The new season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is upon us in a bigger avatar. This time there are two new teams apart from the usual ones and some fresh guards at the helm of affairs. For the first time in the league’s history, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will not be the skipper of Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Suresh Raina will be a part of the commentary team after going unsold in the IPL 2022 auction. These apart there will be some new faces assuming the leadership roles in the IPL. Some like KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer have had brief stints with captaincy but others are totally new to the leadership space. So, this time we will be looking at the players falling in the latter category.
Ravindra Jadeja (CSK)
Since the inaugural season of the IPL, 2008, one of the rare associations that remained unchanged in the league was CSK and its captain Dhoni. But from the IPL 2022 onwards the former Team India captain will only turn up for the Chennai franchise as a player-cum-mentor to help the new captain Ravindra Jadeja to take the great legacy of the team forward in the upcoming seasons. The Saurashtra player is totally a newbie to the role of the skipper as he has not ever led any team even in domestic cricket. So, there will be a huge burden on Jadeja’s shoulders when he takes charge of one of the most successful teams in the IPL with 4 titles under its belt. For Jadeja, it is an ideal opportunity to prove that he can be an ideal candidate to lead Team India as well in the shortest format in future.
Hardik Pandya (Gujarat Titans)
Apart from Lucknow Super Giants, the other team to make its maiden appearance in the IPL 2022 is Gujarat Titans. The team owned by a British private equity and investment advisory firm, CVC Capital Partners will be led by Hardik Pandya. The Gujarat all-rounder has a lot to prove to sneak into the national team which used to be his domain sometime back. Hence, this IPL is going to be a make or break for him as a good performance can help him revive his international career but an ordinary outing can endanger even his future in the Indian T-20 league.
Faf du Plessis (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
The former captain of South Africa was appointed as the captain of RCB after Virat Kohli decided to give up the captaincy of the Bengaluru franchise last year. Faf has played some match-defining knocks in the past IPL seasons, especially for his previous team CSK. However, he did not have any leadership responsibility back then. In the present edition, he will be leading for the first time and that too for a team that has never won an IPL trophy. So, a lot is riding on the shoulders of this prolific South African cricketer and he needs to bring in all the experience he acquired over the years for the betterment of RCB.