In 2018, the 11th version of the IPL witnessed the return of two IPL giants and former winners, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), after a two-year ban. CSK celebrated their return with the third title win in the IPLs defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the finals.
The captain of SRH, Kane Williamson, won the Orange Cap with 735 to his name whereas Andrew Tye of KXIP won the Purple Cap capturing 24 wickets in the season. KKR’s unlikely batting sensation Sunil Narine won the Most Valuable Player award whereas India’s emerging Test talent Rishabh Pant was named the Emerging Player of the IPL 2018.
Trading window for IPL 2019 ended on 15th November 2018. Teams like CSK made minimal changes whereas the ones like DD and KXIP have released players to have enough money available for the restructuring.
Among the player released by the franchises, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Jaydev Unadkat, Marcus Stoinis, and Brendon McCullum are the notable ones. Unadkat was the costliest release allowing Royals to increase their available cap by 11.5 crores.
Let us look at each IPL franchise and the changes they have made before the player auctions scheduled to be held on 18 December 2018.
CSK returned to IPL in 2018 after the ban with mostly veteran players and still went on to win the title defeating SRH in the finals. The world also saw the return of Dhoni who had a major impact in the last season.
CSK have not acquired any players and are letting go of the three players - Mark Wood along with two uncapped players Kanishk Seth and Kshitiz Sharma. Dhoni will continue to be at the helm of this team that has not changed much despite the ban. They have retained the core players particularly Raina, Murli Vijay, Watson, and Rayudu.
Released: Mark Wood, Kanishk Seth, Kshitiz Sharma
Retained: MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, M Vijay, Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Mitchell Santner, David Willey, Dwayne Bravo, Kedar Jadhav, Ambati Rayudu, Sam Billings, Harbhajan Singh, Deepak Chahar, KM Asif, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Dhruv Shorey, N Jagadeesan, Shardul Thakur, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi
Salary Cap available: 8.40 crores
DD had one of the worst seasons in the IPL 2018 where they end up at the bottom of the table after the league stage with just 5 wins in 14 games.
The Daredevils will have a new opener in IPL 2019 as Shikhar Dhawan is back after six years stint with SRH. On the other hand, DD are letting off one of their openers Gautam Gambhir who is traded to his old franchise KKR. Apart from Gambhir, 12 other players have been released by DD.
Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant and Rabada are some of the notable players among the ones retained by the Daredevils.
Acquired: Shikhar Dhawan
Released: Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Gurkeerat Mann, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad Shami, Dan Christian, Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett, Junior Dala, Naman Ojha
Retained: Shreyas Iyer, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Manjot Kalra, Colin Munro, Chris Morris, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Tewatia, Harshal Patel, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Trent Boult, Sandeep Lamichhane, Avesh Khan
Salary Cap available: 25.50 crores
The Kings had a forgettable season in 2018. After winning 5 of the first 6 games they managed to plummet down to second last position in the points table losing 7 of the last 8 games.
Yuvraj Singh failed miserably in the 2018 edition and is among the 11 players released by KXIP. Another notable release is Marcus Stoinis who went to the RCB.
KXIP have traded in Mandeep Singh to their squad to boost the batting for 2019 season. Among the 9 players retained by KXIP, Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, R Ashwin, and David Miller form the core of the team.
Acquired: Mandeep Singh
Released: Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Aaron Finch, Mohit Sharma, Barinder Sran, Yuvraj Singh, Ben Dwarshuis, Manoj Tiwary, Akshdeep Nath, Pardeep Sahu, Mayank Dagar, Manzoor Dar
Retained: Chris Gayle, David Miller, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, R Ashwin, Ankit Rajpoot, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb ur Rahman
Salary Cap available: 36.20 crores
The Knight Riders did not start particularly well in the IPL 2018. However, after losing 4 of the first 7 games, they came back strongly to qualify for the playoffs. They lost to SRH in the second qualifier. Sunil Narine was KKR’s batting sensation in that season.
KKR have retained 13 players acquiring no new players. They have let go of a total of 8 players that included the likes of Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson. KKR have retained the under 19 superstars such Kamlesh Nagarkoti, who missed out in the last season because of injury, along with Shivam Mavi and Shubhman Gill.
Released: Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Tom Curran, Cameron Delport, Javon Searles, Ishank Jaggi, Apoorv Wankhade, Vinay Kumar
Retained: Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna
Salary Cap available: 15.20 crores
Mumbai Indians ended up being best among the teams that did not qualify for the playoffs in 2018. That is no consolation for the former champions. They came back strongly in the last few games but could not compensate for the damage caused by 5 losses in the first 6 games.
MI had a big squad of 28 players. They have retained 18 of them releasing 10 players. In a good trade, they have acquired Quinton de Kock.
The core of MI remains the same with Rohit at the helm supported by Pandya Brothers with Jaspreet Bumrah spearheading the bowling attack. Mustafizur Rahman and JP Duminy are notable among the players released by MI.
Acquired: Quinton de Kock
Released: Mustafizur Rahman, Pat Cummins, Akila Dananjaya, JP Duminy, Saurabh Tiwary, Tajinder Singh, Mohsin Khan, Pradeep Sangwan, MD Nidheesh, Sharad Lumba
Retained: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff
Salary Cap available: 10.65 crores
The Royals were among the two franchises making a comeback in the 2018 season. Like CSK, the Royals reached the playoffs despite losing 6 of the first 9 games. However, unlike CSK, they lost in the playoffs to KKR and their dream run ended in the comeback season.
RR have not acquired any players in the trading window. They have let go of 6 players, notably, Jaydev Unadkat who was the most expensive Indian player in the 2018 auctions. The Royals have confirmed the participation of Steve Smith who has been retained along with other 15 members from the previous season.
Released: Jaydev Unadkat, Anureet Singh, Ankit Sharma, Jatin Saxena, D'Arcy Short, Ben Laughlin
Retained: Steven Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi, Ajinkya Rahane, K Gowtham, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Gopal, Aryaman Birla, S Midhun, Prashant Chopra, Stuart Binny, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mahipal Lomror
Salary Cap available: 20.95 crores
RCB have been a mystery in the IPLs and it remained so after the 2018 season as well. The members never seemed to have gelled enough to perform as a team and Kohli to some extent failed to cop up with the pressure of a captain of a side that kept losing - 7 of the first 10 games to be precise. Few wins in the later stage helped RCB avoid the embarrassment of being at the bottom of the table.
In a bid to increase all-rounders in the team, RCB have acquired Marcus Stoinis from KXIP. They are letting go of 6 players including Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Umesh form the core of the team who have been retained along with Khejroliya, Coulter-Nile, Sundar, and Negi.
Acquired: Marcus Stoinis
Released: Quinton de Kock, Mandeep Singh, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Corey Anderson, Sarfraz Khan
Retained: Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Nathan Coulter-Nile
Salary Cap available: 18.15 crores.
The finalists SRH had a pretty good season in 2018. They made it to the playoffs third time in a row since 2016 out of which they reached the finals twice – winning once in 2016. SRH were so much ahead of everyone by the 12th game that the losses in last three league matches did not cost them the top spot before playoffs. CSK, however, defeated SRH in the first qualifier of IPL 2018 in Mumbai.
SRH are letting go off Shikhar Dhawan to his old franchise Delhi Daredevils along with 8 players including Carlos Brathwaite and Saha. Dhawan was not happy about his auction price. In his stead, SRH have acquired Vijay Shankar and uncapped Shahbaz Nadeem and Abhishek Sharma. David Warner is retained as is confirmed to be a part of SRH in 2019 season.
Acquired: Vijay Shankar, Abhishek Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem
Released: Shikhar Dhawan, Sachin Baby, Tanmay Agarwal, Wriddhiman Saha, Chris Jordan, Carlos Brathwaite, Alex Hales, Bipul Sharma, Syed Mehdi Hasan
Retained: David Warner, Yusuf Pathan, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, Billy Stanlake, Kane Williamson, Mohammad Nabi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, T Natarajan, Ricky Bhui, Sandeep Sharma, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Basil Thampi, Deepak Hooda
Salary Cap available: 9.70 crores
As expected, the teams that fared well in the last IPL have retained most of the core players whereas the teams at the bottom of the table are looking for a rejig.
SRH would miss the assurance of Dhawan at the top of the order whereas Kings might pay for letting go off Yuvraj for the enigma that he is. KKR must be happy to have Gambhir back in the squad.
CSK looks the most assured team before the auctions while Kings with 36.20 crores and DD with 25.50 crores in the kitty would be the most active ones during the auctions.
Will CSK continue reaching the finals? Can SRH continue their good run? Can RCB finally have their hands on the coveted trophy? Whatever the answers to these questions are, the IPL 2019 promises to be an exciting one.