Table-toppers of the previous edition of the Indian Premier League, Delhi Capitals made an audacious move ahead of the Auctions. They chose to retain Anrich Nortje over his South African teammate Kagiso Rabada. Nortje had a terrific IPL in 2021 where he picked up 12 wickets at a mind-boggling economy of 6.16. But, Rabada’s played in the league for a longer time and has a better understanding of the conditions.
Given that overseas fast bowlers are highly rated in the IPL, it shouldn’t be a surprise if Rabada ends up earning a fortune in the Auctions. So, which IPL franchises might target him?
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1) Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore have always been a batting-heavy side and have struggled with the ball. From Tymal Mills to Mitchell Starc, their overseas fast bowlers haven’t been able to be impactful. Rabada’s inclusion into the team could change all that. They’ll finally have a bowler who can bowl both upfront in the power play and in the death.
Mohammed Siraj has honed in his skills as a T20 bowler with his time at the RCB camp. He managed to pick up 11 wickets in 2021 at a stunning economy of 6.78. Siraj and Rabada could make for quite the fearsome bowling duo. They’re both capable of sending a shiver down the spine of opening batsmen. Royal Challengers Bangalore will finally have a fast bowling contingent worthy of participating in the competition if they manage to rope in Kagiso Rabada and last year’s Purple Cap winner, Harshal Patel in the Auctions.
2) Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings have stuck to a fairly simple mantra over the years. An aggressive overseas batsman, a couple of excellent all-rounders, and an overseas fast bowler that could pick up early wickets. Hazlewood and Ngidi have played these roles to perfection in the last couple of years. But, with CSK letting go of them ahead of the Auctions, they could target a different bowler with more wickets to his name.
Rabada has managed to pick up a total of 76 wickets in his four-year-long career in the Indian Premier League, with 30 of them coming off a single season. His presence would ease the pressure on Deepak Chahar, if they were to get him back, on whom CSK were over-reliant for wickets in the early overs.
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3) Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings are keen to script a redemption story of their own in 2022, after finishing at the bottom half of the points table this year. Looking to start with a clean slate, they’ve only retained opening batsman Mayank Agarwal and newbie pacer Arshdeep Singh for IPL 2022.
So, they will be looking to buy a large number of players in the Auctions to assemble a squad that would give them the best chances of lifting the trophy. One of the players that are likely to be high on their wish list is Kagiso Rabada. Over the years, Rabada has established himself as one of the best fast bowlers in the globe, particularly in the T20 format. He also comes with a ton of experience of playing in cricketing leagues across the world. Rabada lends the Punjab Kings some much-needed stability given their proclivity towards tinkering with their playing XI.
So, those were the 3 teams that we believe are likely to be targeting Rabada in the upcoming IPL Auctions. But, he’s sure to be on the wishlist of every franchise in the league. Mumbai Indians could end up bidding for him since they’re released Trent Boult, Rajasthan Royals might view him as a like-for-like replacement for Jofra Archer and his former team, the Delhi Capitals could fight to get him to return to their side.