IPL Retention 2018: Ranking the teams based on retained players
Even with almost three months to go for the tournament, the buzz around IPL 2018 is already huge. The comeback of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals is one of the highlights of this edition of the competition and has attracted a lot of eyeballs to the same.
Moreover, the retention list of the eight IPL franchises was announced yesterday. This sent the fans into a frenzy, as they started analysing the logic and understanding the reasons behind every club's decision.
A big auction is to follow, where the teams will fill up their squads to cater to their strengths and minimise their weaknesses. While little conclusion can be drawn from the retention list, it still says a lot about the core of a particular unit.
Let's rank the teams with respect to their retentions and analyse their strength on paper:
#1 Mumbai Indians
Players retained: Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya.
Retention is about creating balance and maintaining a stronghold on all aspects of the game. No other team has got that as right as the defending champions. They have the most successful captain in the IPL as their batting option, the deadliest bowler in limited overs currently and an all-rounder who has created waves across world cricket in the last ten months.
It is safe to say that the three-time champions have got all their bases covered, for now. Not only do they have a perfectly-balanced core, but have also managed to rake up two tremendous fielding options with their retention.
#2 Chennai Super Kings
Players retained: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja
CSK will now be back to the IPL after a layoff of two years. When they were suspended from the tournament, they were its most successful side and their consistency was unparalleled. However, there was a sizeable amount of doubt over whether they would retain their veteran star or choose players who have been performing well recently.
However, CSK stuck with their core, as they always have. They went with their trusted lot and chose the man with the Midas touch to lead the yellow jerseys once again. This trio is a proven commodity and who can deny the colossal success that they have achieved at Chennai?
#3 Sunrisers Hyderabad
Players retained: David Warner, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
While Hyderabad have retained just two players, they still form one of the strongest units on paper right now. The two cricketers that they have retained have incredible legacies in the tournament. Warner, their captain, has two IPL trophies and an orange cap to his name. Bhuvneshwar, their spearhead, is a two-time purple cap winner and an absolute gem to have in your ranks in this format of the game.
The side looks extremely potent even now and will have solid funds at the auction to strengthen itself even further.
#4 Royal Challengers Bangalore
Players retained: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan
When you have a squad that's as star-studded as the Royal Challengers Bangalore, it becomes extremely tough to decide who to hold on to. Kohli, de Villiers, Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Shane Watson and Yuzvendra Chahal were some strong candidates for retention. However, since RCB chose to stick with the two best batsmen in their unit, retaining Chahal or Gayle would've caused a huge dent in their retention funds.
This is why, a surprise entrant made his way to the retention list. Khan is a youngster who shone for RCB in the past and the franchise have shown a lot of faith in him to keep him in their reserves.
The team still looks extremely powerful on the batting front. They are most likely to use their Right-to-match card on Chahal in the auction.
#5 Delhi Daredevils
Players retained: Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer
DD have struggled to have a breakthrough in the tournament over the years due to their inability to hold onto their marquee players. However, they have started now.
It is good to see the Delhi-based franchise putting so much faith on young Indian talent and holding onto the likes of Pant and Iyer. Morris is a vital part of their mix and was expected to be retained, thanks to his all-round capabilities.
However, as always, the team looks inexperienced and does not have a clear captaincy option in the retentions right now. They must go to the auction with a clear mind and pick up players that will add real substance to the squad.
#6 Kolkata Knight Riders
Players retained: Andre Russell, Sunil Narine
Despite reports confirming the same before the retentions were announced, Gautam Gambhir's exclusion from the list has surprised many. He was their captain and one of their biggest players, but the franchise chose to let him go, mostly-likely because of his recent lacklustre performances in the domestic circuit.
They chose to stick with the bowling duo of Russell and Narine. The list looks unconvincing and the team needs to go into the auction with full throttle to create a formidable unit on the whole.
#7 Rajasthan Royals
Player retained: Steve Smith
In their classic manner, the RR management chose their best and will now rely on young talent to fill up their squad in the auctions. Smith is a riveting option in this format of the game. In every format of the game, really. RR stuck to their bases and made the right decision to close him off to sale.
The franchise does not believe in splurging large amounts of money and is likey to go lowkey even in the auctions. They might use the RTM card on the likes of Ajinkya Rahane and James Faulkner to retain their core. That should be the ideal way to go, considering even they lost two years of the competition due to suspension and will hope to make a thumping comeback to the same.
#8 Kings XI Punjab
Player retained: Axar Patel
KXIP put in Rs. 12.5 crore for their sole retention option, surprising many with their choice. They did not retain Glenn Maxwell, David Miller or Manan Vohra, but chose to stick with their reliable spinning option in Patel.
There is barely anything in their squad right now and the management must tread carefully in the auction to make something of their squad and to add depth to the same.