In the 12 year history of IPL, there have been plenty of match winners involved and these are the players who have the ability to single-handedly turn the match on its head and sometimes even the whole season. They say that half the battle is won on the auction table and if history is anything to go by then this cliche’ is nothing but true.
There have been many occasions when teams have strategically outdone their opponents on the auction table and grabbed great players at a very good value. On the other hand there have been times when for some or the other reason the teams have let go of great players only to repent their decision later. Let’s look at 5 such instances;
1) Chris Gayle – The Universe boss is one of the most destructive players in the history of T20 cricket and any team that boasts of him in their arsenal is already at an advantage over their opponents. However, KKR committed the mistake of releasing him after the first 3 seasons. In the the next 2 seasons, playing for RCB he won the orange cap and made over 600 runs in both seasons.
2) Shane Watson – After being the MVP in season 1 of the IPL which eventually led his side Rajasthan Royals to lift the IPL, Shane Watson switched to RCB in 2016. His performance for the red franchise was nothing to boast off be it with the bat or ball and one could argue that he also wasn’t given his preferred number at the top of the order. RCB decided to release the burly all rounder ahead of the 2018 season where he regained his form after being gobbled up by the Mahendra Singh Dhoni led CSK. The Aussie instantly found form at the top of the order and propelled the yellow army to the title in the same year.
3) Gautam Gambhir – The left hander was surprisingly released from the capital franchise after the 2010 season. Delhi’s loss was a gain for both Gambhir and his new franchise KKR. In the auctions ahead of the 2011 season, KKR was looking not only for an experienced India player but also someone who could captain the franchise that had performed poorly in the first 3 seasons. Gambhir in that auction became the most expensive player and KKR was all smiles too as the intense southpaw led the purple franchise to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014.
4) David Warner – The Delhi franchise who have made more than one bad release would be especially repenting letting Warner go as no one has won the Orange cap more than Warner. The aggressive left-hander was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad and made the captain. Subsequently, not only has Warner worn the Orange cap a record 3 times, he also led the Orange team to an IPL victory in 2016.
5) Ab De Villiers – This one was probably the most shocking decision from familiar defaulters Delhi. It surprised one and all when AB De Villiers was released after the third edition of the IPL. RCB didn’t let this opportunity go and grabbed De Villiers in the IPL 2011 auction. Since leaving the Delhi franchise De Villiers has played multiple match winning knocks for RCB and would be hoping that this year he can finally make his franchise get their hands on the coveted IPL trophy.
Do you guys agree with our list of 5? Who else do you think has been a poor release by the franchises?
Do let us know in the comments section.