As Harsha pointed out in his CNN-IBN Discussion, Chennai Super Kings' consistent performance owes a lot to their intelligent choices in the first auction. Picking Dhoni was a master-stroke. And focusing on T20 international all-rounders was also an intelligent decision. [VB deserves Kudos for this] For the squad and prices paid, please refer http://blog.cskfansite.com/2008/02/chennai-super-kings-squad.html. But the auction that is coming up is much more crucial since
1. Other Franchises are not so dumb any-more :)
2. This would be an eternal team unlike the first auction.
Things We Know about the Auction
1. It would happen in November. That means, Champions League in October provides CSK to analyse their players and an opportunity for players to increase their price tag.
2. As the first auction showed, top four players' salaries would contribute 50% of the total salaries (i.e. 3.5 Million Dollars) and Top 7 players' salaries would be 75% of Total (i.e. 5.25 Million Dollars). So it is paramount that the team makes intelligent choices of the top 7 players.
Things We don't know about the Auction
1. Still there is not enough clarity on how many players would be allowed to be retained by the franchises. Now that task of determining the number is assigned to Ravi Shastri, Gavasakar & Pataudi. Personally i expect 4 Domestic Players + 4 Foreign Players to be retained by the franchises.
Indian Players who will stick with CSK
1. Dhoni - If you are not sure, hear his post-match talk
2. Local Boys Ashwin & Vijay - After their performance this season, they are bound to be tempted to try out the auction. But sticking with CSK would make more sense - For the simple reason that they are bound to get more opportunities in CSK Team.
3. Badri & Balaji - Though Badri & Balaji might want to try green pastures, their best chances of playing in the team remains with CSK.. [Badri, If you are thinking about shifting loyalties, see what happened to Kaif after his move to KXIP]
Other Players I want to Retain
1. Raina - His consistent performance in 3 ipls has ensured that he would double his auction price. [I am sure one of the newer teams might even tempt him with captaincy]. Hope he sticks around since CSK setup would be lot better than others.
2. Albie: His All round skills has allowed the team to play that extra player in the team. Hopes he also sticks around. Being a foreign player, I am sure his price would not increase that much this auction
3. Dougie: Hope he stays. Don't know his price, so can't comment whether he would stay.
3. Flintoff & Oram: Being all-rounders, I would like them to stay.. I expect both of them to be fit for the Champions League. So can make an informed after their CL performance. But Flintoff's price should be rationalized since international players would not get so much money IPL4. (unless ofcourse you are Kerren Pollard)
4. Ntini, Murali & Hussey: For just being such good team players, they are worth every penny..
Indian Players I want to Retain(In the Order of Preference)
Players I Don't Want to Retain
3. Parthiv Patel
Foreign Players to be Retained
My Wishlist For Auction (I have not included any doubtful players who might or might not be retained)
1. Dinesh Karthick & Yo Mahesh (Expect DD to retain only Sehwag, Gambhir, Nehra & Mishra)
2. Any of these Foreign Players Not Retained by DD - Warner/Dilshan/Maharoof
3. Shane Watson
4. Ravindra Jadeja
5. Sohail Tanvir
6. Vignesh & Satish
7. Mithun & Manish Pandey (Future Players to look out for. I am sure they would also come cheap)
What are your picks??