The IPL auction is around the corner, taking place on the 27th and 28th of this month. Prior to this event each IPL side must decide which, if any, players they wish to retain in their squad.
IPL Retention Rules
Teams can retain a maximum of five players, with a maximum of three being retained before the auction and a maximum of three being retained during the auction through their “right to match card (RTM)”. There are some criteria in place to manage the players the teams are retaining. Up to three capped Indian players can be retained, along with a maximum of two overseas players and two uncapped Indian players. The RTM system is fairly simple. After the bidding for a player has taken place, the player’s original franchise can use their RTM card, which allows them to keep their player but pay the price of the highest bidder. There is lots of strategy involved in the IPL auction and it all begins on January 4th when the squad retention lists are submitted. This is the first time in the IPL’s history that this event will be televised. There has been some chat about who will be retained by each franchise, which is now going to be explored.
Chennai Super Kings
Retain: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo
Right to Match: Ravichandran Ashwin, Faf du Plessis
The Chennai Super Kings are set to return to the IPL this year, following a two year suspension. With their original squad on offer, the two-time winners are set to retain their big-name Indian players: captain MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. Fans are desperate to see them return and it would be hard to imagine a CSK team without them. Raina recently passed a fitness test, showing that he is still in prime form to score big runs in the IPL. Partnering them is likely to be T20 specialist Dwayne Bravo, who has just become the first player to cross 400 T20 wickets. His death bowling is virtually unparalleled, stocked with an immense armoury of slower balls. If Raina isn’t selected, then Ashwin could be retained by CSK, but he is likely to be used in a RTM.
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Retain: Chris Morris
Right to Match: Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant
The Delhi Daredevils have the lowest win rate (43%) out of any team competing in this year’s IPL and have routinely failed to deliver in the past. It is highly unlikely that they will retain multiple players, with lots of fans calling for an entire squad change. However, there is a chance that they could retain South African all-rounder Chris Morris. Morris was a high-impact player for them last season, averaging over 30 with the bat and turned heads with his brutal innings of 38 off 9 against the Rising Pune Supergiants. In addition to this, Morris picked up a handy 12 wickets and was the second leading wicket taker for his franchise. Other than Morris, the Delhi Daredevils are unlikely to retain anyone but could use their RTM cards in the auction. Their Indian batting core have not delivered consistently, aside from a few impressive knocks, and so may not be at the forefront of their plans for next season.
Kings XI Punjab
Retain: Glenn Maxwell, Hashim Amla
Right to Match: Axar Patel, Sandeep Sharma
The Kings XI Punjab will be looking for a near-complete overhaul of their squad after a poor few seasons. Some speculation says that they may not retain anyone, but it is hard to overlook Glenn Maxwell and Hashim Amla. Maxwell, “the Big Show”, has criminally underperformed for KXIP. He averaged below 20 for Punjab in the 2015 and 2016 seasons, but bounced back with a better performance last season. He has proven himself to be an entertaining and explosive player and it is worth sticking with him and he is capable of providing some match-winning knocks.
Last seasons overseas signing Hashim Amla is well worth retaining. The South African opener was KXIP’s leading run scorer in the 2017 edition, with 420 runs in ten innings. Amla hit two hundreds and two fifties, ending the season with an average of 60. It is essential that Punjab retain him. Other than these two batsmen it is hard to see Punjab retaining anyone else, but they should play some RTM cards in the auction itself.
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Kolkata Knight Riders
Retain: Gautam Gambhir, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn
Right to Match: Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey
It must be a hard task for the Kolkata Knight Riders to decide who to retain, as they have a deep squad full of talented players. Captain Gautam Gambhir should be retained by his franchise, having been one of their stalwart players for several years. The left-hander has the fourth most runs ever in the competition and has captained his side to two titles (2012, 2014). A solid Ranji season, though slightly inconsistent, could further boost his case. Being retained alongside him is likely to be Kuldeep Yadav and Chris Lynn.
Kuldeep has rapidly established himself as one of India’s frontline spinners. After making his debut in 2017, Kuldeep played 24 matches for India and took 43 wickets for his country. Economy rates of 4.88 and 7.65 in ODIs and T20Is pay testament to his miserly nature. However, his performance in the IPL last year may be the only cause for the KKR management to look over him. His tally of 12 wickets, at an economy of close to 8.3, was below par and behind teammates Nathan Coulter-Nile (15), Chris Woakes (17) and Umesh Yadav (17). Chris Lynn is set to be the only overseas player retained pre-auction. An explosive 2017 has seen him rise to fame around the world, scoring prolifically in the Big Bash and in IPL 10. Last season Lynn hit 295 runs in just seven matches, averaging close to 50 and striking at over 180.
Retain: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya
Right to Match: Kieron Pollard, Jaspirit Bumrah
As mentioned earlier, there is lots of tactics involved in retention strategy. This is exemplified here. Reliable sources from the Mumbai Indians camp have revealed that Rohit Sharma and the Pandya brothers are likely to be retained. The reason for retaining Krunal is because uncapped Indian players can be retained at a cheaper price. This will then mean that the Mumbai Indians have sufficient funds to buy back West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard and talented death bowler Jaspirit Bumrah. These five players have been key match-winners for Mumbai over the years and are set to make up their core for the upcoming season. They have got their tactics sorted well.
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Retain: Steve Smith
Right to Match: –
Like the Chennai Super Kings, the Rajasthan Royals are making their return back to the IPL this season. However, they have been hard done by in the guidelines for player retention. They only have a choice of ten players to choose from, with most other players having moved on to other franchises. The BCCI have admitted that it is slightly harsh on the Royals. Therefore, early indications from the RR camp suggests that they are not going to retain any players (except possibly Steve Smith) and will not use their RTM cards. It would not be surprising to see them opt for a completely fresh start, but they will no doubt be tempted to retain Steve Smith who is simply in sublime form. Ajinkya Rahane is also likely to be considered, but will probably be overlooked.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Retain: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal
Right to Match: Chris Gayle/Mitchell Starc, Lokesh Rahul
Despite drastically underperforming last year, the Royal Challengers Bangalore are guaranteed to retain as many players as they can. Captain Virat Kohli and overseas star AB de Villiers are almost certain to be retained. While these two did not have the most prolific IPL 10, Kohli was their leading run scorer and de Villiers the third-highest (behind Kedar Jadhav). However, their international form is unparalleled and they have proven themselves to be two of the most entertaining players in the world. Moreover, their sharp fielding and experience is key for a side that struggled to win matches. They really do not need much justification.
However, it is hard to see who the third player they are going to retain is. At this stage Yuzvendra Chahal seems to be their best option. Chahal had an incredible 2017, both in the IPL an on an international level. In the last edition of the IPL, he was RCB’s leading wicket taker and was exceptionally economical. For India, Chahal has taken two four-fers in his last two matches and has performed consistently across the year. He just pips the ever inconsistent Chris Gayle to the retention.
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Retain: David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan
Right to Match: Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh
After qualifying third in the group stages, the Sunrisers Hyderabad were let down by an abysmal batting performance in the eliminator last year. This was a harsh ending to what was otherwise a decent season and they will look to replicate their consistency this year. As a result they are going to retain the maximum number of players possible. Captain David Warner is a cert to be retained, after winning the orange cap last season. Warner hit a huge 641 runs at an average close to 60, building on an equally impressive 2016 where he scored a phenomenal 848 runs. His impressive Ashes form will be a timely reminder to the Sunrisers management that he is a player that can’t be overlooked.
Pace bowler Bhuvneswar Kumar and young Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan should be the other players retained by SRH. Kumar won the purple cap last season, taking 26 wickets in just 14 matches. An economy of around 7, with a strike rate of 12, showed how lethal a bowler he is. Rashid Khan was equally impressive in his debut IPL stint. Khan picked up 17 wickets, but his economy of 6.62 grabbed the headlines. His googly is what makes him stand-out, with world class batsmen failing to pick his deadly variation. The leggie is currently enjoying a successful Big Bash League stint with the Adelaide Strikers, being one of the stand-out performers thus far.
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