The 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) came to an end on Tuesday with the Mumbai Indians defeating the Delhi Capitals to win a record fifth IPL title. The focus of the eight IPL teams will now shift towards the next season, and they will already be looking at squad planning and making decisions on which players to retain and which players to let go of.
Every year we see a number of star players who are let go by IPL franchises. And this year will be no different with a number of players, especially from overseas, set to be told that their services are no longer needed.
Here, we take a look at one player from each IPL team who might not be retained for next year.
We start off with the champions. Mumbai Indians have a well balanced squad and will be looking to keep hold of all their star players on the back of a very successful campaign. But one player who might find himself being the odd man out is Chris Lynn.
The Australian batsman has long been considered one of the biggest-hitters in the game. But he has often struggled to perform at the top level, and did not play a single game for the Mumbai Indians this season.
Mumbai have a well-set top order which features Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, so the possibilty of Lynn getting a chance is unlikely to increase. And don't be surprised if Mumbai decide to release him ahead of next season's auction.
Like Mumbai, Delhi have a well-balanced squad and will not look to make too many changes to their team. But one man who could find himself out is Alex Carey. The Australian wicket-keeper came into the tournament on the back of a stunning century in England.
But he was limited to just three appearances in IPL 2020 and struggled to make much of an impression. He dropped back to the bench following the return of Rishabh Pant, and looks unlikely to feature much next season unless Delhi decide to release Shimron Hetmyer.
While he featured regularly in the early season, Jonny Bairstow was dropped in the middle of this campaign as the Sunrisers Hyderabad looked to add more balance to their team. He was benched after a run of disappointing showings with the bat.
On his day, Bairstow is one of the top performers with the bat in T20 cricket. But he seems to lack consistency, and that ultimately led to him being dropped by the Sunrisers Hyderabad this IPL.
And Hyderabad could look to release him from the squad in the off-season and go for someone who would bring something more to the team.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Aaron Finch found himself going in and out of the side all season, and was never really able to perform consistently. The Australian limited overs captain often struggled at the top of the order, and was outperformed by his rookie opening partner Devdutt Padikkal.
Finch only joined Bangalore in the 2020 auction, but the Virat Kohli-led team might decide that its time to cut their losses and move on ahead of the next season.
England all-rounder Moeen Ali is another candidate to be released after a sub-par IPL 2020.
Kolkata Knight Riders
A number of star players struggled for form for the Kolkata Knight Riders and they might look to make a few changes ahead of next season. A number of overseas players will find themselves in danger of being released. One of the star names who could be gone is Tom Banton.
The highly-rated England batsman played just two games this season, and his scores made for a grim reading, as he got out for eight and ten in those two matches.
Banton is considered to be one of the most destructive young batsmen in cricket, but with Cummins, Narine, Morgan and Russel all key players for the Knight Riders, he seems like the odd man out.
Kings XI Punjab
The poor form of Glenn Maxwell frustrated Kings XI Punjab fans throughout the IPL, and he could be shown the door ahead of next season. The Australian batsman had a competition to forget, as he failed to hit a single six, and had a top score of 32.
His aggregate total of 108 runs from 106 balls is simply not good enough for a player who is there in the team to play the finisher's role in an innings. Maxwell also struggled with the ball, and was dropped from the team ahead of the final game of IPL 2020.
And so parting ways with Maxwell might be the most sensible decision for Kings XI Punjab in the off-season.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings had a woeful IPL campaign and looked out of sorts until it became mathematically impossible for them to qualify for the play-offs. They are in desperate need of freshening up their squad. And the start of that could come starting with the departure of Imran Tahir.
Tahir has served Chennai really well over the years, but he sat on the bench for all but three of their games this season.
The South African spinner will be 42 by the time of the next IPL, and its time that Chennai look for some fresh blood to bolster their side. They should also get rid of fellow spinner Mitchell Santner, who is simply not good enough to play the role of the frontline spinner.
Rajasthan Royals' poor decision making at the IPL auction meant that they never really stood a chance this season despite some close calls and incredible chases. They need to be smarter next IPL season and they must add more balance to the team.
A case could be made for everyone except maybe Jofra Archer being released by the Royals. But David Miller is the likeliest candidate to be let go of after a disappointing season. Miller's only appearance of the season came in Rajasthan's opening game, when he was run out without facing a ball.
He did not play another game after that, and will likely never play again for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.Published 11 Nov 2020, 22:11 IST