Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 | Last Update : 06:58 AM IST

IPL 2018: Who could be retained before auction?

AGE CORRESPONDENT | AMEYA TILAK
Published : Jan 2, 2018, 1:13 pm IST
Updated : Jan 2, 2018, 1:19 pm IST

The IPL Governing Council will announce the names of retained players on January 4.

The IPL Governing Council will announce the names of retained players on January 4 as auction takes place on January 27, 28 in Bengaluru. (Photo: BCCI)
 The IPL Governing Council will announce the names of retained players on January 4 as auction takes place on January 27, 28 in Bengaluru. (Photo: BCCI)

Mumbai: The year 2017 has come to an end and the Indian cricket team will be gearing up for what could be one of their biggest challenges in the recent times as Virat Kohli and co take on Faf du Plessis-led South Africa in a gruelling two-month tour.

All the Indian cricket fans will be looking forward to three Tests, six ODIs and three Twenty20s, a day before the first Test begins in Newlands, Cape Town on January 5. At the same time, what will also be awaited is the announcement of the names of the players the Indian Premier League (IPL) sides will retain ahead of the eleventh edition of the tournament, on January 4, a day before the first South Africa versus India Test.

With none of the teams have officially announced the players they will like to retain – barring Chennai Super Kings stating that MS Dhoni will lead the side, here’s what we think the teams might retain for IPL 2018 via player retention and by using the Right to Match (RTM) card(s) during the IPL players’ auction which is scheduled to take place on January 27 and 28 in Bengaluru.

1) Mumbai Indians (MI):

Pre-auction retention:

The defending champions are likely to retain the top three key players in skipper Rohit Sharma, the charismatic Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, one of the best Indian bowlers in the limited-overs cricket in recent times.

Right to Match:

MI owners may have to take a tough call and have to pick only one from Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga as they must not let go Krunal Pandya, a handy all-rounder who bowls spin and who played a fine knock in last year’s final as MI clinched their third IPL title – and use one RTM for him.

2) Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH):

Pre-auction retention:

While SRH will not have to ponder too much while retaining skipper David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who can bowl at any point of time of the match with tremendous efficiency. The team may have to take a risk of letting either Shikhar Dhawan or Rashid Khan, perhaps one of the best spinners, who has been a lynchpin of Afghanistan’s bowling attack and a hot pick in various Twenty20 leagues, be in the list of players to be auctioned.

While they will have the option to use RTM in the auction, it may turn out to be a tough ask as the teams will be ready to break a bank for both Dhawan and Rashid.

Right to Match:

SRH will like to use RTM to retain whoever between Rashid and Shikhar and for the second RTM, they might want to look at someone like Moises Henriques or Mustafizur Rahman.

3) Chennai Super Kings (CSK):

Pre-auction retention:

The Ranchi-born, Chennai-boy MS Dhoni will adorn yellow jersey again as CSK, who were suspended for two years following the spot-fixing saga, make an IPL comeback. Apart from Dhoni, CSK will like to retain Suresh Raina. However, CSK will have to do a toss-up of sorts and choose either Ravindra Jadeja or Dwayne Bravo if they decide to retain three players before the auction.

Right to Match:

Whoever between Jadeja or Bravo is not retained before the auction, CSK might use RTM to have that player back in the fold. However, it will be interesting to witness for whom they will use their second RTM if they decide to use it; our pick could be anyone from the likes of Andrew Tye, R Ashwin, Faf du Plessis, Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum, with the scale tilting in favour of the underdog Smith.

4) Delhi Daredevils (DD):

Pre-auction retention:

DD have been extravagant and have managed to pick some of the bright cricketing stars in the auctions that have taken place till now. However, the team has always struggled to fire in the tournament with captaincy changing hands and the unit failing to click as a team. And hence, while retaining a few players from the list of Quinton de Kock, Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, Pat Cummins and Rishabh Pant can be expected, DD might also want to start from the scratch and build a whole new team as they target maiden IPL triumph.

Right to Match:

If at all, DD choose not to retain even a single player ahead of the auction, then they will have three RTMs and may want to go for any three from the names mentioned in the possible pre-auction retentions.

5) Kings XI Punjab (KXIP):

Pre-auction retention:

Like DD, KXIP have a few good players – David Miller, Glenn Maxwell, Sandeep Sharma, Axar Patel and Hashim Amla – but the Bollywood actress Preity Zinta-co-owned side has struggled, barring a couple of seasons, to find their A-game consistently.

Right to Match:

If KXIP decide to hang back and not retain anyone before the auction for a high price, they will like to see how much the above mentioned five cricketers do in the auction and use their RTMs for a couple of them. If KXIP have plans to form a completely new team with a new leader, they might want to have a large purse and not spend heavily before the auction and on RTMs.

6) Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB):

Pre-auction retention:

It might cost RCB Rs. 33 crores, but RCB will be keen not to lose strong core and solid fan-following as they will like to retain Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Yuzvendra Chahal, who has not put a foot wrong, representing the Indian team in the limited-overs cricket, over the last one year.

Right to Match:

Should RCB use RTM and retain one of the most explosive T20 mercenaries, Chris Gayle? Or should they cover more bases by using their RTMs and hold on to KL Rahul and Kedar Jadhav to add more strength to their batting, have a back-up wicketkeeper and a slinging part-time off-spinner in Jadhav, who has given enough headaches for batsmen in a last couple of years? Tough task, but RCB, for once, will need to make ‘head over heart’choices and retain Rahul and Jadhav over Gayle.

7) Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR):

Pre-auction retention:

KKR management have the problems of plenty as they sit down and make some tough calls. KKR have taken some big calls in the past – notably letting Sourav Ganguly go at the risk of losing Kolkata support – but if one team which has managed to bounce back despite that call is KKR.

However, picking only five from the likes of Gautam Gambhir, under whom KKR won the IPL twice, Andre Russell, Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav, Trent Boult, Chris Lynn and Chris Woakes is a monumental task. But if KKR are keen to retain three players before the auction, they may go ahead with three from the likes of Lynn, Russell, Narine and Uthappa.

Right to Match:

If the Shah Rukh Khan-co-owned KKR opt to retain Narine, Uthappa and Russell, it will come down to what management has in mind for Gambhir, who is 36. Unless, they have plans to rope in Gambhir in a double-role of captain and mentor, they might not retain Gambhir and will like to use 2 RTMs for Pandey or Kuldeep or Coulter-Nile or Boult.

8) Rajasthan Royals (RR):

Pre-auction retention:

The Moneyball team of the IPL will be back in fold following the two-year suspension and they will like to get going straightway. The RR management has the option to retain the likes of Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane, James Faulkner, Rajat Bhatia and Dhawal Kulkarni, it is likely that they will only go ahead with Steve Smith and ask him to lead the side, and Rahane, who has been one of the finest openers in IPL.

Right to Match:

RR, meanwhile, may decide not to retain anyone and keep the Rs. 80 crore money-purse in tact for the auction and then use RTMs for Smith and Rahane in the auction. However, that may be a bit too risky if the other IPL teams – mainly DD, KXIP and KKR (if they let Gambhir go) – opt to go bonkers and have Smith in the leadership role. Instead, they might want to use RTMs for someone like Faulkner and Bhatia – less on starpower but extremely effective.

Tags: indian premier league, ipl player retention, ipl players' auction
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)