Probable list of players franchises will look to retain through RTM card in IPL 2018 auction

RTM will make the IPL 2018 auctions a whole lot interesting as the franchise can stun other bidders by whisking the players off at the last moment

IPL 2018 auction is just around the corner. It will be the biggest auction since the inaugural season of the league as we will witness remodelling of all the teams. The IPL 2018 retention saw a few surprising decisions which stirred up the social media. Only Chennai Superkings, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore retained three players through Right to Match while other teams refrained from spending money before the auctions.

Before we look into the probable list of players who might get retained by franchises through RTM, let’s understand what it means.

A franchise retains a player during the auction by matching the highest bid. For instance, let’s say CSK wants to retain Dwayne Smith and the highest bid for Ashwin in the auction is by Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) of Rs 4 crore. In this case, if CSK wants Ashwin, they have the right to match the price of the highest bid and retain him. A team can retain a maximum of 2 overseas players and 3 Indian players (including RTMs and retention).

Hope the above example made things a bit clear. RTMs are bound to make the auction a whole lot more interesting on January 27 and 28. Here is InUth’s prediction of the list of players who might be retained in the IPL 11 auction. Take a look:

Chennai Superkings (CSK)

CSK retained MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja in the auctions. They have Rs 47 crores left in their purse. They cannot retain another Indian player in the auctions according to the rules. That rules out Ravichandran Ashwin as they have to bid for him like any other team in the auction. At this point, CSK can retain a maximum of two overseas players.

Faf du Plessis, Kyle Abbott, Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Smith, Andrew Tye are the players CSK can retain through RTM. Both Bravo and McCullum played for Gujarat Lions in the previous season. With the amount of experience and expertise, they have in T20 cricket, it’s hard to ignore them.

Bravo has the highest number of wickets in T20 cricket while McCullum has the second-highest runs. Not retaining them will be a grave mistake.

Delhi Daredevils (DD)

DD retained Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer before the auctions and have Rs 47 crores left in their purse. They can retain one overseas and one Indian player in the auction. Karun Nair seems to be the most valid retention looking at his form. Nair recently scored a century in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. His retention ahead of Sanju Samson will not raise eyebrows in the current scenario.

Quinton de Kock was not available in the previous edition of the tournament. He is one of the most destructive wicketkeeper-batsman in world cricket at present. Retaining him seems to be a valid move for DD.

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)

KXIP retained only one player in the retention, Axar Patel and have Rs 67.5 crore left in the purse. They can retain three players through RTM in the auction. It can be either two Indian players and one overseas player or vice versa. KXIP is one team who will be looking to remodel their team completely. With Virender Sehwag as their mentor, expect a few surprises in the auction.

They can be one team who decide not to retain any player at all. If it does not happen, then KXIP will be inclined to retain Australian players Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis. While Maxwell is a T20 specialist, Stoinis is a complete all-rounder who can bring balance to the team. Both of them have been performing well in Big Bash League (BBL) 2017-18. In Indian players, Mohit Sharma will be the top pick for KXIP.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KXIP)

KKR stunned their fans by not retaining two-time IPL winner captain Gautam Gambhir. It seems like Gambhir and KKR have parted ways as the management feels there is a need to change. They retained Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and have Rs 59 crore left in their purse. They have already retained two overseas players which means they can only use RTM for Indian players, whether capped or uncapped.

Manish Pandey, Robin Uthappa and Yusuf Pathan seem to be the automatic choices. Pandey has been consistent through the years while Uthappa has been among the top-scorers in the previous two season. Pathan cannot be ignored as he is an impact player in the middle order.

Mumbai Indians (MI)

MI made the obvious choice by retaining skipper Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah. They have Rs 47 crores left in the purse. They can only retain two overseas players through RTM now. Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler seem to be the obvious choices.

Pollard has been there with MI throughout his IPL career. The all-rounder is the most experienced T20 player in the world having played more than 400 matches. Buttler has been in great form and with him on the side, they get a ferocious wicketkeeper-batsman who can bat at any position.

Rajasthan Royals (RR)

RR are returning to the fold after two years of the ban. They retained Steven Smith who will be captaining the side. They have a purse of Rs 67.5 crore going into the auction. They can retain a maximum of three players which can include two overseas and one Indian player or vice versa.

Retaining Ajikya Rahane would be a wise choice. He has been consistent in the top order and can assist Smith in the middle. They don’t have many choices when it comes to overseas players, James Faulkner is the only candidate who can fit into the bill.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)

RCB retained skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Sarfraz Khan in the auction and have Rs. 47 crore left in the purse. They can retain one overseas and one Indian player in the auction. Retaining Yuzvendra Chahal and opener Chris Gayle will be the top pick seeing the kind of form they are in.

Gayle cannot be ignored as he is the highest run-scorer in T20 cricket. He also has the most number of centuries in the format. Chahal has been India’s most successful spinner in the past couple of years. Retaining Chahal is almost a certainty as he has proved his form in the recent limited overs series.

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)

SRH retained skipper David Warner and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and have Rs 59 crores left in the purse. They shocked everyone by not retaining Rashid Khan or Shikhar Dhawan. Rashid is a T20 sensation and has been in a savage form in BBL 2017-18 playing for Adelaide Strikers. While Dhawan was their highest run-scorer in the previous edition. They might end up paying more for these two in the auctions.

Rashid and Dhawan are supposed to be on their RTM list without a doubt. Vijay Shankar will be the third one they might look to retain. Shankar is a utility player who can contribute with both bat and ball.