reign as skipper.

It has been a tumultuous time for Kohli who quit as India's T20I captain last year after the World Cup before he was sacked as the ODI captain.

Kohli then shocked everyone when he gave up the Test captaincy after the Test series in South Africa.

His indirect war of words with BCCI President Sourav Ganguly also generated a lot of unwanted attention.

What will hurt Kohli most is that he has been unable to maintain his usual high standards with the bat in the last couple of years.

With the captaincy off his back, Kohli will have enough time to focus on his batting and RCB fans will be hoping he gets back among the runs in IPL 2022.

Hardik Pandya

Hardik has endured a tough couple of years because of injury. He was released by the Mumbai Indians before the all-rounder was picked by Gujarat Titans through the draft ahead of the IPL auction and was given the additional responsibility of captaincy.

IPL 2022 provides him with a good chance to get his career back on track. He last played for India at the T20 World Cup in November and after a below-par showing in the tournament hasn't been considered for selection again across all the three formats.

Cricket fans will be eager to see if Hardik bowls at full tilt during the IPL. If he gets back to his best bowling form in the IPL, nothing can stop Hardik from making a comeback to the Indian team.

David Warner

Warner endured a horrid time at Sunrisers Hyderabad last season.

Warner, who led Sunrisers to their only IPL title win in 2016, was not only sacked as captain midway through IPL 2021, but also endured the humiliation of being dropped from the playing XI.

Warner will aim to make a fresh start in IPL 2022 after being bought by Delhi Capitals for Rs 6.25 crore (Rs 62.5 million).

The veteran opener, who played a key role in Australia's T20 World Cup triumph last year, is the fifth highest run-getter in IPL history with 5,449 runs in 150 matches at a strike rate of 139.

He will be keen to prove a point to Sunrisers Hyderabad.

K L Rahul

Rahul quit Punjab Kings despite being in charge for the last two seasons and enjoying full support of the team owners. He was picked by Lucknow Super Giants in the players's draft ahead of the auction.

Under Rahul's captaincy, Punjab were unable to make the play-offs in the last two seasons. He will be keen to set the record straight at newcomers Lucknow who will be looking to make an impression in their debut IPL season.

Yuzvendra Chahal

Chahal severing ties with RCB came as a big surprise.

The leg-spinner was a key bowler for RCB in eight seasons, picking up 139 wickets in 113 games at an economy rate of just over 7.5.

Rajasthan Royals were lucky to bag the proven performer in the IPL at a bargain price of Rs 6.5 crore (Rs 65 million); RCB didn't make a single bid for him!

Chahal could form a lethal spin combo for Royals with India's spin king Ravichandran Ashwin and show his old team what they missed out on.

Shreyas Iyer

Iyer -- one of the batting mainstays for Delhi in the last seven seasons, scoring 2,375 runs in 87 games at a strike rate of 123 -- ended his long relationship with Delhi after IPL 2021.

A year after leading Delhi Capitals to its first IPL final, he lost the captaincy to Rishabh Pant after he missed the first leg of IPL 2021 because of injury.

Delhi's loss proved to be KKR's gain as they spent a hefty Rs 12.5 crore (Rs 125 million) to buy Iyer, while handing the extra responsibility of captaincy.

Ruturaj Gaikwad

Gaikwad took the IPL by storm last season. He smashed his way to 635 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 136, to guide Chennai Super Kings to the IPL title.

Following his showing in the IPL, Gaikwad earned a call-up to the Indian team, but he was unable to make most of the limited opportunities that came his way.

He will look to repeat his good showing from last year and keep himself in the reckoning for the T20 World Cup later this year.

Ishan Kishan

Kishan smashed 516 runs at a strike rate of 145 to power Mumbai Indians to its fifth title in 2020.

Last season, though, he scored just 241 runs in 10 matches. But Mumbai Indians still went ahead and splurged a massive Rs 15.25 crore (Rs 152.5 million) on him at the IPL auction.

The wicketkeeper-batter, who struck a brilliant 89 from 56 balls against Sri Lanka in a T20 International last month, will be out to prove he is worth every rupee.

Sanju Samson

Samson took over as Rajasthan Royals captain ahead of IPL 2021.

Having spent nine seasons at the Royals, he was also the franchise's first retained player for Rs 14 crore (Rs 140 million) ahead of the IPL auction.

Samson has been one of the most consistent batters for Royals in recent IPL seasons but hasn't done likewise at the international level.

He will look for a strong showing with the bat in IPL 2022 to bolster his chances of making it to the T20 World Cup team.

Ajinkya Rahane

Rahane got a much-needed lifeline when Kolkata Knight Riders bought him for Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million) at the IPL auction.

He will likely open the batting for KKR alongside Venkatesh Iyer, which gives him a good chance to reproduce his best showing in the IPL.

As opener, Rahane had amassed 560 runs for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2012 at a strike rate of 129, while also scoring 540 runs in IPL 2015.

Rahane, who was dropped from the Indian Test team, needs a good IPL season to show the selectors there is still a lot of cricket left in him.

Photographs: BCCI. Hardik Pandya photograph: Gujarat Titans/Twitter

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