Lone Warrior for Punjab
The 29-year-old has been the lone warrior for Punjab Kings - who were formerly known as Kings XI Punjab - with the bat in the last three editions. Looking at his batting exploits, the team management decided to appoint the exceedingly talented Karnataka batsman as the captain of the side ahead of IPL 2020.
Fortunes, however, didn't change for Punjab Kings as the side still finished at the bottom half of the points table.
Meanwhile, Rahul continued to score runs prolifically and kept living at the reputation of being a brilliant multi-format player for India.
He is the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 with 626 runs. In the IPL 2020, the right-handed batter scored 670 runs, again the winner of Orange Cap. During IPL 2019, he was the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament with 593 runs. In IPL 2018, his first year for the Punjab franchise, Rahul amassed 659 runs.
Why KL Rahul is planning to leave PBKS?
As per a Cricbuzz report, the exceedingly talented right-handed batsman may not feature in the PBKS squad in the next season and might go under the hammer during the mega auction for IPL 2022.
A section of experts reasoned Rahul is a superb batsman but lacks leadership skills. The Mysuru cricketer might be mulling to part ways with the hopes of a change in fortunes in terms of winning the elusive silverware.
Rahul recently admitted that we would readily exchange his 'Orange Cap' with an IPL title and a change in franchise might help him realise that dream. There have been numerous instances in the history of IPL when players ending up being a part of a successful side after switching teams.
It is also being reported that the cricketer has been approached by a few franchises that have shown interest in getting him.
As the new season will also have a couple of new teams and a bigger purse of the franchises, Rahul might still engage in a bidding war for obvious reasons.
There is no official word on any rule amendment for the IPL 2022 mega auction. Since there can be two more teams, the BCCI could come up with some tweaks in the guidelines. There is still no clear idea on the number of retentions and Right To Match (RTM) cards available for a franchise.
Possible destinations for Rahul in 2022?
With Virat Kohli retiring as the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore side and Sunrisers Hyderabad failing to put up an improved show in this season, the two franchises might bid for Rahul in the upcoming mega auction. Rahul has been a part of RCB and SRH dressing room in the past and that would ensure he will not face too much of a problem gelling up the team management.
Also, the availability of two new franchises will offer the talented cricketer greener pastures.