Several veterans in the Indian Premier League (IPL) could be bidding farewell to the world’s best T20 global league. The second phase of the IPL 2021 season set to start from September 19 onwards could be the last time these players walk out donning colours of their respective franchises. With two new teams set to be added from the IPL 2022 season onwards, we might see a new direction in the league. Several top-notch T20 stalwarts have graced the IPL from the very beginning, enjoying a lot of success over the years as they left a mark. However, here we look at seven players who could be making their last appearance in the coveted tournament.
MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings)
If Chennai Super Kings manage to win the IPL 2021 crown, it would definitely be a perfect farewell for one of the best IPL players in the form of MS Dhoni. The former Indian skipper is the most successful captain in terms of matches won in the tournament. MSD has managed 195 matches as captain and is set to go past the mark of 200 in the second leg of IPL 2021. He has registered 115 wins, 79 losses, with one game having no result. With a success rate of 59.27% and three IPL titles, Dhoni, who is 40 years old may seek an exit and let new blood take hold of CSK. In 211 matches, Dhoni has 4,669 runs at 40.25.
Suresh Raina (Chennai Super Kings)
Another CSK veteran Suresh Raina may join Dhoni in bidding farewell to the IPL after the 2021 season. Raina has given us a lot of special memories in CSK colours, besides being a part of the Gujarat Lions outfit for two seasons when CSK were suspended. On August 15, 2020, Raina called it quits from international cricket and he also missed the IPL 2020 campaign. Returning back this year, Raina has 123 runs from seven matches at 24.60. Raina, who will turn 35 in November, would want to end his journey on a high. He has amassed 5,491 runs in 200 IPL matches, after making his debut in 2008.
Ambati Rayudu (Chennai Super Kings)
Former Mumbai Indians batter Ambati Rayudu played a defining role for CSK in IPL 2018, winning a fourth crown. He had scored 602 runs that season but then fizzled out. In 2019 and 2020, Rayudu managed 282 and 359 runs respectively. In IPL 2021, the former Indian cricketer has scored 136 runs so far. Like his team-mates Dhoni and Raina, the right-handed batter knows this would be a terrific chance for him to help CSK win a trophy as he can leave on a note of satisfaction. In 166 matches, Rayudu has scored 3,795 runs at 29.64. He will turn 36 on September 23 and one may feel his time is running out.
Wriddhiman Saha (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
36-year-old Wriddhiman Saha has been a backup keeper for most of his time playing for the Sunrisers Hyderabad. The former KKR and Punjab Kings player has featured in 126 IPL matches, scoring 1,987 runs at 25.15. The veteran cricketer made just five appearances in 2019, four in 2020, and a mere two this season in the first phase. With chances hard to come by, Saha would want to bid farewell. There would also be few takers for Saha in the IPL 2022 mega auction next year given his age and lack of playing time. This will play in his head.
Kedar Jadhav (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
Former Indian cricketer Kedar Jadhav could also make his way out from the IPL. The middle-order batsman has made just 91 appearances in the IPL, making a handful of 12 in IPL 2020 and the first leg of the 14th season. Jadhav has played four matches this season, scoring 40 runs. He scored just 62 runs last season. Given his struggles, teams would stay away from the player, who is 36. Jadhav may also find it difficult to get chances in the second leg of IPL. Overall, Jadhav has 1,181 runs in the IPL.
Harbhajan Singh (KKR)
Former Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings supremo Harbhajan Singh was bought by KKR in the IPL 2021 mini-auction. The off-spinner has failed to make an impression this season for KKR, conceding nine runs per over and failing to take a single wicket. Bhajji could retire from the sport altogether after the conclusion of the 14th season. The 41-year-old has achieved a lot in the IPL, winning four titles and claiming 150 wickets. He will be satisfied with his achievements and would want to help KKR finish strongly.
Robin Uthappa (Chennai Super Kings)
Two-time IPL champion Robin Uthappa played his part for KKR in the IPL, winning one Orange Cap as well. However, the last few seasons have seen Uthappa fall flat. He had a disappointing time at Rajasthan Royals and is yet to make his debut for CSK, being limited to the bench this season. In 186 matches, Uthappa, who has represented many sides in the IPL, may have played his last game last season itself. He will unlikely play for CSK and we don’t see any takers for him in the IPL 2022 auction. The 35-year-old could call it quits.