After Shane Watson’s recent retirement, the Indian T20 League could see veterans like Harbhajan Singh and Robin Uthappa not returning for the next edition as well. And with the tournament likely to be held in UAE again after five months, it could be staring at a large exodus.
All the teams will look for a quick remodel of their squads in the small window of opportunity and numerous cricketers could be left out as a consequence. Here are five cricket stars who are unlikely to feature in the tournament next season.
It cannot get any grimmer for India’s Nidahas Trophy hero after this. Having been a constant part of the Indian T20 League since its inception in 2008, Dinesh Karthik has hardly been short of suitors owing to finishing abilities. Starting with Delhi, Karthik has gone to play for Mumbai, Punjab, Bangalore, and Gujarat before Kolkata came calling with the lure of the captain band. However, the steady decline in his form has been a glaring red mark difficult to overcome now and the Kolkata management will look to do away with him. After tallying 498 in 2018, Karthik garnered 253 last season and a paltry 169 this time. He will almost be 36 by the next edition, which won’t help his case either.
Given his constant failure in white-ball cricket in Indian colours, it was quite a shock to see Murali Vijay staying relevant in the Indian T20 League for all these years. But, the opener has still managed to put some remarkable performances in the tournament with two centuries and 13 fifties to his name. However, his last good season came in 2017 where he tallied 453 runs in 14 matches. Since then he has played six matches across three seasons and with the emergence of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Dhoni will look to do away with him.
Like his Kolkata teammate Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa is also at the dusk of his career. A regular in every edition of the Indian T20 League, Uthappa played for Mumbai, Bangalore, and Pune before having his most successful stint with Kolkata, where he won two titles. Uthappa’s absolute peak came in 2014 where his 660 runs helped his team win the tournament. He hasn’t been the same since then although he kept garnering 300 plus runs until 2018, which kept him as a valuable asset. But after summing 282 runs last season, Uthappa scored 196 this time and there looks no future for him in this format any further than this.
Getting roped by Chennai proved to be Harbhajan Singh’s reincarnation as the former Mumbai star took them to the final by scalping 16 wickets in 11 matches. Dhoni’s savvy use of Harbhajan on all the right Indian tracks had also proved to be the talk of the town in 2019. However, after Bhajji followed Suresh Raina out of UAE from the preparatory camp of Chennai citing personal reasons, there seems to be no point of return for the veteran spinner. And with not much domestic cricket going on to keep players on their toes, 40-year-old Harbhajan might have already played his last game in the Indian T20 League.
While playing with the aged cricketers fit Dhoni’s process of winning titles immaculately, the downside was always the struggle of replacing them. After recycling players for years, which fetched MSD three titles, the skipper has to forge a ready squad for Chennai before he retires. And Kedar Jadhav is the prime example of the obstacle ahead of him. A fringe all-rounder, Jadhav was never a lynchpin for any franchise since his first edition in 2010 and Jadhav seems to have no point of return now after the 2020 season, where he scored 62 runs in eight matches. He has just three fifties in the last five seasons and with Chennai looking at a revamp, Jadhav has no place.
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