Looking at the players retained by each franchise and what it means for them going ahead.
The eight existing franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL) have announced their player-retention lists going into the 15th season of the tournament next year.
The existing teams were given the opportunity to retain a maximum of four players, with not more than three Indians and not more than two overseas players allowed to be retained.
The teams were given until November 30 to submit the final list of players they wanted to retain. The two new franchises of Ahmedabad and Lucknow will be getting 25 days—between December 1 and December 25—to sign up to three players (two Indian and one overseas).
The teams were given the following retention rules that they needed to abide by:
- The eight existing IPL teams will be able to retain a maximum of four players.
- There are two different combinations teams can apply while picking their four players: three Indians and one overseas, or two Indians and two overseas. It doesn’t matter if the Indian players are capped or uncapped.
- Unlike the previous mega-auction that was conducted ahead of the 2018 season, there will be no right-to-match cards at the auction, which means no first (or last) dibs on ex-players.
- Each player, though, has the final word: whether he wants to stay with that franchise or not.
Retaining players also meant that it took a heavy hit on the teams, with each franchise having to dish out ₹42 crore if they retained four players. If they decided to keep three players, it would cost them ₹33 crore, while it would be ₹24 crore for two and ₹14 crore for one. ₹4 crore would be deducted for uncapped players.
Following is the breakdown of the retention costs:
Deductions for 4 Players: ₹42 crore
Player 1: ₹16 crore
Player 2: ₹12 crore
Player 3: ₹8 crore
Player 4: ₹6 crore
Deduction for 3 Players: ₹33 crore
Player 1: ₹15 crore
Player 2: ₹11 crore
Player 3: ₹7 crore
Deductions for 2 Players: ₹24 crore
Player 1: ₹14 crore
Player 2: ₹10 crore
Deduction for 1 Player: ₹14 crore
Let’s take a look at the players retained and what it means for each team going ahead.
Chennai Super Kings
Players retained: MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Moeen Ali and Ruturaj Gaikwad
Money remaining: ₹48 crore
The defending champions and one of the most successful teams of the IPL, the Chennai Super Kings went ahead with a mixed strategy for their retention plan.
Ravindra Jadeja is their key player, with the all-rounder most likely to be groomed for a leadership role after Dhoni retires.
The CSK have gone with Moeen Ali as their foreign retention, with the Englishman having probably edged out Faf du Plesis, given he adds another dimension to his game with his bowling.
Ruturaj Gaikwad was the final retention for the Super Kings, and after last season, it was a no-brainer. Gaikwad is probably the Indian batter the CSK will look to build their squad around.
Amongst the surprise releases, du Plessis was one. Dwayne Bravo was another, who had been one of the stalwarts for the Super Kings. He, though, is almost certainly on his last leg, and the CSK probably did not see a long-term future with him.
Speaking of stalwarts, ‘Mr. IPL’ himself did not find a spot on the retention list; Raina’s declining form over the last few years, and the fact that he plays almost no professional cricket apart from the IPL, probably led to the CSK making this hard-yet-necessary decision.
Players retained: Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard
Money remaining: ₹48 crore
Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah were no-brainers, with the Mumbai franchise known for keeping their core same over the years.
The MI have gone with Suryakumar Yadav, though, as their third Indian retention, which means there is no space for the dynamic Ishan Kishan or Hardik Pandya.
Veteran Kieron Pollard also finds a space on the retention list, which at first might be a bit surprising given his age, but if you look at the MI’s philosophy, it makes more sense; Pollard is not only retained for his incredible skill and talent, but also for what he brings to the table with his experience. Just like how Lasith Malinga stayed on with the team in his later years to groom the young bowlers, Pollard could be heading for a similar role in the future.
Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan have to be the notable ones missing out, with Pandya having been such a crucial member of the Mumbai team over the years. Apart from Pandya, Kishan also misses out, which raised a few eyebrows given how impactful the southpaw is with the bat and that he can also don the role of a wicket-keeper. Kishan could have filled up two roles for the MI, but the management have decided to go with Yadav, who they see as a more flexible option.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Players retained: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Varun Chakravarthy and Venkatesh Iyer
Money remaining: ₹48 crore
The Kolkata Knight Riders have always been a bold team, be it with their on-pitch performances or their off-field decisions. Once again, the KKR have stunned quite a few with their retention list.
Andre Russell probably is a no-brainer if you look at the impact the West Indian has on games, but of late, Russell has been injury prone, which has hampered his performances during the last couple of seasons.
Along with Russell, the longest-serving Knight, Sunil Narine, is retained. Narine has reinvented himself and has proved to be a vital part of the team; he was probably the easiest pick.
The other two players the Knight Riders have retained are two relatively inexperienced Indians. Venkatesh Iyer makes the surprise cut as someone who wasn’t even in the playing XI in the first half of the IPL last season; it’s been quite the turnaround. A season later, and already having made his international debut, Iyer is retained by the Knights over Shubhman Gill.
The extremely talented Gill was probably one who many thought would make the cut, and given that the KKR didn’t retain their captain, Gill could not only have been the Indian batter around whom the team could be built, but also someone who could be looked upon as a future leader. For now, though, the management have put their faith in the skills of Iyer and the mystery spin of Chakravarty.
Gill is an obvious surprise, but apart from him, the others missing out were expected. As good as Eoin Morgan was with his leadership, the Knights couldn’t waste a spot on him given that there was zero return with the bat from the England captain. Dinesh Karthik, on the other hand, is probably in his final few seasons, and the Knights have thus chosen to look at someone else for the future behind the stumps.
Player retained: Kane Williamson, Abdul Samad and Umran Malik
Money remaining: ₹68 crore
Hours before the announcement of their retention list, the SunRisers Hyderabad put up a tweet on social media that more or less confirmed that they would go in with a clean slate next season.
After a very public fallout with David Warner last season, with the Australian having publicly acknowledged that he had no desire to play for the franchise, Kane Williamson’s retention was a no-brainer.
However, the other two indeed are surprise picks, as the SRH have retained the all-rounder Abdul Samad and the express-quick Umran Malik.
Rashid Khan is a notable absentee, with the Afghan spinner having been somewhat synonymous with the Hyderabadi team. Another SRH veteran, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, misses out, most likely because of his age and injury issues over the years.
Retaining two uncapped players means the SRH have a decent sum left for the auction, with which they could form a strong core for the future.
Player retained: Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler and Yashasvi Jaiswal
Money remaining: ₹62 crore
Much like the KKR, the Rajasthan Royals are another who have surprised quite a few with their retention list; it had no place for Ben Stokes or Jofra Archer, who are two of the best players going around in world cricket, yet the RR have decided to see beyond the British pair.
Rajasthan have retained their captain Sanju Samson, though, and given that Samson’s batting was the only silver lining for them last season, it isn’t much of a surprise.
They have also decided to stick with Jos Buttler, which was also more or less a given; Buttler is one of the most destructive batters in world cricket and one of the best white-ball players currently. That he adds another dimension to his game with his keeping probably gave him an edge over the others.
Rajasthan’s final retained player is the young and uncapped Yashasvi Jaiswal, who was probably the surprise package of the three, but the management have decided to go ahead with the youngster and groom him for the future.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Players retained: Virat Kohli (₹15 cr), Glenn Maxwell (₹17 cr), Mohammed Siraj (₹7 cr)
Money remaining: ₹57 crore
Virat Kohli was a no-brainer for the RCB. Even though he gave up his captaincy at the end of last season, Kohli walks into any team in any format of the game at the moment. What is surprising, though, is that he has taken a pay cut to stick around, which is most likely going to help the team accommodate the remaining players.
Glenn Maxwell’s stellar season sees him retained, and given that AB de Villiers called it quits a few weeks back, the RCB have gone with the Aussie as their foreigner retention. Maxwell is handy with the ball too, and with his experience can be crucial for the new captain.
Bangalore’s third retention is Mohammed Siraj, which surprised a few given that the pacer was chosen over last season’s Purple Cap-winner Harshal Patel and the ever-dependant Yuzvendra Chahal.
Patel’s omission is a bit surprising given just how good he was not only last season but also on his international debut. Chahal, who has been an RCB faithful, also misses out, with the management deciding to choose the pacer Siraj over the leg-spinner.
Another omission that surprised a few was that of Devdutt Padikkal; the young southpaw has been one of the most promising talents to have come out of the Bangalore franchise.
Players retained: Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, Axar Patel and Anrich Nortje
Money remaining: ₹47.5 crore
The Capitals have decided to stick with their captain Rishabh Pant and the young Indian batter Prithvi Shaw. With the team deciding to not retain Shikhar Dhawan, Shaw became an obvious choice.
The DC, much like the MI and the KKR, have been a team who have stuck with the same group for the last few seasons, and their retention list verifies the same. Axar Patel’s strong couple of seasons and his red-ball heroics for the national team sees him get a spot on the list, while the South African pacer Anrich Nortje makes the cut over his compatriot Kagiso Rabada.
Shreyas Iyer is definitely a surprising omission, given that he was the captain of the side at the start of last season. Shikhar Dhawan, who since moving to Delhi a couple of seasons ago has been their highest scorer almost every season, is another one whose omission will be a talking point. His experience could have been key, but the DC have decided to move ahead without the southpaw.
Players retained: Mayank Agarwal, Arshdeep Singh
Money remaining: ₹72 crore
Once it became evident that their captain, KL Rahul, would not continue with the squad, the PBKS not only needed to look for a solid Indian batter and wicket-keeper, but also a leader.
The Kings’ retention list shows that they are a team who want to start afresh from the new season and will look to build around Mayank Agarwal, who is most likely to lead the team.
Young Arshdeep Singh has been a promising talent for the Punjab team, and he has been rewarded aptly.