10th January 2014 was the final date for the IPL franchises to announce the names of players they would be retaining for the next 3 years and all the 8 teams have duly submitted the names that they wish to see in their roster till IPL 2016. In this blog, there shall be an attempt to review the decisions made by the various franchises. One of the major features of this year’s auction will be the usage of right-to-match cards using which franchises shall be able to retain a player they did not originally have when the list for 2014 was being submitted. It remains to be seen how the card will come to play during the auction.
Chennai Super Kings
The franchise that has had the most settled squad, and has thus been the most successful, has retained 5 players – MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja. The 4 Indian players are basically no-brainers considering their importance in the national team, especially in the limited overs format. The selection of Dwayne Bravo as an allrounder probably means that he will be the first choice seamer cum middle order batsman, a role that has been played so far by Albie Morkel.
Thanks to their retention of 5 players the Chennai based franchise now has INR 210 million at its disposal along with a right-to-match card, which cannot be used for an Indian player who has represented the national team. One feels that they could use this card for Albie Morkel or Mike Hussey given how important the duo has been for the success of the team.
The Delhi franchise had a horrid time last year considering the wealth of talent at its disposal. This is the reason that they have opted to not retain a single player and thus arm themselves with the full auction purse of INR 600 million. They also have 3 right-to-match cards that I feel could be used for players such as David Warner, Morne Morkel and Irfan Pathan. It is highly unlikely that they will go for Sehwag given his rather woeful form of late.
Kings XI Punjab
The Mohali based franchise, which has had to be satisfied with mid table positions in the last couple of seasons have opted to go with David Miller and Manan Vohra. While Miller is a proven commodity at this level around the world, Vohra can be regarded as an inspirational pick. The young batsman has been in fine nick in the national under-25 competition this year. The franchise has a couple of right-to-match cards that will probably be used for Shaun Marsh and Piyush Chawla. They also have INR 435 million, which places them in a good position to make some important picks during the auction.
Kolkata Knight Riders
For the IPL champions of 2012 nothing went right in 2013 – the Kolkata franchise could not even make it to the Champions League. They have retained Gautam Gambhir and Sunil Narine which is justifiable considering they have led the batting and bowling in the last few seasons. They have INR 380 million in their kitty and a couple of right-to-match cards, which could be used for Manoj Tiwary and Shami Ahmed.
For a team that has recently been successful, winning both the IPL and the CLT20, Mumbai Indians would have had a hard time picking 5 from such an exceptional lot. They have chosen to go with Rohit, Harbhajan and Rayudu among the Indians and Pollard and Malinga among the overseas players. The choice of Rayudu perhaps shows that he will be taking up the mantle of a senior batsman within the franchise after the retirement of Tendulkar. Malinga has perhaps been chosen over Johnson because the latter is an Australia regular while Malinga plays only the limited over games and is a specialist of this format. In spite of retaining 5 players Mumbai still has INR 210 million and a right-to-match card which will probably be used for Johnson.
Like Mumbai, Rajasthan too has opted to keep 5 players – Watson, Faulkner and Binny who have been vital all-round contributors and Samson and Rahane who have led the batting charts for the Jodhpur based franchise. They now have INR 225 million and will have one right-to-match card that in all probability will be used for Brad Hodge.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Bangalore franchise was the first one to announce that it will be retaining Kohli, who will lead the side in 2014 as well, and AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle. Gayle will lead the top order and de Villiers will be the perfect finisher in the middle order and perhaps keep wickets as well. The team will be able to use a maximum of INR 305 million in the auction and have 1 right-to-match card, which could be used for either Zaheer or Dilshan.
It had been speculated before the auction that Dale Steyn and Shikhar Dhawan will be the two players who would be retained by the franchise and it has happened in reality as well. They now have a couple of right-to-match cards, which could be used for Quinton de Kock and Ishant Sharma.