Big decisions ahead of Indian T20 League auctions have often swayed the end-season results one way or another. Decisions involving the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle and Shane Watson, to name a few, have had a profound effect on the fortunes of the teams who let them go.
With the 2020 Indian T20 League season on the horizon, we look at three such releases that might come back to haunt the teams by season’s end.
Ankit Rajpoot - Traded from Punjab to Rajasthan
Consistency is Ankit Rajpoot's hallmark. The seamer is an excellent powerplay bowler, striking at one of the best rates in T20 history during the first six overs.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that data analysts love Ankit Rajpoot and why Rajasthan were keen on bringing him on board after letting go of a similar, yet less effective T20 bowler in Dhawal Kulkarni.
Rajpoot's release could cost Punjab, who bought Sheldon Cottrell at the cost of having to squeeze out an overseas batsman to accommodate him. Rajasthan, meanwhile, will love that they have someone like Rajpoot at the helm of the powerplay overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin - Traded from Punjab to Delhi
Ravichandran Ashwin had a disastrous outing as skipper during the 2019 edition of the Indian T20 League. His strategies and tactics were questionable and often driven by sheer instinct, with little logic backing them up.
That said, he picked up 15 wickets during the season, bowling at an economy rate of 7.27, and was effective throughout as a powerplay bowler and middle overs scoring rate container.
It was, therefore, a huge surprise that Punjab opted to trade him out to Delhi ahead of the Indian T20 League auction. While they only needed a captaincy switch, they thought of picking up better spinners at the auction. That didn't quite go to plan either and Punjab might just regret their big trade-off when the league resumes.
Chris Lynn - Released by Kolkata, bought by Mumbai
For a whopping fee of Rs 9.6 crore, Chris Lynn was retained by Kolkata in the big auctions ahead of the 2018 edition of the league. But two seasons later, where he made 491 and 405 runs respectively at strike rates of 130.23 and 139.65, Lynn was released by KKR as part of a team overhaul ahead of the 2020 Indian T20 League.
Considering his form and record in the league, it was a shock release, and there was no attempt to buy him back either, as Mumbai snared him up for his base price.
Lynn could prove to be a destructive force at the top for Mumbai and may not even be the first big opener being released that cost Kolkata. Remember a certain Chris Gayle?
Feature image courtesy: APF / Sajjad Hussain