Mumbai Indians have little to do with their roster in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 players auction, which will take place in Chennai on Feb. 18. The 13th edition of the franchise tournament was held in the United Arab Emirates due to coronavirus pandemic, but the change in circumstances caused little trouble for the Mumbai Indians. The team led by Rohit Sharma defended their title without breaking a sweat in the last edition and won the tournament for a record-breaking fifth time. Ahead of the players auction, Mumbai Indians have released seven players from last season and will shop at the auction with a 15.35 crore wallet. While Lasith Malinga’s retirement from franchise cricket has left a void in the pace attack, Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah are expected to wield the new ball. Mumbai might consider adding a few fast bowling options in case of injuries after letting go of James Pattinson and Mitchell McClenaghan.
Here is an overview of the players who may have the defending champion on their radar during the auction.
The opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock was exceptional last season. Even while Rohit was injured, Ishan Kishan did well at the top of the order. Mumbai Indians don’t have to tinker with their openers much, as they have also retained explosive Australian batsman Chris Lynn, should de Kock get injured in the tournament.
Suryakumar Yadav and Saurabh Tiwary did most of the score in the middle overs for Mumbai Indians last season, setting the stage for the big hitters like Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya to go big from the start. To add variety to their batting line-up, Mumbai can use in-form Sachin Baby who had a great season with the bat for Kerala in the domestic T20 tournament. He scored with a strike rate of more than 150 and an average of 53.66 in six innings.
Mumbai Indians probably have the best all-rounders in their ranks. Hardik and Krunal Pandya can be an asset to any side with both bat and ball adding Kieron Pollard’s experience into the mix, and it turns into a dazzling combination. To bolster their banking strength, Mumbai can bid for Dan Christian, who has had a great season in the recent Big Bash League. The local boy Shivam Dube can also be an extra all-rounder on the cards for Mumbai Indians.
Mumbai Indians released Mitchell McClenaghan, James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile up for auction, and they might consider adding Morne Morkel or Mark Wood to bolster their attack on the pace. Morkel of Wood can add much-needed depth to the fast bowling section in Malinga’s absence.
Rahul Chahar played last season, picking up wickets in the middle overs. Jayant Yadav joined the team in the final of the tournament and sent Shikhar Dhawan back to give momentum to Mumbai during the summit conference. The defending champion can bid for Krishnappa Gowtham, released by Kings XI Punjab, who can provide the XI with some stability with his decisiveness and his off-spinners.
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