The IPL Governing Council on Wednesday, in a major decision, announced that all the franchises will be allowed to secure up to 5 players by virtue of a combination of Player Retention (Pre Player Auction) and Right to Match (RTM) (during the Player Auction). It clearly stated that a maximum of either 3 retentions or 3 RTM will be at the discretion of the franchises. So, if the franchises decided to use all the three retentions (pre-auction), they will be allowed to use only two RTMs during the auction. To clear the confusion, RTM is called right to first choice. So, for example, Virat Kohli goes back to auction and is bid for a certain amount, then RCB can have him back by using the RTM card for the same amount.
Following will apply irrespective of player retention or RTM –
1. Maximum number of 3 Capped Indian players.
2. Maximum number of 2 Overseas players.
3. Maximum number of 2 Uncapped Indian players.
Keeping these rules in mind, here is the full list of players that every team might retain:
1. Rishabh Pant: Without a doubt, the future of Indian cricket. When Pant went to auction last time, he was sold for a whopping amount of over Rs 3 crore. The smart move would be to retain him.
2. Mohammed Shami: Even though Shami has not represented India much in the shorter format of the game, he is a natural leader of the bowling attack.
3. Pat Cummins: The Australian quick was brilliant for the side in the last season and can be retained.
4. JP Duminy: At this stage in his career, Duminy won’t go for much in the auction but, his experience is valuable. So, Delhi can get the South African using the RTM.
5. Karun Nair: Another proven performer, Nair led the side last year in Zaheer Khan’s absence. Having him back using RTM won’t be a bad option.
Kings XI Punjab:
1. David Miller: He is been there for a long time and even led Punjab for a season. Miller would attract a lot of buyers in the auction and the best way to stop a bidding war would be by retaining him.
2. Hashim Amla: The coming generations would not believe that Hashim Amla had no buyers for the first nine seasons of IPL. But, he arrived in style. Amla is Punjab’s consistent performer and should be retained.
3. Glenn Maxwell: Despite his poor performance in the last couple of seasons, Maxwell is a match-winner in this format. He should be retained.
4. Manan Vohra: The youngster was retained by the team last time but failed to live up to the expectations. Still, it won’t be a bad move to get him back using RTM.
5. Sandeep Sharma: Another local boy Sandeep Sharma is unlikely to attract too many buyers and can be retained by the side given his impressive record.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
1. Gautam Gambhir: Half of KKR’s success in last six seasons was because of Gambhir’s brilliant captaincy. Retaining him shouldn’t be a hard call.
2. Robin Uthappa: The Karnataka batsman has been equally pivotal in team’s success as has Gambhir. He has a history of being sold for a massive amount so, the team is most likely to retain Uthappa.
3. Sunil Narine: What Chris Gayle is to batting in IPL, Narine is to bowling. Moreover, he has turned into an opening batsman lately and is smashing the bowlers all across the globe. The team will most likely retain the West Indian.
4. Andre Russell: The big West Indian adds balance to the side and the management can use the RTM to hold on to him.
5. Manish Pandey: It is unfortunate that KKR can only retain three players and as optimistic as we may sound they should look to get back Manish Pandey using RTM. But, the Bangalore boy is expected to cost them a huge amount.
1. Rohit Sharma: Local boy, best batsman and captain. Will definitely be retained.
2. Kieron Pollard: Been here for a long time, winning numerous games for the side. Pollard should be and would be retained.
3. Hardik Pandya: The hottest Indian property if sold, Hardik Pandya can be the most expensive player in the Indian Premier League. But honestly, Mumbai won’t let that happen.
4. Harbhajan Singh: He has been through everything with this side. Reality check: Bhajii won’t be a major attraction in the auctions and MI should look to get him using RTM.
5. Ambati Rayudu: The out-of-favour middle-order batsman can fit anywhere in the batting order and is an excellent fielder. Mumbai should look to get him back on the roaster.
1. Ajinkya Rahane: If Dravid was the wall of team India, Ajju was the wall of Rajasthan Royals. He would be dying to don the blue jersey again.
2. Steve Smith: RR would be looking for a new captain and who else can do the job better than ‘ever-dancing’ Steve Smith. The Aussie is on top of his game and would lead the new-look RR side.
3. James Faulkner: The Australian all-rounder can win matches both with the bat as well as ball and has a brilliant IPL record.
4. Rajat Bhatia: The Delhi all-rounder is an IPL legend, not too many people know of. He has an excellent economy rate and has contributed with the bat many occasions. Should be retained using RTM.
5. Dhawal Kulkarni: Since leaving RR, Kulkarni has been in outstanding form for Gujarat Lions and it won’t be a bad option to get him back.
1. MS Dhoni: Do we even need to say anything? This will be a homecoming for MS Dhoni.
2. Suresh Raina: Fans are dying to see Raina and Dhoni play together in that yellow jersey. This could be a dream come true for them.
3. Brendon McCullum: If there is a player who can match McCullum’s popularity in India, he is ABD. The former Kiwi skipper is most likely to be retained.
4. Ravindra Jadeja: Getting Jadeja through RTM would be tough as the Indian all-rounder will attract a lot of bidders but that’s CSK’s only chance.
5. Dwayne Bravo: A match-winner in every true sense. The West Indian couldn’t play the last season of IPL due to injuries and would be hoping for a dream comeback.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
1. Virat Kohli: Enough said!
2. Chris Gayle: The only way to keep the universal boss silent is by picking him on your side. Despite a slump in form, Gayle remains a big match-winner.
3. AB de Villiers: And, with this RCB will look to keep its three stars together. The South African adds a lot of value to the team and has a great equation with Kohli.
4. Yuzvendra Chahal: The young leg-spinner has played an important role in team’s success over the last few years. He is Kohli’s go-to man in all situations and the skipper would like to keep Chahal on the side.
5. KL Rahul: The Indian opener missed out on the last season due to an injury but given his equation with Kohli and ability keep wickets, the management might use the RTM.
1. David Warner: The Australian has led the side beautifully since taking over from Shikhar Dhawan. The management is unlikely to let go of its skipper and most important batsman.
2. Shikhar Dhawan: Warner’s opening partner and the leader of domestic players, Dhawan should also find his name in the list of retained players.
3. Bhuvneshwar Kumar: As surprising as it may sound to a lot of players, the value of a good Indian fast-bowler is immense and Bhuvi is one of the best and should be retained.
4. Rashid Khan: The young Afghan spinner was the newsmaker in the last season of IPL. The team management will not let him go easily and might use an RTM.
5. Mustafizur Rahman: If fit, the young Bangladesh fast-bowler will lead the SRH bowling attack along with Bhuvi. Another player worth using an RTM for.