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Franchises stick to their big players, Gauti, Gayle to go under hammer

Mumbai, January 5 : Mahendra Singh Dhoni was back at his ‘spiritual home’ Chennai Super Kings while Royal Challengers Bangalore retained India captain Virat Kohli during the much-publicised yet predictable Indian Premier League retentions.
Mumbai Indians had the league’s most successful captain Rohit Sharma back in their stable as most of the retentions happened on expected lines. Australia skipper Steve Smith was Rajasthan Royals’ only pick while his deputy David Warner remains with Sunrisers Hyderabad along with pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
One of the notable names not to be retained is Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir, who is now back in the auction pool with West Indians Sunil Narine and Andre Russell being the Shah Rukh Khan co-owned franchise’s two picks.
Kings XI Punjab had left-arm spinner Axar Patel in their ranks while South African Chris Morris, young guns Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer are back with Delhi Daredevils.  The franchises that have gone for full three retentions are CSK, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils and RCB. For Mumbai Indians, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah are second and third retentions.
CSK have retained Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina as their second and third choice, respectively. AB de Villiers is RCB’s second retention while they have kept uncapped Sarfaraz Khan for Rs 3 crore while putting Chris Gayle back in the auction pool.
Virat Kohli is the only player to be retained by an IPL franchise for an amount greater than that set by the IPL (Rs 15 crore) for the first player retained. Kohli will be paid Rs 17 crore by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the 2018 season.

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