When players are retained by franchises, they earn elite status. It means they are valued so much that they are not released into the auction where rival teams could acquire their services. Retention is based on a single virtue – ability to win matches.
Senior players who get into this category are those with a significant body of work, and if it is a youngster, for rich potential. But retention, while a stripe of honour so to speak, is not a guarantee to success as this season proves yet again. Quite a few have lived up to expectations, but far more haven’t, some of them in fact failing miserably. Here’s a quick look at how players retained by the original 8 franchises have fared as yet.
Full Value For Money:
Surya Kumar Yadav: Saving grace for Mumbai Indians reputation as a strong batting outfit. With some support could have won more matches for his team. Enhanced his reputation as perhaps the most creative T20 batsman in India currently.
Jos Buttler: Dynamic stroke player, showed why he is rated so highly in this format. Three centuries showed his caliber and helped Rajasthan Royals remain among the top teams on points so far.
Sanju Samson: Not lagging far behind Buttler in impact, Samson’s aggressive batting and captaincy have given Rajasthan’s campaign a big thrust.
Jasprit Bumrah: Does not feature among the top wicket-takers, in fact has just 10 victims in 11 matches. But his economy rate is impressive, and he has put all batsmen to severe test. With Mumbai Indians going through a disastrous season, , he has still been a stellar performer.
Andre Russell: His big hitting prowess remains undiminished and has also come good with the ball this time. It’s his all-round prowess that has kept Kolkata Knight Riders afloat as yet.
Arshdeep Singh: Understated, but a bowler from the top drawer for consistency and control, especially in the death overs. He’s been a pillar of strength for Punjab Kings.
Umran Malik: The 22-year-old from Jammu Has been the headline grabber consistently cranking up speeds of 150-kmph-plus. Started poorly, then picked up tempo to grab 15 wickets with torrid pace in just a few matches hasn’t got a wicket in his last three matches, but remains a pivotal figure if Sunrisers Hyderabad are to make the last 4.
The Flop Shows:
Virat Kohli: Talismanic batsman for Royal Challengers Bangalore and for many years regarded as the world’s best, Kohli has had a horrid season so far with only one innings over 50, a string of single digit scores and three golden ducks! Opinion is divided whether he should be rested for some while or continue playing.
Rohit Sharma: the current India captain has fared as poorly as the former one. While he hasn’t looked as out of sorts as Kohli, the usually destructive Rohit’s tepid run-getting has been arguably the biggest factor in Mumbai Indians debacle this season.
Kane Williamson: The New Zealand captain, who leads Sunrisers Hyderabad this season, is sailing in the same boat as Kohli and Rohit, unable to get the big knocks which have identified him as a modern great. His poor form has left SRH terribly vulnerable.
Kieron Pollard: The big fella, for many seasons one of the most influential players for Mumbai Indians, has had an extended lean patch, neither scored enough runs, or picked up wickets regularly. This has contributed substantially to MI being in the doldrums.
Ravindra Jadeja: Arguably the world’s best all-rounder and with a very impressive IPL record, has been sub-par in all aspects this season. Not enough runs or wickets, and an eminently forgettable captaincy stint that ended in agony for him and Chennai Super Kings.
Mayank Agarwal: Retained by Punjab Kings and also given the captaincy, started the season with flourish. But a mid-season slump in form which hasn’t revived yet has seen him and his team struggle to keep alive chances of getting into the play-offs.
Abdul Samad: Also from Jammu and Kashmir, Samad was retained by Sunrisers Hyderabad as a big-hitting finisher, change leg spin bowler and brilliant fielder. Lack of success with bat and ball after the first few matches has seen him consigned to the bench.
Venkatesh Iyer: A big success last season with his aggressive batting anywhere in the order and restrictive bowling in the slow overs, he’s been largely off colour this season, making come impact only intermittently, much to the disappointment of the management and fans of Kolkata Knight Riders.
Varun Chakravarthy: Mystery spinner who was a prolific wicket-taker for KKR in the past two seasons has made little or no impact. Like Venkatesh Iyer, seems to have been sorted out by opponents, and frequently didn’t make the playing XI too.
Mohamed Siraj: Earned instant plaudits for his bowling at the international level in 2020 and 2021, followed this up with a productive last season for RCB. But has looked below his best this year, leaking too many runs, not picking up enough wickets.
Anrich Nortje: The big South African was retained by Delhi Capitals for his pace, control and expertise at swing and seam, Nortje’s had a disappointing run this year, missing many matches because he was unfit, not making much of an impact when he played.
The Okey-Dokey Brigade:
Glen Maxwell: In batting, he’s been short of the bionic form which makes him so devastating, but has proved his worth by claiming crucial wickets, especially in the Powerplay. Maxwell’s one of the reasons why Royal Challengers Bangalore are a step away from being in the play-offs.
Mooen Ali: Cameo knocks to start with didn’t quite help Chennai Super Kings. In the second half of the tournament, has come into his own as a bowler too which is making the difference to the team’s fortunes in recent matches.
Ruturaj Gaikwad: Had a barren 4-5 weeks, then suddenly sprung into top form, playing some of the best knocks seen this year, and also forming the most destructive opening pair this season. CSK had lost too much ground by then, but Gaikwad’s one for the future.
M S Dhoni: A match winning half century when CSK were in the doldrums added more heft to his already cult standing. Gave up the captaincy before the tournament began, but agreed to lead again when Jadeja stepped down. Pushing 41, age is clearly catching up, but Dhoni’s competitive instinct remains intact.
Sunil Narine: KKR’s trump card ever since he started playing in the IPL, Sunil Narine has had a modest season by his standards. Runs, and more importantly wicket, have been hard to come by. But his economy rate – under 7 per over – is outstanding, and he is still the man opponents fear most.
Yshasvi Jaiswal: Third player retained by Rajasthan along with Buttler and Samson, the exciting former India under-19 player came into his own in the second half. In the first, he was dropped for a longish spell after a couple of failures. If RR are to make the cut for the play-offs, Jaiswal becomes a crucial factor.
Prithvi Shaw: Dashing opener retained by Delhi Capitals, has taken the attack to the bowlers from ball 1. Some of his innings have been brutal and exhilarating. But Shaw has also been tempestuous, and thrown his wicket away for no good reason.
Axar Patel: Premier all-rounder for Delhi Capitals, has had a mixed season so far, scoring runs and getting wickets, without quite having the same impact as last season.
Rishabh Pant: Charismatic cricketer with a penchant for the off-beat whether in front or behind the stumps, Pant’s been consistent but not as destructive with the bat as expected so far, which also explains the ups and downs Delhi Capitals have faced.