New Delhi: Defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and the formidable Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are the two franchises, which are set to retain all five players when the teams submit their lists today for the upcoming seventh edition of Indian Premier League (IPL).
MI and CSK are the two teams that have the biggest fan base all over India and have had a core set of players that has remained pretty much the same over the years.As far as BCCI president N Srinivasan’s franchise is concerned, skipper MS Dhoni will be retained along with Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Suresh Raina — all India regulars. The choice of foreign player will be between West Indies’ Dwayne Bravo and South Africa’s Faf du Plessis.
Dhoni’s fascination for seam-bowling all-rounders is widely documented and Bravo certainly will hold an edge over his South African rival, who has also caught the imagination with his big-hitting prowess.For MI, it will be the first season without Sachin Tendulkar and skipper Rohit Sharma and the immensely popular Kieron Pollard are the two automatic choices for retention.
Mitchell Johnson’s red-hot form and his performance in the Ashes also makes him a contender for a place in the retention list.Since there is possibility of a part of IPL matches happening in Sri Lanka, Malinga’s expertise in those tracks at the Premadasa Stadium or Pallekele or Hambantota grounds will certainly come in handy.
Dinesh Karthik’s glovework along with his explosive batting makes him a strong candidate for retention while Ambati Rayudu and Harbhajan Singh will also be in the contention for retention. Harbhajan, with 24 wickets in the last edition and with a better brand value will be slightly ahead in the race than Rayudu.
Royal Challengers Bangalore decided to retain India’s batting sensation Virat Kohli, West Indies’ Chris Gayle and South Africa’s AB de Villiers for the upcoming IPL season, besides announcing the appointment of former New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori as their head coach.
The RCB, expectedly, have retained their batting nucleus in the form of Gayle, Kohli and de Villiers for the seventh edition of the cash rich league.While Kohli has been representing the Bangalore-based side since the inaugural edition, Gayle and de Villiers have joined the Vijay Mallya owned side in 2011 from Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils respectively.
Besides appointing former Kiwi and ex RCB captain Vettori as the chief coach, former South African pacer Allan Donald was also roped in as the bowling mentor of the side while Australia’s Trent Woodhill would take care of batting and fielding departments.
For Delhi Daredevils, it might be a new beginning having had horrible last season. Virender Sehwag is unlikely to be retained. There is an outside chance of David Warner making the retention list but DD management always has the option of buying Warner back from the auction pool.KKR are all set to retain their captain Gautam Gambhir.
Chennai Super Kings
MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo/ Faf du Plessis
Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson/ Lasith Malinga, Dinesh Karthik/ Ambati Rayudu
Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers