After a two-year hiatus, CSK are set to return to the IPL in 2018. They will have the option of retaining players but they can only use it on players who were part of their squad in the 2015 edition of the tournament and then moved to either Gujarat Lions or Rising Pune Supergiant.
The likes of Matt Henry, Samuel Badree, who have since moved to other teams can't be retained. But despite this, CSK still have 13 players from which they can choose. The likes of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina are certain to be retained but there are others whose fate is up in the air.
With just one more spot, there will be a few who will miss out. But there will be a few who should not be retained, for a variety of reasons.
Here are 5 players CSK should not retain:
He came into prominence courtesy of Chennai Super Kings and has since gone on to break world records for fun in the international arena. But despite his incredible feats, he shouldn't be among the players that are retained.
His recent exclusion from the Indian limited-overs side and his lack of match practice in the shorter formats is one reason. But the primary one is the fact that he can easily be got back using the right to match option.
Instead of spending 7 crores and retaining him, they could easily get him for a lower price in the auction, with or without the use of their right to match option.
When Dwayne Smith moved to CSK, he was one half of one of the most destructive opening pairs in the IPL, alongside Brendon McCullum. While both have retired from international cricket, CSK shouldn't be looking at Smith as one of the players to retain.
Despite the fact that he has scored two centuries in this year's CPL, the wealth of options at CSK's disposal means that he should not be at the top of their list. Dwayne Bravo is a better all-round option and Brendon McCullum is a better option as an opener and both of them represent better value as a retention.
More than that, the lack of suitors likely for a retired overseas opener will mean that if CSK do want to buy him back, they can do so for a much cheaper price.
Despite the all-round ability that Ravindra Jadeja possesses and his ability to flourish on pitches that assist him, CSK shouldn't retain him. Simply because they can use the right to match option and claim him in the auction.
While Jadeja is certainly worth the 7 crores that it would cost to retain him after Dhoni and Raina, they can use the third option for a foreign player, especially one that provides an all-round threat like Dwayne Bravo. With the purse limited for each team, CSK are better off using the option of retention on an overseas player, especially someone who can lead the bowling attack and pitch in with plenty of wickets.
While Jadeja might go for big money in the auction, his omission from India's limited-overs squad make that a possible threat, not a probable one. So they can certainly save on a lot of cash.
While Andrew Tye might have garnered all the headlines courtesy of his incredible start for Gujarat Lions, few know that he was actually a part of the CSK side in IPL 2015. His ability to mix his pace, bowl yorkers and control his variations made him almost unplayable before injury sidelined him from IPL 2017.
However, despite his incredible prowess, he shouldn't be among the players that are retained by CSK for two reasons. One is the fact that he could be bought at the auction for a price that is much lower than it would cost to retain him (7 crores). Secondly, even if there is some competition for his signature, they can always use the right to match option and get him while retaining a genuine all-rounder in the form of Dwayne Bravo.
The fact that you can only retain two overseas players and CSK have international captains like Faf du Plessis, Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Bravo to choose from, makes his chances of being retained low.
In more ways than one, Irfan Pathan has been a journeyman in the IPL. In the two years since he played for CSK, he has played for both Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions but still struggled to maintain a spot in either side.
With age not on his side and plenty of better options, both in terms of Indian internationals and overseas stars, Irfan Pathan is likely to miss out. While he is a handy all-round option to have in the side, his lack of pace and the fact that he isn't the player he was when he last played for CSK in 2015 means that he shouldn't be among the 3 players that CSK do retain.
When you have the likes of MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, wasting the retention on Irfan Pathan, who could always be brought into the side for a cheaper price from the auction, makes no sense.