Pandya brothers (L) and Rohit Sharma.
Pandya brothers (L) and Rohit Sharma.

The last date of submission for the player retention for upcoming IPL auction 2018 is January 4. Nonetheless, all the franchises are more or less certain about the set of players they wish to retain, and the ones they would buy back implementing the Right To Match (RTM) cards. According to reports, Mumbai Indians (MI) skipper Rohit Sharma is an automatic retention choice, leading the side to three IPL titles — most by a captain in the tournament history.

In addition, MI may also go for Hardik Pandya. Pandya, one of the big match-winners of the franchise, has time and again expressed his affection towards MI owners and treats the franchise as an ‘extended family.’ Talking about family, Hardik’s elder brother, Krunal, may also be retained. Krunal, being an uncapped Indian, can be retained for only INR 3 crore instead of INR 7 crore for third capped player.

According to BCCI official, it is believed that it is a strategic decision to retain Krunal as this will enable the MI to buy back Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah using RTM.

“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.

“If you retain two capped players, you spend INR 21 crore (INR 12.5 crore for Player 1 and INR 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.

It is learnt that Delhi are undecided but Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer are certain to be retained. They might also look for a new skipper.

Talking about other teams, Royal Challengers Bangalore will go for Virat Kohli. Chennai Super Kings look certain to retain MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja. On the other hand, David Warner — having led Sunrisers Hyderabad to their maiden title — should be retained too.

IPL auction will take place on January 27 and 28 at Bengaluru.