With less than 4 weeks left for the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, various sides have started to finalise the names of players they will be retaining this year. According to a senior BCCI official in the know of the things, the defending champions Mumbai Indians is set to retain its captain Rohit Sharma along with the Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Rohit has led the side to three IPL titles and has been in an exceptional form of late, making him an obvious choice to lead the side once again. Hardik, on the other hand, has matured into a genuine match-winner and letting him go would be a foolish move.
For the third spot, Mumbai had many options like Kieron Pollard, Jos Buttler, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu but the team management has decided to go with a rather unconventional choice. The team is set to retain Hardik’s brother Krunal Pandya who was also the man of the final last year. “Skipper Rohit Sharma is an automatic retention having led the team to three IPL titles. Hardik Pandya is one of the big match-winners and the interesting third retention would be Krunal Pandya,” the official was quoted saying by PTI.
Krunal being an uncapped Indian can be retained for only Rs 3 crore instead of Rs 7 crore for the third capped player. This will not only allow the Mumbai Indians to go into the auction with more money in the wallet but also to retain the services of one of its biggest match-winners.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) December 31, 2017
It is learnt that it is a strategic decision to retain Krunal as this will enable the franchise to buy back Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah with the ‘Right To Match’ cards. “MI has been the biggest advocate of five retentions. These five are their core group of match winners and it will be surprising if they deviate from this strategy,” the BCCI official said.
As per the guidelines issued by the IPL governing council, if you retain two capped players, you spend Rs 21 crore (Rs 12.5 crore for Player 1 and Rs 8.5 for Player 2) instead of Rs 33 crore for three capped players (Rs 15 crore for Player 1, Rs 11 crore for Player 2 and Rs 7 crore for Player 3).
Meanwhile, the Delhi Daredevils are set to retain Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer whereas Rajasthan Royals will take back Steve Smith. The Chennai Super Kings are set to retain three of their marquee players -skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, IPL superstar Suresh Raina and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja while Dwayne Bravo, if fit, is all but certain to be bought back with Right To Match card.