Keeping the player retention rules in mind and assuming franchises want to make use of both player retention options, we are putting out a list of players franchises are likely to retain for the next three years. Here is a look at Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Despite the likes of AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and Mitchell Starc in their squad, the Bengaluru franchise has not managed to reach the summit once. They got close in 2016 but were derailed by David Warner and his Sunrisers outfit in the final at home. With so many big names in the side and the mega auction coming, we are likely to see a few changes in the squad.
Here’s a look at the players they could retain:
Best limited overs player in the world, captain, equally good against pace and spin – this is a no-brainer.
AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers may be the closest thing to the ‘son of krypton’ in this world, but his kryptonite i.e injuries, have kept him out of the Test squad since 2016. He further extended his absence by taking a break from the national side, during which South Africa played Sri Lanka, New Zealand, England and Bangladesh. But the former skipper is making a return to the side and will feature against India in January. By auction time, De Villiers is likely to be fully fit. Even if he is not, RCB are not going to let go of this modern great.
Bowlers win you T20 games. Look no further than Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner has picked up 29 wickets in 20 T20 games this year, which includes 14 wickets for RCB last season. Given how potent the 27-year-old has been, RCB should not risk letting him go to the auction as there is a high possibility of a bidding war for his services.
RTM 1: KL Rahul
KL Rahul is a curious case. The opener was exceptional for the franchise in 2016, averaging over 40 in their run to the finals. He had to sit out this season due to a shoulder injury, which he played with throughout the home series against Australia and had to undergo surgery in April. He has been replaced by Shikhar Dhawan in all three formats over the last year in the national side. However for RCB, he should still be in the plans for the top-order, especially considering Chris Gayle may not be a part of the franchise next season.
RTM 2: Chris Gayle/Shane Watson
As entertaining as Chris Gayle has been over the past decade, his powers are on the decline. While he has scored three fifty-plus scores in the Bangladesh Premier League, his form this year hasn’t been great. In 2017, Gayle has only managed eight fifty-plus scores in 40 innings till the first week of December, and you would expect better consistency from a premier T20 player. Furthermore, his fielding is a liability. The big West Indian might still be in the squad next year if they don’t manage secure another opener or the price is too high.
Shane Watson is also on the last stretch of his playing career. His bowling is an asset but his susceptible back forces him to refrain from being regular. A lot will ride on the 2017-18 Big Bash League. If the all-rounder manages to perform extremely well, RCB might be keen on retaining him. But they will look for a better option.