Harish Kotian/Rediff.com surveys the new IPL landscape and lists which players each franchise could retain before the auction early next year.
First Up: IPL 2021 Champions: Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings will be spoilt for choice when it comes to retention ahead of the IPL Players Auction. Traditionally, CSK like to retain the majority of their squad, but with the rules of the mega auction not permitting more than four retentions making the right choices could prove a headache for the four-time champions.
As per the rules of the IPL 2022 Players Auction, which is likely to take place in January, the existing eight franchises are allowed to retain a maximum of four players, including three Indians.
There are four slabs for the players's retention. If a franchise retains four players then the highest category is of Rs 16 crore, followed by Rs 12 crore, Rs 8 crore and the lowest slab, Rs 6 crore.
If they retain three players then the amount deducted from their auction purse is as follows: Rs 15 crore, Rs 11 crore and Rs 7 crore.
In case a franchise retains two players then Rs 14 crore and Rs 10 crore will be deducted from their auction purse.
If a team retains only one player, then Rs 14 crore will be deducted from their auction purse.
For any uncapped players retained, the amount deducted is Rs 4 crore from the auction purse of Rs 90 crore.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni could feature for one last time in the IPL; there is no doubt that he will be seen in CSK's canary yellow, but who will the other three be?
The four players CSK are likely to retain could be: Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ravindra Jadeja and Moeen Ali (overseas).
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Dhoni will be the first name on CSK's retention list. The 40 year old led the Super Kings to their fourth IPL title recently and even though his batting has waned considerably in the last couple of years, his captaincy continues to be top-notch.
Dhoni is expected to play his last season for CSK next year and he looks keen to sign off his legendary career in front of his home fans.
He managed just 114 runs at an average of 16 and strike rate of 106 in this year's IPL, but loyal CSK fans are longing to get one last glimpse of 'Thala Dhoni' at his home ground in Chennai.
Rutu was picked for Rs 20 lakh by CSK at the 2019 IPL Players Auction. Not many would have imagined the impact he would make a couple of years down the line.
Gaikwad was on the verge of falling by the wayside after he started with three successive failures in his first three games for CSK last year. But Dhoni stuck with the young batter and he bounced back with three half-centuries in a row in the next three to showcase his potential.
He followed the same template in this year's IPL too, with three failures to start the tournament. But once he got going he proved unstoppable and finished with 635 runs, at a strike rate of 136, with four fifties and a century.
His impressive showing in the IPL and Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy for Maharashtra earned him a call-up to the Indian team for the New Zealand T20s.
Calm under pressure and a steady head on his shoulders, the 24 year old is very much in the Dhoni mould and could be next in line to take over as CSK captain after the legend hangs his boots.
He is definitely one for the future, not only for CSK but also for Indian cricket.
Jadeja has been another key and consistent performer for CSK in the last two IPLs.
Jadeja tallied 200-plus runs in both IPL seasons, while also consistently chipping away at the wickets.
The left-hander has also emerged as a finisher with the bat in the death overs, and his consistent bowling makes him one of the most wanted players in T20 cricket.
Surely, CSK will want to retain him, else getting him back at the auction will not be easy and cheap.
Moeen enjoyed his breakthrough season in this year's IPL.
The England all-rounder, who was signed up for Rs 7 crore at the auction, proved his worth with both bat and ball.
The left-hander hit 357 runs at a strike rate of 137, while picking up six wickets at an economy rate of 6.35.
The 34-year-old's all-round abilities could see him get the nod ahead of Faf du Plessis, 37, who CSK could still get back the auction.