At the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) mega auction, which took place in Bengaluru last month, fans got to see their favourite players being sold during the bidding process. While four-times IPL champion, Chennai Super Kings (CSK), managed to get their core team back, top-order batsman Suresh Raina went unsold.

This move shocked many as one believed if not other team owners, CSK would surely bought him. However, during the mega-auction, after going unsold on the first day, Raina didn’t get a buyer on the final day as well.

It was the first time in IPL auction that the veteran batter went unsold, and only the second season he would miss the cash-rich league since. He had earlier opted out of IPL 2020 due to personal reasons.

After missing the 2020 edition, Raina returned to the IPL last year and made a smashing fifty in his first match against Delhi Capitals (DC). But, his form dipped and he couldn’t perform well after that game. He was eventually replaced in the playing by Robin Uthappa, who put up superlative performances in the knockout games.

Rajasthan Royals’ Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, who was present at the auction, recently pointed out on how the IPL franchises have now started favouring and buying players that offer more value and utility over big names.

“There are different ways to look at it. As the years go by, players change and reputations are also made new by younger players,” he said, giving an example of Raina.

“In the case of Suresh Raina, his reputation is unbelievable in IPL cricket. He has been an absolute legend, one of the best and top-most performers season after season. When you go into granular detail, perhaps the player is not suited for that season. It takes nothing away from the player being one of the best ever, or the player being of absolute high quality and it is something that analysts, coaches and owners look for.”

Sangakkara also made a few predictions for RR in the upcoming season:

First half-century: Yashaswi Jaiswal
First century: Sanju Samon or Jos Buttler
First wicket: Trent Boult

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