The New Year has just begun, and the world of cricket is already buzzing. Beginning with Australia’s dominating Ashes performance, to the much awaited India v/s South Africa series, the IPL couldn’t have found a better time to ring in the bells for its arrival.
The 2018 edition of IPL is a much awaited one, not just for fans but for players as well. The excitement seems to be at peak, as the franchises of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are set to make a comeback for IPL 11.
On 4th January Thursday, The eight IPL teams announced the players which they would be retaining for the 11th season of the IPL. The player retention event took place in Mumbai. While most of the retention were on the expected lines, there were a few surprises and some absolute steal deals. let us have a look at all that and much more!
The Chennai Super Kings are back with their whistle podu. They have retained their Thala Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Mahi has been associated with the franchise since the inception of the IPL and has led them to glory.
Suresh Raina who has been one of the most consistent players in CSK dugout has also been retained. This retention also gives Raina the opportunity to throw his hat back into the ring, for an India comeback.
Joining the two CSK legends is all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Jadeja hasn’t been spotted in India colours as far as limited overs cricket is concerned.But his potent with both the bat and ball has been trusted by the CSK owners. Having bought him back home and retaining him over his spin twin R. Ashwin.
Skipper Virat Kohli has been retained by the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Kohli has been associated with the RCB franchise since season 1. While they had a forgettable 2017 season, the Virat Kohli led side were the runner ups for the 2016 season.
Mr. 360 AB de Villers has also been retained by the RCB adding to their batting Prowess.
The Mumbai Indians have walked on similar lines, retaining skipper Rohit Sharma. Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya too has joined skipper Rohit Sharma in the retention club. A sensational ability to smack the ball, clubbed with some decent bowling Hardik is an ideal bet.
The Sunrisers Hyderabad, have retained pocket dynamite, skipper David Warner. India’s ace swing bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar too has been retained. Kumar was the leading wicket taker last season.
Chris Morris who had not only been a consistent performer with the ball, but had also proved his mettle with the bat, has been retained by the Delhi Daredevils.
Also read: Mid Season IPL 2018 transfer?
Surprise or Strategy?
The biggest surprise in this year’s retention event was struck by the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Despite having the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Chris Gayle, K.L Rahul, among other, retained uncapped Sarfaraz Khan.
While this came as a surprise to many, the move seems to be more strategical. This gives RCB a bigger amount in their purse and this also means that AB and Kohli are awarded larger sums. Hopefully RCB will use their RTM cards for the other star players for IPL 11.
Mumbai Indians executed one of the smartest retention moves of IPL 11 by retaining Jasprit Bumrah.
Bumrah has had an exceptional 2017. One of India’s finest limited overs bowler. He is also a death over specialist. There has always been a dearth of quality pacers in teams in the IPL. If the likes of Tymal Mills could go for such a hefty sum last season, we could imagine Bumrah there. Thus, it is possibly the best move of this event.
The Kolkata Knight Riders seem to have failed in negotiating with Gautam Gambhir. But they have made a smart move by securing two of their most potential overseas player. Andre Russell has been out of action for a year, because of a failed dope test. The Jamaican would be itching to go. An all-rounder as lethal as Russell is best retained than fought for at a hefty price in the auction. Apart from Russell, mystery spinner Sunil Narine has also been retained by KKR for IPL 11.
A left arm spinner is an asset in T20 cricket, with Jadeja already gone and Kuldeep Yadav possibly being retained using the RTM leaves a few quality names. The Kings XI Punjab have played it smart by retaining Axar Patel. He would not only be an asset to the bowling but also add some fire power to the batting.
A captain who can lead and strategies becomes important in T20 as it can get as thrilling as ever. So Rajasthan Royals have secured one for themselves in the form of Steven Smith. Smith has been in sublime form not only with the bat but also as a captain. Both these franchises made single retention.
Also read: 5 Players who were not retained
Talent fetches big bucks
While Sarfaraz Khan’s retention seems more of a strategic move, The Delhi Daredevils seem to have gone with potential and invested in young talent, to provide them value for money. The Young Rishabh Pant who had shown sparks of brilliance last season along with the talented Mumbai batsmen Shreyas Iyer have been retained by Delhi Daredevils for the 2018 season.