IPL teams use Right to Match cards wisely at auction

Updated: Jan 28, 2018, 09:46 IST | Satish Viswanathan

Mumbai Indians waited and waited. The 2018 IPL auction began at 10 am on Saturday morning, but it was at 5.08 pm that they made their most decisive move

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard

Mumbai Indians waited and waited. The 2018 IPL auction began at 10 am on Saturday morning, but it was at 5.08 pm that they made their most decisive move. Having retained three capped Indian players, they had the option of retaining two foreign players or two uncapped Indian players, or even a combination of both. Having exhausted their first RTM card very early on to take their favourite foreign player Kieron Pollard away from Delhi Daredevils, MI bided their time, their eyes firmly on what was to come.

And it was late in the evening that Krunal Pandya's name came up. As expected many of the franchises went for the young all-rounder, whose brother Hardik had already been retained by MI. As team owner Akash Ambani was to say later, they wouldn't have bought him at any price but they had a figure in mind, a big one. At Rs 8.8 crore, having moved along all the way from his base price of Rs 40 lakh, RCB, who staved off challenges from RR and SRH, seemed to have Krunal. Up went a MI hand with the RTM card and that was it, Krunal was theirs again.

Most teams made good use of their RTM cards, with CSK, who like MI had retained three Indian stars, using it for two foreign loyalists, Faf du Plessis, for a ridiculously low Rs 1.6 crore and Dwayne Bravo for a more healthy Rs 6.40 crore. SRH too made expected moves using their cards for Shikhar Dhawan and Rashid Khan as also the uncapped Deepak Hooda. RCB and KKR were somewhat different, the former letting go of KL Rahul when the asking price reached as high as Rs 11 crore and the latter doing the same when it came to Manish Pandey.

Basically the strategy of the teams with the usage of the RTM was two-fold. If you get someone at a very cheap price (like with Du Plessis), grab him, or set a final price for their preferred player(s) and if the player attracted more than that, gracefully let him go, like with Pandey and Rahul.

There were other scenarios. RCB did keep one card for Yuzvendra Chahal, who they got for at Rs 6 crore, which was Rs 1 crore lesser than what they would have spent to retain him. Chahal, having chosen not to be retained, did lose out on the process. And with some like Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Glenn Maxwell, their past owners were simply not interested anymore, RTM or no RTM.

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