Cricket

Virat Kohli to Rohit Sharma: 5 players who are expected to stay with their present IPL franchises forever – Times Now

Virat Kohli has been with RCB since IPL 2008. Photo: BCCI

Virat Kohli has been with RCB since IPL 2008. Photo: BCCI& 

Key Highlights

  • As per reports, there will be a mega-auction before the next year’s IPL
  • The franchises are expected to retain a maximum of 4 players
  • The likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant are among those who aren’t expected to be released by their IPL franchises

The Indian Premier League (IPL) mega-auctions bring with themselves numerous challenges and some tough decisions. Since there is a cap on the number of players which a franchise can retain, the team management can only keep a part of the team’s core. Generally, a team is allowed to retain a maximum of 5 players.

While the mega-auctions do give chance to the franchises to revamp their squad, it also challenges them to keep the strength of the team intact. The franchises have to make tough decisions on occasions and also have to release players which they want.

But there are some players whom the franchises would never release. In fact, these players are also expected to finish their IPL careers with their present franchises. Here’s a look at 5 players who are expected to stay with their present IPL franchises forever –

Virat Kohli

The only player in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) to play every season for just one franchise since the inaugural season in 2008, Virat Kohli is all but confirmed to be with Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) forever. RCB spotted a spark in Kohli and he was the only player to be retained by the franchise in 2011.

The backing did wonders for the franchise and Kohli is now IPL’s highest run-scorer. He has been leading the franchise since 2013 and isn’t expected to be replaced despite a below-par run as captain. He isn’t just the face of RCB, but also the Indian cricket. Kohli is more than just a player and RCB know that even his presence in the squad is enough to draw the fans to the stadium and their social media accounts.

Rohit Sharma

Deccan Charges probably erred by releasing Rohit Sharma back in 2011. Mumbai Indians saw a star in the making in Rohit back then and bought him for a high amount of Rs 9.2 crore. The team management backed Rohit to the hilt and he was appointed MI’s captain even before he was to fix his spot in the Indian team.

Rohit has emerged as the most successful IPL captain in terms of title victories and has led the franchise to 5 triumphs. MS Dhoni sits next with 3 trophies.

Like Sachin Tendulkar, MI’s icon, Rohit too looks all but set to stay with the franchise forever. The franchise would want him to don the mentor’s or coach’s hat after retirement.

Kieron Pollard

MI’s backing and trust saw Pollard making a solid comeback in IPL 2020 and the fact that he is yet to play another franchise shows how much faith MI have in him. Instead of dropping him during tough times, the MI management asked him to lead the side in the absence of Rohit Sharma (in 2019).

His performances have improved since then and Pollard has emerged as one of the best foreign players in the league. Yes, the franchise released him before IPL 2018 auction but they retained him at the auction by using their Right to Match at the price of Rs 5.4 crore. MI isn’t expected to let go of their star all-rounder until he retires. Like Rohit, Pollard will also be a welcome addition to MI’s coaching staff after retirement.

Ab de Villiers

Probably the overseas version of Kohli in terms of performance and fan following, AB de Villiers is more than just a player and his presence can drive the fans to the stadium.

His on-field performance has improved since joining RCB and he has single-handedly won numerous games for his side. No doubts about it, De Villiers isn’t going anywhere till he plays IPL.

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Rishabh Pant

Delhi Capitals changed and chopped their combinations for over 7 years. Finally, they started backing players and retained the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Kagiso Rabada and also Prithvi Shaw.

Rishabh, who had first joined the team in 2016, was one of the three players retained by DC ahead of IPL 2018 mega-auction and he is expected to be with his home team forever. The teams like MI, Chennai Super Kings, RCB and others have many homegrown homegrown players. And Rishabh is one of DC’s homegrown players.

There’s no way that DC would release him in the future. In fact, he can be their permanent captain going ahead.

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