In-form Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has said he is "100% sure" of joining forces with captain Virat Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the upcoming 11th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL).
Quite a few eyebrows were raised when Chahal was snubbed by RCB when they announced the list of retained players earlier this month.
While the retentions of skipper Kohli (Rs 17 crore) and AB de Villiers (Rs 11 crore) were on the expected lines, RCB made a surprising call when they preferred uncapped Sarfraz Khan (Rs 3 crore) over Chahal.
"I am not thinking too much as to what happened in the retention. I trust RCB," Chahal told The New Indian Express newspaper.
He added: "They still have the Right-To-Match (RTM) card so I am 100 per cent sure I am coming back to RCB. However, it also depends on how will it go at the auction."
Will RCB land Chahal without breaking the bank?
The 27-year-old spinner had been a key member of the RCB unit ever since he joined the side in 2014, picking up 70 wickets in 55 matches.
Also, Chahal has gone on to establish himself as the first-choice spinner for India in the limited-overs formats. The Haryana tweaker, who made his India debut in June 2016, has picked up 27 ODI and 26 T20I wickets at 25.07, 15.92 respectively.
RCB, as Chahal mentioned, has two RTM cards for use at the auction. It will be interesting to see if the Kohli-led franchise will be able to buy their leg-spinner without breaking the bank.
However, Chahal's closeness to Kohli is likely to work in favour of the former. Notably, the leggie has time and again shed light on how the Indian and RCB captain has helped him shape his career.
"Through our time together at Royal Challengers Bangalore, we have come to understand what we want from each other – what he wants from a bowler as captain, and what I want from him as a leg-spinner," Chahal said last year, as quoted by The Field website.
He added: "In the IPL, Virat bhai often asks me to bowl with the new ball, whether we are bowling first or defending a total. I think it shows the confidence he has in me."