Meeting the 4:30 pm deadline on Friday, all the franchises made up their minds with regard to the retention of players for the seventh season of the coveted Indian Premier League (IPL). The decisions made by the think tanks of the franchises were more or less on expected lines – with only KXIP and Delhi Daredevils springing up surprises. The heavyweight sides made sure they didn’t lose any of the key members of their squads. Dumping of dashing opener, Virender Sehwag by Delhi Daredevils and retainment of Manan Vohra by Kings XI caught the headlines. Now, the focus will be on how well the teams wield their Right-To-Match card in the auctions. This rule was enforced as per the suggestion made by multiple franchises. The Right-To-Match allows a franchise to bid for a player they haven’t retained and subsequently hold the first right of refusal in case it matches the final bid made by any other franchise. Howewer, at the same time, the number of Right-To-Match cards which could be used by a franchise are limited by the number of players (Indian and Foreign) retained.
Here’s the team-wise summary of the retainments revealed on Friday afternoon:-
1.Mumbai Indians : The defending IPL and CLT20 champions, Mumbai Indians played as safe as it could, retaining 5 players, namely, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh and Lasith Malinga. The franchise had too many to chose from, eventually leaving the likes of Maxwell, Ojha, Karthik and the Ashes sensation Mitchell Johnson, to wait for their fate in the auctions. Mumbai will have tough judgements to be made in the auctions given the reduced purse and just one Right-To-Match card.
2.Chennai Super Kings : By far, the most successful IPL side, CSK, put it’s money on proven Indian stars – skipper MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, and the wily Carrribean all-rounder, Dwayne Bravo. Though, CSK has retained the core of their side, it would be even more delighted if it could attain Murali Vijay, Michael Hussey, Faf du Plessis, and Albie Morkel back in the auction. It is left with just one Right-To-Match card which can’t be applied on a capped Indian player. Moreover, with a purse as less as 21 cr, it has to spend the bucks smartly enough.
3.Royal Challengers Bangalore : RCB threw up no surprises by retaining the Big Three – Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers. It had to be the case given most RCB wins have had majority contributions coming from the above mentioned Big Three. With a fairly heavy purse, and 1 Right-To-Match card, RCB would certainly try and assemble a better bowling attack than what they possessed the previous season.
4.Kolkata Knight Riders : The SRK’s side retained their skipper Gautam Gambhir and the mystery weapon, Sunil Narine. It has every chance to build a good side, going into the auction with a chunky 38 cr. purse and 2 Right-To-Match cards.
5.Rajasthan Royals : The Royals held it’s best players with itself by gambling on Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny and James Faulkner. It’s focus has always been on gathering a decent Indian contingent. With this mindset, backed by 22.5 cr purse and 1 Right-To-Match card, it is expected to be a little inactive in the auctions and make more of direct contracts outside the auction.
6.Sun Risers Hyderabad : This 1-year-old side retained two match winners – Shikhar Dhawan and Dale Steyn. With a huge purse and 2 Right-To-Match cards, it would certainly be aggressive in the auctions, trying to get the likes of Amit Mishra and Thisara Perera back, while a few others to add to it’s kitty.
7.Kings XI Punjab : The owners settled with David Miller and to everyone’s surprise, the young uncapped Indian, Manan Vohra. The franchise is determined to revamp it’s side and the way they go about in the auction would by quite interesting to see.
8.Delhi Daredevils : The Delhi franchise flabbergasted one and all by deciding to not to retain any of their players. With a massive 60 cr in the pocket, it would look to form a fresh side leaving the past behind. Howewer, throwing Virender Sehwag, David Warner, Mourne Morkel and Kevin Petersen back into the auction pool could make themselves curse a little bit.