Given his form last season where he took 12 wickets in 14 games, it was highly unlikely that Australian pacer Pat Cummins would be retained by Kolkata Knight Riders – but the franchise has shown faith. Cummins was bought by KKR for a whopping Rs 15.5 cr as the side was looking for a senior fast bowler. The staggering amount saw him become the second-highest-paid player in 2020.

Now, that he is set to represent KKR again – he pips Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni in terms of his IPL income – which certainly is a massive feat. The Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings skippers fetch Rs 15 cr from their franchisees since 2018. It was ahead of the 2018 auction that BCCI had fixed the Rs 15 cr amount for the first-choice retention. And the two respective IPL captains were the first-choice retention of their teams.

India and Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli with Rs 17 cr is the highest-paid player for their third year running.

Meanwhile, Cummins has been in top form for Australia with the ball in Test cricket. He picked up 21 wickets in the recently-concluded four-match Test series. KKR would hope he comes up with the goods this year and plays a vital role in helping the side succeed.

The Knight Riders franchise could not make it to the playoffs last season in UAE and they would like to turn things around in 2021. Cummins would be a key member of the squad and it would be interesting to see how the Australian is used during the 14th season.

The mini-auction is scheduled to take place in February after the second Test against England in Chennai. Teams will look to fill up gaps and prepare a side for the upcoming season.