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

  • android_user 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

  • dummy4fb 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!!!!

  • dummy4fb 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

  • dummy4fb on January 10, 2014, 17:18 GMT

    i like danger man watson

  • dummy4fb 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.

  • dummy4fb 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.

  • dummy4fb 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

  • dummy4fb 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...

  • dummy4fb 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...