Shahrukh Khan is set to be one of the most sought after uncapped Indians in the upcoming auction ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.
The Tamil Nadu finisher was released by the Punjab Kings despite impressing in his maiden IPL season. His stock rose even more as he helped his state win the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, hitting a last-ball six against Karnataka to seal victory in the final.
Khan followed that up with a few more memorable displays in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, hitting explosive knocks lower down the order.
Defending IPL champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are likely to be one of the teams that could be going after him in the IPL 2022 auction. CSK have selected Ravindra Jadeja, MS Dhoni, Moeen Ali and Ruturaj Gaikwad as their retentions. They will have INR 48 crore to spend in the IPL auction.
Last season, Shahrukh Khan was purchased by Punjab Kings (PBKS) for INR 5.25 crore. He ended up scoring 153 runs in 11 matches, at a strike rate of 134.21. Interestingly, his highest score of 47 came against CSK, as he helped PBKS steady the ship after a top-order collapse.
That performance served as a good audition for the four-time champions and they may be willing to pay big to secure his services. Here are three reasons why the Chennai Super Kings may go after Shahrukh Khan in the IPL 2022 Mega Auction:
#1 Shahrukh Khan boasts a rare skill-set
Shahrukh Khan is a big-hitting finisher, and among Indian players, let alone uncapped ones, his skill-set is rather rare.
He has drawn comparisons to Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya for his ability to start clearing the fence right from the get-go. In T20 cricket, his abilities make him a huge asset and that would make him a valuable target for CSK. The Chennai-based franchise are known for having a good eye for talent and grooming players.
CSK have already strengthened their top-order, retaining Gaikwad and Ali. They will have plenty of options at the auction to fill the rest of the slots and Khan will bolster their lower-middle order alongside Jadeja and Dhoni.
#2 "Home" team factor
Shahrukh Khan has been one of the biggest reasons for Tamil Nadu coming up as a powerhouse in domestic white-ball tournaments in the last two years. Having a local icon like him in the squad would augur well for CSK.
CSK have had several icons over the years, including captain Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja. However, they have never had any major players apart from Ravichandran Ashwin and Lakshmipathy Balaji from Tamil Nadu represent them.
The likes of R Sai Kishore and C Hari Nishanth didn't play a single game for CSK last season despite being in the squad. N Jagadeesan only played a handful of matches for the team.
Right now, Shahrukh Khan is one of the biggest stars from the state and with his stock on the rise, he would be a great signing for them.
#3 Grooming a replacement for MS Dhoni
CSK captain MS Dhoni is 40 years old and has hinted that IPL 2022 may be his last season in the cash-rish league. His form has also been a cause of concern of late, with his ability to hit big waning, despite an explosive finish in last year's Qualifier against the Delhi Capitals.
When he does hang up his gloves, it will leave a huge void in the franchise that he has represented since the start of the IPL, barring the two seasons in which CSK were suspended. The void will be one more far-reaching than just his playing abilities.
While CSK may have to look elsewhere to replace his ability as a leader, Shahrukh Khan could go a long way in helping fill his boots as the team's premier finisher. A season under Dhoni's tutelage will no doubt help the youngster develop as a player.