Aakash Chopra opens up on PBKS and KKR captaincy options on IPL 2022
By SMCS - Jan 25, 2022 12:15 pm
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Former India opener turned famous commentator Aakash Chopra believes that the Punjab Kings (PBKS) should pick Mayank Agarwal as their captain and not look for another leader as well. KL Rahul, who earlier led the Punjab Kings in IPL 2021, has not been retained by the franchise and has moved to the Lucknow Super Giants where he will lead the team as well. The Punjab-based franchise retained just two players – Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh – prior to the mega auction.

Mayank Agarwal
Mayank Agarwal scored 50 on his captaincy debut

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said: “Punjab have retained Mayank Agarwal and Arshdeep Singh. That is where the answer might just be hidden because they have let Rahul and all others go, only two players have stayed with this team, so Mayank could be an option. Make Mayank the captain, don’t go looking for another captain.”

He observed: “I feel they have a captain. They don’t need to shop for a captain. They have the most amount in their kitty to be spent because they were able to retain the least players, which means plenty of money to spend and they do spend.”

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However, the Punjab Kings have ₹ 72 crores left in their purse and they can have a lot of options for captaincy role as well. Meanwhile, Mayank Agarwal has scored 1317 runs at an excellent strike of 144.24 in the 47 matches he has played for the Punjab Kings so far.

Aakash Chopra reasoned: “Finalize Mayank Agarwal in my opinion. Make the plan to move forward with Mayank for the next two to three years. Mayank is a gun player. He plays T20 cricket very well. If you see the last three years, he is going shoulder to shoulder with Rahul.”

KL Rahul
KL Rahul

Chopra elaborated: “In fact, if you do man-to-man marking, KL Rahul has more runs but Mayank has had a greater impact. Mayank is the aggressor and he is also a good thinking brain, and he puts team before self. Mayank is a no-brainer in my opinion.”

On the other hand, the veteran believes the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will have to buy a captain at the IPL 2022 auction as none of their four retained players can be a skipper. Notably, KKR has retained Andre Russell, Varun Chakravarthy, Venkatesh Iyer and Sunil Narine prior to the IPL 2022 auction. They opted not to retain their captain Eoin Morgan and it will be interesting to see whom they will pick.

Aakash Chopra highlighted: “KKR have retained Venkatesh Iyer, Varun Chakravarthy, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. None of them can become the captain. This is the sad reality that you would still have to shop for the captain. You had made Eoin Morgan the captain and I don’t think they will even buy back Eoin Morgan, because the sort of performance he has given – KKR was playing with almost 10 players, I understand captain has a lot of value but contribution with the bat is necessary.”

shreyas iyer
Shreyas Iyer scored a brilliant fifty

Th veteran also shared that they are unlikely to go back to their former captain Dinesh Karthik either as well. Meanwhile, Aakash Chopra has given his vote for Shreyas Iyer as a potential captaincy candidate for the Kolkata Knight Riders.

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He explained: “If they had retained Shubman Gill, he could have been a choice but now he is also not there. It means he was not part of their leadership group. Dinesh Karthik has been this team’s captain but they won’t be thinking about Dinesh Karthik as a captain now or going ahead, because as good a player he is, age is not on his side.”

“I feel Shreyas Iyer has a potential chance of becoming KKR captain because the top three slots are empty, not entirely but you need an opener with Venkatesh Iyer and you can keep Shreyas Iyer at No. 3 and make him the captain. It is a slightly bigger ground, might just suit his style,” Aakash Chopra concluded.