The IPL 2022 Auction is all set to take place in a grand event starting from February 12-13th in Bengaluru. What makes this year’s auction more special and important than the rest is that most of the players that will be picked by the respective franchises this time will have the onus on them to take their franchise forward in the next 5 years to say the least. The goal is long-term in this mega auction and hence, franchises will be even more careful when it comes to placing their bets on certain players. Add to that, we now have two new teams in Lucknow and Ahmedabad and with around 590 players up for the auction that includes big names, it’s gonna get super exciting.

So before the big day, here’s taking a quick look at which players Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings should particularly be targeting this time. The reason why KKR and CSK have created the most amount of buzz is because of one particular factor, ie. ‘captain’. While the former is hunting for a skipper who can repeat the earlier heroics of Gautam Gambhir, the latter will have to pass on the responsibility from MS Dhoni to someone worthy and matured enough to be filling MS Dhoni’s shoes. So, here’s sharing our opinion with a quick breakdown on 12 special players that KKR and CSK must target to strengthen their respective squads :

Kolkata Knight Riders:

1) Shreyas Iyer: He is one of the most talented young cricketers to have emerged in the last few years and the best thing about his batting is that he can switch on modes as per will. One one hand, he can play around his partner to make a long partnership whereas on the other hand, he can also hit those explosive big sixes in the later stages of the innings. With Shreyas Iyer, KKR can also get a young captaincy material who can take the squad forward and perhaps repeat what a young Rohit Sharma did for Mumbai Indians as a captain in the past.

2) Shikhar Dhawan: As far as cricketing abilities are concerned, there’s absolutely nothing new to mention about our very own ‘Gabbar’ as the entire world is aware of his skills. He has been the top choice for an opener for India as well for other franchises and just like Shreyas, he can play according to the situation. With Shubman Gill no longer in the scenario, someone matured like Shikhar Dhawan at the top could be ideal to compliment the explosive hitting of a young Venkatesh Iyer. A formidable opening pair certainly.

3) Yuzvendra Chahal: He’s been a key part of the Indian spin department along with RCB unit for a long time. It certainly won’t be easy to have him as the bidding war will certainly take place for this leggie. However, Chahal can certainly be a long-term investment for KKR, especially now that they don’t have the services of Kuldeep Yadav and Harbhajan Singh, who recently announced retirement from cricket. Yuzi Chahal would be absolutely ideal to lead the spin attack for KKR.

4) Ishan Kishan: He is another player who will certainly be attracting a huge bidding war in the upcoming auction. He has been an integral part of the Indian team and Mumbai Indians off-late and has certainly managed to impress on the big stage where he matters. His biggest asset is that he’s flexible and can not only open the batting but can also do a great job at number 3 and 4 where a blend of maturity and explosive hitting is needed. He certainly has the ammunition and fire power to do it.

5) Jason Holder: A bit surprised folks as to what makes Jason Holder an important buy for KKR despite other big International names like Quinton De Kock, David Warner, and others? Well, the reason is none other than Andre Russell. Last season, we saw KKR struggling with an extra bowler option because of Russell’s injury. So, not only did it cause concerns in the batting department, it also weakened their bowling attack. Somebody like a Jason Holder fits the bill perfectly and can be a key back-up ‘like to like’ all-rounder replacement for Andre Russell in case he gets injured.

6) Matthew Wade: This Australian batsman has been absolutely fantastic in the short limited T20 format of the game and no wonder, he will be an attractive buy. He can certainly be a good player to come one down or at number four to create some magic with his bat. Remember his explosive hitting against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2021 that played a big role in Australia winning the tournament? Fresh memories indeed. Additionally with Dinesh Karthik gone, KKR will now need a handy wicketkeeper as well and that’s where Matthew Wade might come in really handy.

Chennai Super Kings:

1) David Warner: He is one of the biggest names in the Marquee list of players this auction and after the SRH snub last season, he will have a lot to prove to his critics. A lot of his fans felt that after leading Sunrisers Hyderabad team successfully for so long, the treatment that he faced from the management wasn’t fair. With an explosive opener like David Warner at the top of the order, CSK will have a perfect blend of explosive hitting and controlled aggression if he opens with Ruturaj Gaikwad. Additionally, he’s extremely experienced in T20 cricket and can also be a handy part for the leadership group of CSK along with MS Dhoni.

2) Mustafizur Rehman: The Bangladeshi speedster has been one of the leading bowlers in T20 format of the game. His strengths are those amazing cutters and slower balls that he uses to deceive batsmen, especially during the later stages of the innings. Additionally, if CSK home games happen at Chepauk which is naturally a slow and low surface, his slower balls and cutters will be even tougher to face and whack for sixes. He can be an overseas player who can lead the bowling attack along with his Indian counterparts.

3) Shakib Al Hasan: Shakib Al Hasan is another cricketer who’s natural game and spin bowling abilities will benefit CSK to a great extent if they play all their home games at Chepauk. Although the pitch has relatively gotten better over the years, it still is a delight for any spinner, be it a leggie or a left-armer. Shakib has got interesting variations as a skill set for bowling and not just that, he is also a handy batter who can score some handy runs with his innovative shots on his day. He is certainly one option CSK should look ahead for IPL 2022 because of the reasons mentioned.

4) Mohammad Shami: He is one player who can certainly take charge of the fast bowling department. While he always comes all guns blazing during the initial stages of the innings, he isn’t the best choice for death overs bowling and that’s where, somewhere like a Mustafizur Rehman who’s an expert in death overs bowling balances things out for CSK. Any team would want to have the services of Mohammad Shami in their fast bowling unit. However, since MS Dhoni knows his game to a different level after having captained him at an International level, he can certainly extract the best out of him. An option CSK must consider.

5) Steve Smith: An absolute firehouse of a cricketer, Steve Smith and his unconventional style of batting has proven to be be handy for most of the teams he has played with in franchise cricket. After having captained Rajasthan Royals, he was picked earlier by Delhi Capitals where despite limited opportunities, he maintained an average of above 25 in 8 games which is pretty decent. Also, not to forget, he has played with MS Dhoni in the past for Rising Pune Super Giants and hence, he can certainly flourish under MS Dhoni’s leadership.

6) Dawid Malan: He has been the ‘number 1’ T20 batsman for England for a fairly long time and on his day, literally no bowling unit is good enough to contain runs or get him out. If CSK manage to get hold of David Warner, then Malan at number 3 could be a wonderful choice to continue the explosive style of cricket and go forward with their heroics. Also a thing that we talk about in T20 cricket a lot is the combination of a right-hand and left-hand batsman and that certainly works out for CSK if he comes after Warner and Ruturaj. Additionally, MS Dhoni is a master when it comes to getting the best out of his players.

The most exciting part about IPL is that the best players from all over the world take part in this tournament and that’s exactly what makes this cash-rich league so special.

We write this article with complete conviction and faith that the KKR and CSK think tanks will possibly take note of these important names and eventually go forward by taking the best decision that they feel will be good for the future of the franchise.