Defending champions Mumbai Indians in all likelihood will be retaining skipper Rohit Sharma along with Pandya brothers, Hardik and Krunal, while under- performing Delhi Daredevils may keep Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer in their stable ahead of the IPL auction on January 27.
While the last date of submission for the player retention is January 4, the franchises are more or less certain about the kind of players they would like to retain and the ones they would buy back with Right To Match (RTM) cards.
“Skipper Rohit Sharma is an automatic retention having led the team to three IPL titles. Hardik Pandya is one of the big match-winners and the interesting third retention would be Krunal Pandya," a senior BCCI official in the know of things said.
"Krunal being an uncapped Indian can be retained for only Rs 3 crore instead of Rs 7 crore for third capped player. Also Krunal was an exceptional performer last year," he added.
It is learnt that it is a strategic decision to retain Krunal as this will enable the franchise to buy back Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah with the 'Right To Match' cards.
"Mumbai Indians 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," the BCCI official said.
It is learnt that Delhi are still undecided about having two or three retentions but Pant and Iyer being India players are certain to be retained.
"If you retain two capped players, you spend Rs 21 crore (Rs 12.5 crore for Player 1 and Rs 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.
Steve Smith is expected to be retained by Rajasthan Royals after having spent two years at the Rising Pune Supergiants.
The Chennai Super Kings are set to retain three of their marquee players -- skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, IPL superstar Suresh Raina and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja while Dwayne Bravo, if fit, is all but certain to be bought back with Right To Match card.
David Warner looks certain to be retained by the Sunrisers Hyderabad who can also retain the immensely talented Deepak Hooda by paying Rs 3 crore for the uncapped player just like Mumbai Indians will be doing for Krunal.