By GS Vivek
Finally, IPL has come out with retention rules of allowing 3 players beforehand (not to be confused with 3 Right To Match cards but a complete set of just 5 altogether) and the headline would read ‘MS Dhoni back with Chennai Super Kings’.
However, there are few important aspects to be kept in mind before drawing up a list of players who would be retained:
- The actual fee to be paid to the ‘retained player’ is strictly between the player and franchise. The fate of players like Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, David Miller to be retained by the respective franchise depends on this agreement. IPL will deduct Rs 15 crore, 11 crore and 7 crores for three players retained from the salary cap of the franchise but actual may vary.
- The player has the right to agree to be retained or released for the auction and take the risk seeking a bigger pay. Also the previous franchise may use their RTM cards to hold the same player with them.
- As a strategy, franchisees looking to save money may actually end up retaining one uncapped or some lesser known players to save auction purse and agree on much lower fee to the player for some smart savings.
A closer look at which possible players the IPL franchisees might want to retain or buy back in the auction. Although the franchisees are yet to make up a final list, Wah Cricket comes out with a possible shopping list for IPL franchisees.
Chennai Super Kings
Possible Retentions: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja
RTM: R Ashwin, Faf Du Plessis/Dwanye Bravo.
Back after a two –year suspension, much of CSK’s worries will be which two out of three Indian players they might want to retain and in which order; because the first player will be obviously MS Dhoni. But will CSK choose option 1 as per rules --- Dhoni for Rs 15 crores and pick Raina and Jadeja with salary of Rs 11 crores and 7 crores or will they just retain Dhoni and Raina.
Because if they do that, then CSK will not just save by giving Dhoni only Rs 12.5 crores and Raina Rs 8.5 crores but also get three RTM cards into the auction for Jadeja, Ashwin and possibly Faf du Plessis or Dwanye Bravo. The latter is a possibility.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Possible Retention: Manish Pandey/ Sunil Narine
It could be the biggest news running up to the auction. Gambhir is unlikely to be fetching a price of Rs 15 crore at the auction, and thus depends on the fee both agree upon. With a couple of franchise like Delhi and Punjab looking for a skipper material, Gambhir’s intentions to go for the auction may well give him a better bargain. Kolkata also face the tricky issue of taking a decision of RTM cards with players like Andre Russel, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Robin Uthappa and of course Chris Lynn.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Possible Retentions: Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers
Works perfectly for RCB to take the cheaper route by retaining the two and going in with three RTM cards, though given the erratic form of Chris Gayle and KL Rahul along with poor bowling resources at his disposal, Virat might not be too perturbed over it.
Possible Retentions: Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane
Rajasthan Royals can consider themselves lucky to get the duo on a platter while they can rethink on their budgets and draw a plan for other players. Possibility is ripe that Royals would regroup with Shane Warne or Greame Smith as coach along with Zubin Barucha and Paddy Upton joining the team back as support staff.
Possible Retention: Rishabh Pant
Delhi have previously always been famous for not retaining any player just before a major auction but this time may just be tempted to retain local boy and rising T20 player Rishabh Pant.
Possible Retentions: David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Hyderabad might feel lucky to get the option of getting three key payers on board who have been instrumental in their side’s fortunes. And unfortunately it is not Yuvraj Singh. With Mohd Siraj also making it into the Indian side, Hyderabad might want to use the RTM card for the pacer and it remains to be seen if Yuvraj can break the bank like he did on previous occasions.
Kings XI Punjab:
Possible Retention: None
Looks set to go into the auction with full purse and is likely to use the services of old timers David Miller and Glenn Maxwell through RTM. Kings XI have a new coach this season with Australian Brad Hodge taking over the reins this season from Virender Sehwag.
Possible Retentions: Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya
Mumbai have to tackle the problem of Keiron Pollard and Nitish Rana through the RTM option and will have to redraw their strategy to keeping most of their uncapped players intact during the auction.