IPL 2019: 3 retained players who desperately need to prove themselves
The franchises playing in the IPL recently announced the list of players they have retained and those they have released. A few surprises awaited the fans as many players who were expected to be released were retained and a few good performers were released by teams.
One might say that the biggest blunder was made by the Kings XI Punjab when they released the in-form Aaron Finch.
Harbhajan Singh, who was certainly a contender to be released was retained by CSK. There is certainly a doubt whether he'll get enough chances to play though.
There are few other players for whom time is running out with their franchise and they have to prove themselves this season and justify the team's choice to retain them.
#3 Manish Pandey (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Manish Pandey was retained by the Sunrisers Hyderabad despite failing to impress in his first season with the franchise. He was bought by the Sunrisers for a whopping INR 11 crore but he had a paltry outing with the bat and scored just 284 runs in 15 matches at an average of 23.84 and a strike rate of 115.44 last time around.
Pandey has had a few good outings for Team India this year and will look to make an impact in the series against Australia. He must prove his worth to the team which has so graciously given him a second chance.
He has shown that he is a good IPL player and must justify the price tag and the team's choice by playing well next season. With good coaching staff and the right captain, he might be on his way to his best campaign so far.
#2 Ben Stokes (Rajasthan Royals)
Ben Stokes was the most expensive buy in last year's auction after he was signed for INR 12.5 crore by the Rajasthan Royals. The all rounder came off a great international season for England. However, Stokes failed to impress last time around and played 13 matches before going home to England for national duty.
He picked up just 8 wickets in those 13 matches at an economy rate of 8.28 and a very poor average of 37.87. His batting was not up to the mark too as he struggled on his way to 196 runs in 13 matches at a poor average of 16.33 and a strike rate of 121.73.
Though he is a premier all-rounder, the team could have released him and added some money to their purse but they have chosen to keep him for the next season and Stokes must do justice to their choice and unleash his all round abilities.
#1 Kieron Pollard (Mumbai Indians)
Pollard has been one of Mumbai's best players throughout the IPL and has won countless number of games for them. He had a dismal IPL season last time around though and scored only 133 runs in 9 matches at a poor average of 19 and a strike rate of 128 which are normally not stats which you would associate with a player like Pollard.
His batting position is a possible reason for his average displays but it was evident that the big Caribbean has lost his big hitting prowess. Though his performances in other leagues were better, his performances in the IPL made him a big contender to be released but he was surprisingly retained by the Mumbai Indians. Pollard must give better performances and repay the faith his team has in him.