IPL 2014 news January 10, 2014

Royals retain Samson, Binny, Rahane, Watson, Faulkner

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Rajasthan Royals have retained five players - Sanju Samson, Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, James Faulkner and Stuart Binny - for the seventh season of the IPL.

All five names were expected to be retained by Royals, who wanted to maintain the core of the team that had performed well last year. Royals finished in third place in IPL 2013, behind Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. They showed strong form in the Champions League T20 also, finishing as runners-up. Rahul Dravid's captaincy had steered the team to the top tier after Royals had finished seventh in IPL 2012.

Although he has retired, Dravid will stay on as a mentor for the side - his presence has been vital for the development of young players like Rahane, Binny and Samson. At 19, Samson is likely to be the youngest player retained among all teams. He had been originally picked by Kolkata Knight Riders as part of their development squad, but was subsequently released and picked up by Royals. He showed enough promise and commitment for the franchise to retain him; he made 206 runs, including a fifty, in 11 matches last season and showed an ability to maintain a calm head in tight situations.

Samson is also the vice-captain of India's Under-19 team, which will play the World Cup in the UAE in February. Rahane was picked by Royals as an uncapped player and has steadily grown into one of their main batsmen. Even Binny, the Karnataka allrounder who had been selected as part of the India squad for the limited-overs series in New Zealand, was signed as an uncapped player by the franchise.

Watson has been with the franchise since the inaugural IPL, in which he was Player of the Tournament in Royals' title success. He picked up the award in the previous edition, too. Faulkner, another pace-bowling allrounder from Australia, also played a key role for Royals in IPL 2013, when they favoured pace-heavy attacks to suit the conditions on offer at their home ground in Jaipur.

Since Royals have retained five players, they will have only one right-to-match card available to them at the auction on February 12. As per the stipulated deductions from their auction purse of Rs 600 million (approx US$9.6 million at the current exchange rate), they will be left with Rs 225 million to buy the rest of their squad. Rules state the 2014 squad should have no less than 16 and no more than 27 players, with a maximum of nine overseas players.

Royals have always been known for their budget buys and picking unknown talents of all ages and backing them. For example, Kamran Khan, Dinesh Salunkhe and Praveen Tambe, who is 40-plus, had not featured on the Indian domestic circuit when Royals' coaches and scouts thought they could be moulded into matchwinners.

January 10, 11:22 GMT: Swapnil Asnodkar had played first-class cricket before Rajasthan Royals picked him. The story has been edited to reflect that

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jimbond on January 11, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    Sensible choices, cheap and good players with multiple skills- except for Rahane who has provided exceptional stability with the bat. One can expect these five to figure in every game. They have still sufficient money left to attract guys like Hodge, and also go in for Tait, Trivedi (if his ban is over), Tambe, and some finishers like Morgan and Mike Hussey or Bailey, and if possible- a couple of Indian bowlers like Rishi Dhawan, Rajpoot, or Shami Ahmed. Some of the India under 19 guys like Zol, Sarfraz Khan, Hooda etc could also be useful and cheap buys.

  • on January 12, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    you never about rr.if they buy player like a bains paul valthaty rilee rossouw kane richardson reeza hendricks josh hazelwood

  • on January 11, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    If they Get V Zol UV Mitch Hodge and uncapped indian talent ........... ahh hard team to beat!!! and throw captaincy to Zol or Samson...... let them groom and Backed by seniors like Watto nd Ajinkya !!! i m excited to see who joins RR!!! Halla Bol!!!!

  • on January 11, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    realistically Watson should be playing a lot less cricket just rest his body, his form hasn't been great either bowling wise and while his batting has been good, if he had that rest it could be awesome, he has the talent so he needs to manage his body cause Australia need him particularly at test level which is where it counts

  • on January 10, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    i like danger man watson

  • on January 10, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    SAMSON: By the way, I feel very happy for Samson. Hope he maintains his intense seriousness about the game, and mature conduct, something he shows beyond his age! And, I will not be surprised to see him emerging as the Wicket-Keeper-Batsman to replace Dhoni, one day. However if he is not used as a wicket keeper, he will still be a good batsmen among the top five.

    I don't know whether anyone noticed: Samson shows more maturity & judgement (on choice of shots & match situations) than our star opener Dhawan! I am saying this, despite the fact that I am a Dhawan fan.

  • on January 10, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    Joker Card on Brad Hodge I feel.Hope to see some spinners like Rahul Sharma being picked up by RR.

  • on January 10, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    My wish list for RR: Opener: Rahane, Watson, Middle Order: Binny, Pujara, Michael Hussey WK: Samson, Q D Kock Pacer: Piyush Chawla, Pravin Tambe Spinner: Falukner, Mohit Sharma, Mitchell Johnson, Copper

  • on January 10, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    As per their calculation they have considered Binny as capped player...but he is still to play a single match for India....how can he be considered as capped player....will anyone explain...

  • on January 10, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    Samson and Binny are both uncapped players and both should thus cause a deduction of only 40 mil from auction purse - thus RR should have 225 mil purse left...

  • jimbond on January 11, 2014, 4:16 GMT

    Sensible choices, cheap and good players with multiple skills- except for Rahane who has provided exceptional stability with the bat. One can expect these five to figure in every game. They have still sufficient money left to attract guys like Hodge, and also go in for Tait, Trivedi (if his ban is over), Tambe, and some finishers like Morgan and Mike Hussey or Bailey, and if possible- a couple of Indian bowlers like Rishi Dhawan, Rajpoot, or Shami Ahmed. Some of the India under 19 guys like Zol, Sarfraz Khan, Hooda etc could also be useful and cheap buys.

  • on January 12, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    you never about rr.if they buy player like a bains paul valthaty rilee rossouw kane richardson reeza hendricks josh hazelwood

  • on January 11, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    If they Get V Zol UV Mitch Hodge and uncapped indian talent ........... ahh hard team to beat!!! and throw captaincy to Zol or Samson...... let them groom and Backed by seniors like Watto nd Ajinkya !!! i m excited to see who joins RR!!! Halla Bol!!!!

  • on January 11, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    realistically Watson should be playing a lot less cricket just rest his body, his form hasn't been great either bowling wise and while his batting has been good, if he had that rest it could be awesome, he has the talent so he needs to manage his body cause Australia need him particularly at test level which is where it counts

  • on January 10, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    i like danger man watson

  • on January 10, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    SAMSON: By the way, I feel very happy for Samson. Hope he maintains his intense seriousness about the game, and mature conduct, something he shows beyond his age! And, I will not be surprised to see him emerging as the Wicket-Keeper-Batsman to replace Dhoni, one day. However if he is not used as a wicket keeper, he will still be a good batsmen among the top five.

    I don't know whether anyone noticed: Samson shows more maturity & judgement (on choice of shots & match situations) than our star opener Dhawan! I am saying this, despite the fact that I am a Dhawan fan.

  • on January 10, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    Joker Card on Brad Hodge I feel.Hope to see some spinners like Rahul Sharma being picked up by RR.

  • on January 10, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    My wish list for RR: Opener: Rahane, Watson, Middle Order: Binny, Pujara, Michael Hussey WK: Samson, Q D Kock Pacer: Piyush Chawla, Pravin Tambe Spinner: Falukner, Mohit Sharma, Mitchell Johnson, Copper

  • on January 10, 2014, 15:14 GMT

    As per their calculation they have considered Binny as capped player...but he is still to play a single match for India....how can he be considered as capped player....will anyone explain...

  • on January 10, 2014, 14:44 GMT

    Samson and Binny are both uncapped players and both should thus cause a deduction of only 40 mil from auction purse - thus RR should have 225 mil purse left...

  • on January 10, 2014, 14:39 GMT

    Believe Mayank Agarwal would be a good choice for opening slot

  • IndCricFan2013 on January 10, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    Probably the best retaining team on paper. 3 bowlers, 5 batsman, 1 wicket keeper and a Captain among them ( Watson or Rahane) . More importantly they are beginning to build a team of known ( familiar faces for the fans) like CSK.

  • on January 10, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    guys don't forget they right to match card which they can use to retain hodge

  • on January 10, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    It makes no sense. In previous editions, RR had a backup for watson.. if watto failed, hodge was the backup. Now, the team is solely depending on watto. Samson is good pick, but rahane is like a odi player, he is consistent but with strike rate not enough for t20. hodge should have been retained in place of rahane or binny. Now, this team is a one-man(star player) team.. Watson..

  • on January 10, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    They didn't retain Hodge because of age and he may not be able to continue for 3 more years. But they will miss a match finisher in him, so they must workout a finisher and couple of good indian domestic bowlers.

  • on January 10, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    Brad Hodge should be retained, sanju samson could be matched as he is an uncapped player

  • on January 10, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    i guess they gonna purchase Kevon Cooper in auction. RR think tank may not buy Hodge again as he is about to finish his cricket career due to age as team is picked for 3 years where he will not be able to continue playing for 3 years. Spin bowling is worry for Royals hope this will be resolved in auction. somebody like Murali Vijay may be good option for opening slot along with Rahane. RR may surprise every one in auction by not going after big names as once again they can buy unknown domestic talent.

  • on January 10, 2014, 11:02 GMT

    now any how bring in david miller and hodge.

  • on January 10, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    Great decision..... hodge can be purchased in the auction so overall a good retention by RR

  • on January 10, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    Watto is the key member of this team..

  • on January 10, 2014, 10:19 GMT

    Great job by retaining these Best 5 players. We can get hodge back by wild card. Hoping for some good buys in auction.

  • on January 10, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    RR should get Kusal Janith as the Opening partner for Rahane, He will do wonders in this year IPL..

  • on January 10, 2014, 9:52 GMT

    A good captain for RR would be EnglandĀ“s newly retired spinner Swan and also perhaps in the frame could be Paul Collingwood. Whoever they choose is likely to be a great thinker in the Dravid-Warne tradition

  • on January 10, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    They can sign some good uncapped players like Bawne, Suryakumar, Adil Rishi, Khadiwale etc... Hodge can be bought at auction..they should also look to buy inform bowler Pankaj, Malik, Shukla etc..

  • shiviverma on January 10, 2014, 8:51 GMT

    they will use right to match to catch the Hodge.... for sure they won''t let him go...

  • on January 10, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    Hodge has played some really important match winning & finishing innings for the rajasthan royals,& i certainly remember many of them. They also felt the need of hodge in the clt20 final,where even after an amazing start, their middle order collapsed in the crucial important.He recently played an outstanding innings in the bbl for melbourne stars.He is a man of all experience in this world,& i hope RR royals retain them using their wild card ,because u can't let only binny to be your capable finsher. #salute#BradHodge

  • Aravind_Verified on January 10, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    The batting line up looks so good..they need a new opening partner for Rahane as Dravid is now retired..middle order is fine and watson and binny can finish any game alone on their day..they have a good young wicket keeper batsman in Sanju samson..now what they need is a good death bowler to accompany faulkner and a spinner..they should go for amit mishra as their lead spinner and someone like mohammad shami as the death bowler..if shami is too hot in auction they should go for some other cheap option..someone like nathan coulternile is the best available

  • on January 10, 2014, 8:29 GMT

    RR must surely go for George Bailey who was is great form in India n can lead the side too . He is capable of doing the same magic his fellow Aussie warnie did in the inaugural edition

  • srinideva on January 10, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    This is superb decision by RR. they will lose less money compare to the CSK and MI. Since RR have two uncapped player in the retention list. so they have to reduce their money about 4 crores per player. I don`t know how they will calculate the money reduction for the later three.

  • Sekhar_S on January 10, 2014, 8:09 GMT

    Good move.They should look to pick some quality domestic players from Australia and New Zealand where the domestic T20 is happening or is about to happen.

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    Watson, binny,samson ok. Rahane and faulkner are also part n parcel of their team,but are they worth 9.5 & 7.5 crores respectively?? Watson for 12.5 and binny,samson for 4 each are good shots.

  • ramli on January 10, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    RR can't afford to let Faulkner go, especially after his mauling of Indian bowlers in recent ODIs ... Hodge is not dodgy to get back ... by the way, they have to buy a new captian first in the auction to hope for any repeat of the inaugural IPL edition ... good luck

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    They can get Hodge in the auction ... No worries !

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    i dont think this s a good idea.. i feel they shud have kept watto & faulkner maybe sanju n gone for the auctions.. to spend 39crore rs of your 60crors on 5 players out of whom 3 are uncapped.. i feel its not good business... but then best of luck.. :)

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    now hodgy can go to mumbai

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    This seems to be the perfect combination for the perennial underdogs. Hope they can buy-back Hodgy at the auction too ! All they need to do as always is to be on the lookout for some value-for-money players in the auction pool to get that 11 just right. I think I sense that Sehwag might be up for grabs.

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    A good choice of retained players by Royals. But one more player who must have in the list Brad Hodge. And I think RD and RR don't want him to leave. Buy him to Royals.

  • class9ryan on January 10, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Excellent retention!!! Hope Brad Hodge comes back to them. They should buy some more young players like Sachin Baby, Manapreet Juneja, Kedar Jadhav who could be the players for them in the long run.

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    wht bout hodge...no 1 t20 player...shockd....

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 10, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    WOW ! So no Brad Hodge ? This is ridiculous. I guess they decided to go with Faulkner since he's an all-rounder. I hope they pick up Hodge in the auction some how. A great utility player and someone whom they can rely on. Their batting is still fragile and will be tested against better teams. That's why they need Hodge who did a splendid job last season. Who can forget his contribution during the play off win against SRH ? The famous cradle gesture after he hit the winning runs off Darren Sammy.

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    what about sunrisers??? Delhi Daredevils and Punjab???/?/??

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    Brad Hodge?? probably RR might go for him with the joker card

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Good move to retain Samson and Binny!!

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    #perfect...core of the team is maintained....

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    #perfect...core of the team is maintained....

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Good move to retain Samson and Binny!!

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    Brad Hodge?? probably RR might go for him with the joker card

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    what about sunrisers??? Delhi Daredevils and Punjab???/?/??

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 10, 2014, 6:52 GMT

    WOW ! So no Brad Hodge ? This is ridiculous. I guess they decided to go with Faulkner since he's an all-rounder. I hope they pick up Hodge in the auction some how. A great utility player and someone whom they can rely on. Their batting is still fragile and will be tested against better teams. That's why they need Hodge who did a splendid job last season. Who can forget his contribution during the play off win against SRH ? The famous cradle gesture after he hit the winning runs off Darren Sammy.

  • on January 10, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    wht bout hodge...no 1 t20 player...shockd....

  • class9ryan on January 10, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    Excellent retention!!! Hope Brad Hodge comes back to them. They should buy some more young players like Sachin Baby, Manapreet Juneja, Kedar Jadhav who could be the players for them in the long run.

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:03 GMT

    A good choice of retained players by Royals. But one more player who must have in the list Brad Hodge. And I think RD and RR don't want him to leave. Buy him to Royals.

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    This seems to be the perfect combination for the perennial underdogs. Hope they can buy-back Hodgy at the auction too ! All they need to do as always is to be on the lookout for some value-for-money players in the auction pool to get that 11 just right. I think I sense that Sehwag might be up for grabs.

  • on January 10, 2014, 7:08 GMT

    now hodgy can go to mumbai