Defending Indian Premier League champions Mumbai Indians are reportedly set to retain Rohit Sharma along with Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal Pandya ahead of the mega-auction.
The IPL governing council has asked all the franchises to submit the list of their retained players by January 4 and while there is still some time left before the deadline arrives, the teams have made up their minds about the kind of players they would like to retain and the ones they would buy back with Right To Match (RTM) cards.
Rohit, who was snapped up by the Mumbai-based franchise in 2011, took over the team’s captaincy in 2015 and has not looked back since then. He has already led the team to a record three IPL titles and has been one of their most important batsmen since joining the team in the fourth season. On the other hand, the Pandya brothers have also emerged as two of the most integral part of the teams.
Hardik, who joined the franchise in 2015 and rose through the ranks to make it to the Indian team, is now one of the most sought-after allrounders in international cricket while Krunal has also proved his mettle with his all-round displays in the two seasons he has played so far.
“Skipper Rohit Sharma is an automatic retention having led the team to three IPL titles. Hardik Pandya is one of the big match-winners and the interesting third retention would be Krunal Pandya,” a senior BCCI official in the know of things told PTI on Monday.
“Krunal being an uncapped Indian can be retained for only Rs 3 crore instead of Rs 7 crore for third capped player. Also Krunal was an exceptional performer last year,” he added.
Interestingly, the franchise is not retaining Jasprit Bumrah – one of the best limited-overs bowlers in the world at the moment. However, reports are suggesting that not retaining Pandya or Kieron Pollard is a strategic decision by the franchise as retaining uncapped Krunal will enable the franchise to buy back Pollard and Bumrah with the ‘Right To Match’ cards.
“MI has been the biggest advocate of five retentions. These five are their core group of match winners and it will be surprising if they deviate from this strategy,” the BCCI official said.
“If you retain two capped players, you spend Rs 21 crore (Rs 12.5 crore for Player 1 and Rs 8.5 for Player 2) instead of Rs 33 crore for three capped players (Rs 15 crore for Player 1, Rs 11 crore for Player 2 and Rs 7 crore for Player 3),” the official explained.
Meanwhile, Delhi Daredevils are reportedly still undecided on the number of players to want to retain. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant are likely to be retained. On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals are expected to retain Steve Smith who spent the last two years with Rising Pune Supergiant. Chennai Super Kings are looking primed to retain skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. 2016 winners Sunrisers Hyderabad are certain to retain their talismanic skipper David Warner.
Video of the day: