The month of November was an exciting one for the IPL fans as the franchise brought out the list of players retained and released ahead of the next IPL. Among them were some very interesting choices as the players who were expected to be released found a way to stay and vice versa.
Some teams have taken interesting calls by showing faith in players and retaining them after they did not contribute a great deal last season. These players will consider themselves lucky to stay with their franchises.
However, there is a great chance that the retention of these players will backfire the franchises as they could have replaced these with exciting young talents considering the long-term plans.
Here are 4 wrong choices of retentions made by the franchises ahead of the twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League.
#4 Ben Stokes
The English all-rounder has been the auction king twice in two years after fetching 14 crores from the RPS in 2017 and 12 crores from the Royals in 2018. Stokes would be a good choice of retention on nine out of ten occasions but not this time around.
England play an ODI series against Pakistan in early May and hence Stokes will be leaving early. Also, at 12 crores, Ben Stokes is clearly overpriced and the Royals could have considered releasing him and buying him back at a cheaper price.
Stokes had a poor last season and did not live up to the expectations of the Rajasthan Royals fans. In his IPL career, Stokes has played 25 games scoring 512 runs at a strike rate of 134 and picked 20 wickets.
All in all, the retention of Ben Stokes is not the wisest choice as the Royals are spending a big chunk of their funds on a player who is not available for the entire season.
#3 Manish Pandey
The Karnataka middle-order batter was picked by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for the IPL 2018 which was looked upon as a good deal. Unfortunately, Pandey failed with the bat and had a season to forget. He scored 284 runs from 15 games at a strike rate of 115.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad management decided to persist with Manish Pandey despite his inconsistent performances which was an interesting decision. They could have let Manish Pandey go and perhaps fetch him back spending lesser bucks.
Manish Pandey is no more regular in India's first-choice T20 XI. Of late, he has played a lot of scratchy innings spending a lot of time and not upping the ante.
#2 Stuart Binny
The 34-year-old all-rounder has been away from the limelight ever since he last played for India in 2016. Binny was picked up by the Rajasthan Royals for the eleventh edition of the IPL, having played for the same franchise in the past.
He did not make any impact scoring just 44 runs from 7 games at a strike rate of 112 in the IPL 2018. Surprisingly, he was retained by the men in royal blue ahead of the IPL 2019. The decision was a shocking one since his performances do not justify his retention at all.
Binny was a good performer for Rajasthan back in the day during Rahul Dravid's captaincy. His performances in the IPL 2013 helped him earn a place in the Indian side. Unfortunately for him, his form faded away totally and is nowhere close to getting picked for India again.
#1 Harbhajan Singh
The Punjab off-spinner has been a veteran for the Mumbai Indians for ten years that he has spent with the franchise. Sadly, the MI management decided to move on from him considering age was not on his side and he had lost his place from the international team.
Harbhajan found a new home at the Chennai Super Kings for the 2018 edition. However, he could not replicate the same impact and his wickets column did not speak. In 13 matches, he bagged only 7 wickets and was expensive giving 8.48 runs per over.
Harbhajan, who would be touching 38 before the start of next IPL, was surprisingly deemed a good choice of retention by the Chennai Super Kings. The veteran off-spinner does not play first-class cricket regularly these days and his retention did raise a few eyebrows.