Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad have decided to move on from their captains from last season Kane Williamson and Mayank Agarwal respectively ahead of the 2023 Indian Premier League auction. The Orange Army retained Williamson (INR 14 crore) last season ahead of somebody like Rashid Khan, and finished eighth on the points table.
The right-hander from New Zealand had a horrible tournament with the bat, managing only 216 runs in 13 games at an average of 19.63 and a strike rate of 93.50. His strike rate in the powerplay was 76.4. Williamson did average 35.6 in the T20 World Cup but had a strike rate of just 116.33.
“Yeah, it’s going to be very interesting to see what the new management does at Sunrisers with regards to Kane, because you make a big decision to begin with in retaining a player like Kane Williamson. At the beginning of a major auction, you back him as your leader, everyone recognises that he’s one of the game’s great modern leaders," former SRH coach Tom Moody told Star Sports.
“Yes, he had a poor season, yes, he had injury problems over the last 12 months. But it’s clear they have made a decision to change such a significant pillar in what their future was going to look like when they first sat down before the big auction. I totally get the decision on the basis of the 14 crores, that’s a huge amount of money, particularly for a foreign player.”
Meanwhile, Agarwal was superb for Punjab in IPL 2020 and 2021 and was named captain of the franchise following KL Rahul's departure last season. However, the right-hander from Karnataka could only score 196 runs in 12 innings at an average of 16.33 and a strike rate of 122.50 as Punjab failed to qualify for the playoffs under his leadership.
The franchise had recently announced that Shikhar Dhawan would lead them in the upcoming edition and it was then obvious that they would release Agarwal. "See, it’s a very interesting case with Mayank Agarwal, for one, the price tag doesn’t help when you’ve had a bad season. There’s a temptation of releasing that player and using that money to maybe rebuy or you know, look at another option," said former Indian batter Sanjay Manjrekar.
"But the thing about Mayank Agarwal? Too much of a nice guy, and this game is not for nice guys. I mean he had a phenomenal couple of seasons at the top of the order with KL Rahul. He actually out-batted KL Rahul at the top position and became the captain and ideally you would want one more year for a guy to prove himself.
“And the worst thing that could have happened to him was that he sacrificed his opening position where he was phenomenal, and went down the order. This meant that batting became more difficult and the runs didn’t come, the pressure built up. So, I feel sorry for him, but he’ll be a very very attractive proposition for teams looking for an opener because this is the guy who’ll get you big scores and at a strike rate of 150, 160 and is good against both spin and pace.”
In total, PBKS released nine players and have a purse of INR 32.2 crore going into the upcoming auction. Meanwhile, SRH decided to let go of 12 players and will head into the auction with a purse of INR 42.25 crore.