New Delhi : Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes one of the main reasons for Punjab Kings releasing their IPL 2022 captain Mayank Agarwal on Tuesday was him being unable to justify the hefty price tag after a bad season.
Agarwal was named as the captain of the side for IPL 2022 and was retained by the franchise for a whopping INR 12 crores. Agarwal, joined the Punjab team in 2018 and forged a strong opening pairing with KL Rahul, who was captain of the side till 2021.
But a promotion to leadership didn’t lead to truckload of runs with the bat for the right-hander in IPL 2022. Agarwal scored just 196 runs in 13 matches at an average of 16.33. On the leadership front, he didn’t fare well as Punjab ended the season at sixth place in the ten-team points table.
Moreover, earlier this month, Punjab had announced that senior left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan will replace Agarwal as the captain of the side in IPL 2023. “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 may be re-buy or you know, look at another option. But the thing about Mayank Agarwal? Too much of a nice guy, and this game is not for nice guys,” said Manjrekar on ‘IPL – Special Retention Show’ on Star Sports.
Manjrekar further felt that Agarwal sacrificing his opening position for England’s Jonny Bairstow was a disastrous decision for him as a batter, with him not even firing in the middle order in the later stage of IPL 2022.
“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, 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. Which meant that batting became more difficult and the runs didn’t come, the pressure built up,” he added.
Manjrekar signed off by saying Agarwal might be a very sought-after option in the mini auction. “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 good against both spin and pace.”