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    IPL-7 Auction: Players retained by franchises

    • Ravichandran Ashwin has been one of the major forces behind CSK's twin IPL titles, and was expectedly retained by the Chennai franchise.

    • Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will once again lead the two-time champions Chennai Super Kings. Dhoni-led CSK won the titles in 2010 and 2011 and is one of the five players retained by the franchise.

    • Kolkata Knight Riders' skipper Gautam Gambhir is an excellent leader and one of the mainstays of KKR batting. Having played for Delhi Daredevils in the first three seasons, Gambhir was signed by KKR at the 2011 IPL Auction for a record-smashing USD 2.5 million. Gambhir led KKR to the IPL title in 2012.

    • CSK retained Suresh Raina due to his match-winning ability. Raina has the distinction of the highest run-getter in IPL history and has never missed a match for CSK.

    • With the ability to hit it long and hard combined with his intelligent medium-pace bowling, Dwayne Bravo is an asset to Chennai Super Kings. Bravo, who represented Mumbai Indians in the first three seasons, was picked up by the CSK ahead of the 2011 season and has now been retained by them.

    • Jadeja has emerged as a prolific allrounder for India and CSK, though he needs to be more consistent with the bat. Jadeja was bought by CSK for USD 2 million (approx. Rs. 9.8 Crore) in 2012, making him the most expensive player of the year's auction.

    • The West Indian 'mystery spinner' Sunil Narine started playing IPL in 2012 and terrorised batsmen across all teams with his unique skills. Narine finished IPL 2012 as the Player of the Tournament with 24 wickets.

    • Rohit Sharma replaced Ricky Ponting as the Mumbai Indians' captain after the Australian was benched due to poor form in 2013. And the switch did wonders for Mumbai who won their maiden title to give a fitting farewell to Sachin Tendulkar.

    • Malinga's slingy round-arm action and deadly yorkers have sent the batsmen packing. In IPL 2010, Malinga carried the Mumbai Indians to the final. He also won the Purple Cap in IPL 2011.

    • David Miller scores runs at more than run-a-ball in one-day format and has an impressive strike-rate in Twenty20 cricket. Miller has played two seasons with Kings XI Punjab scoring 516 runs in 18 matches at an astonishing average of 51.60, KXIP signed Miller before IPL 2011 and has rightly retained him.

    • Not much needs to be said about Virat Kohli who has taken world cricket by storm with his batting. Retaining him was nothing but a formality for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

    • Arguably the most devastating batsmen in the game's shortest format, Chris Gayle is the first player to score a century in international Twenty20 cricket. The Jamaican is the leading six-hitter in Twenty20s. In the 2013 season, Gayle amassed 708 runs in 16 matches at staggering average of 59.

    • A brutal batsman, a more than decent wicket-keeper and an agile fielder %u2013 AB de Villiers%u2014 is a key player for Royal Challengers Bangalore. He provides his team the option to play an extra batsman or bowler.

    • Kieron Pollard is an absolute entertainer on the field, and the big-hitting batsman, who is capable of clearing most cricket grounds, is an intimidating figure in the Mumbai Indians' fold.

    • India veteran Harbhajan Singh led the Mumbai Indians to their first T20 title in 2011 when they defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final of the CLT20.

    • Manan Vohra, who was terrific in his debut season in 2013, has been retained by Kings XI Punjab due to his devastating batting style - though it remained a surprise decision from Punjab.

    • James Faulkner is one of the most highly rated allrounders in world cricket and Rajasthan Royals had no hesitation in retaining him. Faulkner, who has the ability to pick up key wickets, came into the Rajasthan side in 2013. He scored 57 runs and took 28 wickets in 16 matches in the 2013 season.

    • Young batting sensation Sanju Samson was one of the best batsmen last season, which prompted the Rajasthan Royals' camp to retain this dashing wicketkeeper-batsman.

    • A right-hand batsman and medium-pacer, Stuart Binny, has emerged as a perfect team-man for Rajasthan Royals - contributing both with bat and ball in pressure situations.

    • The fiery South African pacer Dale Styen is a batsman's nightmare. The speedster was part of RCB for the first three IPL seasons before switching to the youngest team of the IPL, Sunrisers Hyderabad. In his 17 matches last season, Steyn claimed 19 wickets.

    • Shikhar Dhawan is known for his powerful batting ever since that century against Australia in his debut Test. The southpaw played for the Delhi Daredevils in 2008 and then turned out for Mumbai Indians. After a superb 2013 season for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Dhawan will hope to carry the momentum for his franchise in 2014.

    • Shane Watson, nicknamed 'Watto', is an attacking batsman and one of the mainstays of Rajasthan Royals' batting. After Rahul Dravid's retirement from IPL last year, Watson is all set to lead Rajasthan this season.

    • Ajinkya Rahane has cemented his place in the Rajasthan Royals fold with his sound temperament. Rahane was the leading run-getter for RR in IPL 2012 with 560 runs at an average of 40.

    • A prolific run-getter and a game-changer at times with the bat in hand, Rayudu was signed by Mumbai Indians in 2010. Rayudu has played 66 matches so far in his IPL career and has scored 1349 runs at an average of 26.98.