New journey, old faces - same family
Mumbai Indians ended up releasing as many as 10 players from their list ahead of the auction next month. Suprise picks like Tajinder Dhillon, Sharad Lumba, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh and South Africa’s joint-most capped T20I player JP Duminy were among the released names.
Pradeep Sangwan, whose last competitive game was in the 2018 IPL has also been left out while Jharkhand’s experienced campaigner Saurabh Tiwary also didn’t find himself in the retained players’ list. Australia’s Pat Cummins who was bought for 5.60 CR last year was also released. Australia’s World Cup players are expected to play a limited role in the next IPL campaign.
Bangladesh ace pacer Mustafizur Rahman who snared 7 wickets in as many matches has also been released along with Akila Dananjaya.
Mumbai Indians now have 7 vacant spots left with 11.15 CR left in their purse. Before the auction, we take a deep dive into who is retained and what’s on offer.
Led by the Hitman himself, Mumbai Indians have a lot of potential in their batting lineup. Rohit Sharma has scored the most T20I tons (4) but all as an opener. However, he realises the need to strengthen the middle order and drops himself down at four very often.
The pair of Evin Lewis and Suryakumar Yadav was very successful at the top last season. The left hand-right hand combination gave us good starts but with the addition of Quinton de Kock, the management will have fiery options upfront.
Ishan Kishan has also been in good form off lately playing for Jharkhand and showed us what he is capable of in pieces last season. His four successive sixes to Kuldeep Yadav at the Eden Gardens is still fresh and only tells us about is the ability to accelerate at any stage of the game.
Aditya Tare became a second-choice keeper to Ishan Kishan last season but the seasoned campaigner has the ability to hit the long balls and also stitch partnerships batting in the middle order. Siddhesh Lad, who is yet to make his IPL debut, is also a very dependable batsman in the middle order.
Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya add tremendous value to any side that they play for. While Krunal has shown his ability to absorb pressure, Hardik is very exuberant in transfering the pressure with his explosive hitting.
All eyes will be on the big-hitting Kieron Pollard who has the reputation of destroying oppositions with his belligerent hitting. Ben Cutting too can strike meaty blows down the order to give more options to the management.
Anukul Roy didn’t get an opportunity last season but his all-round exploits for Jharkhand across formats will certainly make his case stronger this year.
Overall, Mumbai’s batting displays a lot of firepower up front. The think-tank may eye for impactful middle order names in the upcoming player auction.
Jasprit Bumrah, the leader of the pack and the world’s number one ranked ODI bowler has come out of Malinga’s shadow and will continue to lead the attack. He has got experience to give him company in fan-favourite Mitchell McClenaghan. Mitch has been with the team since the 2015 edition and has consistently performed. He also has 68 wickets to his name from 51 matches.
The lightning-quick Adam Milne and Australia’s left-arm sensation Jason Behrendorff will also catch a lot of eyeballs in the 12th edition.
Hardik Pandya is a regular with the ball while Rohit Sharma has used the likes of Kieron Pollard and Ben Cutting in the past to bowl their seam-ups.
As far as the spin department is concerned, Mumbai Indians have their self-discovered Mayank Markande and Rahul Chahar as their wrist spinning options along with the slow-left arm spin of Krunal Pandya and Anukul Roy.
Rahul Chahar, in the recent domestic tournaments, has emerged as wicket-taker and should provide Markande with a run at all times.
Mumbai Indians have released all their uncapped pacers and the focus could be on investing in raw Indian talent. They have a rich history in unearthing new players and nurturing them in a bid to advance at the biggest stage.
One such opportunity will again come their way when the player auction takes place next month.