Generally, it’s very rare that a player plays for just one franchise in the IPL. There is a complete overhaul of the teams after every three years with only a handful of players being retained.
Most of the players go around playing for different teams after the mega auction and it’s very normal in the franchise based leagues all around the world.
However, there are a few players who played or have played for only one IPL franchise so far. Here is the best XI of those players –
#1 Openers (Sachin Tendulkar, Matthew Hayden):
Both Tendulkar and Hayden were already the legends in Test cricket and ODIs when the T20s first came into limelight, but despite being hugely successful in the two conventional formats of the game, Tendulkar and Hayden showed that they were good enough to dominate in the shortest format of the game as well.
Hayden and Tendulkar have been the IPL title winners with Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in 2010 and 2013 respectively.
#2 Middle Order (Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Kieron Pollard, Rishabh Pant):
Virat Kohli was picked as an U19 player by the RCB in 2008 and he was never let go by the franchise after that. After playing a few years under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and Daniel Vettori, Virat was given the charge of the RCB and he has been retained as the RCB captain ever since.
Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant were picked by Delhi Capitals as promising young players and the franchise has managed to keep hold of both of them so far. The way they are progressing in their careers at the moment, it doesn’t seem Delhi would release them in the market anytime soon.
Pollard was also picked by Mumbai Indians after his Champions League heroics in 2012 and while the franchise retained him ahead of IPL 2014 auction, they used the Right to match card for him in IPL 2018 auction to get him back in the squad.
#3 All-rounders (Hardik Pandya, Sunil Narine):
Hardik Pandya was actually scouted by Mumbai Indians in the domestic circuit because when Mumbai picked him, nobody knew a lot about him. The young man delivered so much in his first few seasons that the franchise retained him ahead of the IPL 2018 mega auction.
KKR has utilized Sunil Narine to great effects. They had obviously picked him as a specialist bowler, but the former KKR captain Gautam Gambhir promoted Narine to open the innings with the bat as well and it turned out to be a masterstroke as Narine made match winning impact for KKR on many occasions at the top of the order.
#4 Bowlers (Jofra Archer, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga):
Jofra Archer has played just one season for the Rajasthan Royals so far, but it was a great buy for Rajasthan because when they bought him, Jofra had not played any bit of international cricket at all and he was just bought on the basis of his performances in various T20 leagues around the world.
If Jofra maintains his level of performance, he is likely to be retained by Rajasthan for many seasons.
Jasprit Bumrah was again an unknown talent that Mumbai unearthed. While Bumrah performed decently in domestic cricket as well, it was his IPL performance for Mumbai Indians which caught people’s attention all around the world. Bumrah, since his debut, has played only for Mumbai.
Lasith Malinga has also played only for Mumbai Indians so far in his IPL career. He could have actually played for some other franchise as well when he was released in the auction a few years ago.
Mumbai didn’t show any interest in Malinga in that auction, but incidentally, none of the other franchises secured Malinga’s services and he went unsold. Mumbai, thereafter, bought the Sri Lankan legend in the next auction and he is currently a part of the Mumbai set-up.