The eight Indian Premier League franchisees will go to the two-day player acquisition process with a total of ₹451.5 crore to spend. Up to a maximum of 20 players can be retained by the franchisees by exercising their respective rights to match option.
Insidesport.co compiles for its readers what are the best RTM options available to the franchisees and how much do they hold in their respective purse, heading for the auction.
1. MUMBAI INDIANS
The Mumbai Indians by retaining Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah have exhausted their opportunities to exercise their Right to Match options for an Indian capped player. The Reliance Group-owned franchisee at the auction will only have the privilege to match the highest bid for a maximum of two overseas or uncapped Indian players. All-rounder Krunal Pandya may be the first choice to unite yet again with brother Hardik in the Mumbai camp.
2. ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
The Bengaluru-based IPL franchisee has retained skipper Virat Kohli, overseas star AB de Villiers and uncapped Sarfaraz Khan. The Royal Challengers will be at the best possible liberty to pick an Indian capped, uncapped or an overseas player from two available RTM cards and their options are no less lucrative either.
3. RAJASTHAN ROYALS
The Rajasthan franchisee has used its Right to Retain option for the best possible talent Steve Smith. The team still has the privilege to meet the best deal for either two capped Indians, one overseas and two uncapped players. Ajinkya Rahane and James Faulkner are two good choices in their respective categories, while Rajasthan Royals might find it tough to decide on uncapped choices like veterans Rajat Bhatia and Pravin Tambe.
4. KINGS XI PUNJAB
Kings XI Punjab by retaining only Axar Patel has dropped the hint of a big overhaul in their dug out. There is plenty of money in the purse and three RTM cards at dispels to match the best bids for the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Martin Guptill.
5. DELHI DAREDEVILS
The Delhi IPL franchisee management seems to be keeping its purse strings really tight. The three retentions so far have been the best value for money deals. The options for getting either of Mohammed Shami, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada with a privilege of saying a YES on the deal of their choice shows that GMR-owned franchisee is in a good position to be pennywise in its bid to create a combine for IPL 2018.
6. SUNRISERS HYDERABAD
After negotiating favorable retention deals with match winners David Warner and Bhubaneswar Kumar, the Sunrisers still are in a position to get seasoned Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh and Kane Williams back in their camp by matching any other franchisees’ best bid for these icons.
7. CHENNAI SUPER KINGS
Returning to the IPL fold after two years, Chennai has invested their best to get their best through the Right to Retention option. The two Right to Match options will give a chance to get tried and trusted IPL match winner Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis or Brendon McCullum back. However, it will be interesting to see to what extent the CSK will go to get the city boy R Ashwin back in the open bid process.
8. KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
The Kolkata Knights have left their skipper Gautam Gambhir go under the hammer. Will they try and get the veteran back through right to match? This is an interesting question before the IPL 2018 player acquisition auction over the weekend. Kuldeep Yadav, registered as an uncapped player, is one good choice to exercise the RTM.