IPL 2018: Focus on Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni as deadline to retain players nears
IPL teams Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings will have Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni as the first names on their list players to be retainedcricket Updated: Jan 04, 2018 12:22 IST
In preparation for the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, the franchises will make their first move on Thursday when they submit the list of players they want to retain. Each team can retain a maximum of three players, and among the eight franchises, the three likely to benefit the most are Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The top three names Mumbai Indians want are captain Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah. But as of Wednesday it was not clear whether they would straightaway retain Bumrah or look to get him in the auction with the Right-to-Match card. In that case, the uncapped Krunal Pandya could be the third player MI retain.
When teams decide to retain a particular player, the main criterion will be that they have built their brand around him. Hence, RCB and CSK will have Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni as the first names on their list.
CSK also look certain to retain Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja.
Teams can retain up to five players, out of which a maximum of three can be capped Indian players, a maximum of two can be uncapped Indian players, and a maximum of two can be overseas players. The players retained (maximum of three) will not go into the auction pool. Teams will get a second chance to hold on to a player on their 2017 roster (2015 for RR and CSK) by using the RTM card (maximum of three).
With big names such as AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle in their 2017 line-up, RCB have a tough choice. They also have to consider Yuzvendra Chahal, their most impressive bowler, and India opener KL Rahul. Kohli, de Villiers and Chahal are likely to be their top picks and they can go for Rahul and Gayle through the RTM card.
Holders Sunrisers Hyderabad too can opt to retain their main players. Skipper David Warner, as well as India stars Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan were outstanding. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was another standout player.
RR have the option of retaining Australia captain Steve Smith – who played for Rising Pune Supergiants -- and India star Ajinkya Rahane.
The rest of the players are expected to enter the auction pool, making it the most eagerly-awaited bidding war on January 27 and 28.