IPL 2018 | Who should Mumbai Indians buy at the mega-auction

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IPL 2018 | Who should Mumbai Indians buy at the mega-auction

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Subhayan Dutta

01/23/2018

Like Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians will also have to dismantle a perfectly poised side that reached the playoffs thrice and lifted the title three times in the last eight seasons. Choosing to retain three Indian stars, all eyes will be how the defending champions build yet another star-studded squad.

Mumbai Indians have undoubtedly been the best side in the IPL over the last four years having the perfect blend of experience and raw talent in the squad. They have given birth to some of the best players of India’s current generation and quite surprisingly, chose to go with the talents over stardom when asked to retain.

Now with the mega-auction days away, the side will strive to find yet another combination in their squad that will be an amalgam of superstars, scintillating youngsters and winning potential. 

Players Retained- Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah

Funds Remaining: 47 crores

Batsman

Krunal Pandya - Though the pressure of choosing from only three options in retention prevented MI team management from choosing the senior Pandya, there remains little doubt that they wouldn’t go all out for him in the mega-auction. The 27-year-old has been quintessential for MI over the last two seasons scoring 480 runs and claiming 16 wickets in 25 matches. And if last season was anything to go by, Krunal will only get better next season. Unlike his brother, he is yet to be capped by the national team but that is hardly expected to affect his price. But, this is relevant for all IPL sides and Mumbai Indians will have to make a decision if his price shoots over the moon at some point. We hope him to be sold for a higher price. Other franchises know well MI’s desperate need for the all-rounder and there is a big chance his bid would up to as high as 8 crores. 

Kieron Pollard – By far the toughest decision Mumbai management will have to take in the auction. The gigantic Pollard with his extreme athleticism and never-say-die attitude pretty much personifies Mumbai Indians and has been one of their best players over the years. Though not very consistent season wise, the Caribbean star has been a hugely impactful player in the IPL amassing 2,343 runs and claiming 56 wickets. And even when he is not handy with either of them, he makes up for it with some mind-boggling fielding. He has taken 70 catches so far, most of which were exquisite. With a base price of 2 crores, Pollard’s price will reach the heights and we expect it to his the elite 10 crores slab. With MI having lesser funds in transfer kitty than others, their chance to go for Pollard will depend on other factors.

OR

Ben Stokes - The England superstar is definitely one of the major factors. The all-rounder is, in all probability, the best all-rounder in world cricket at the moment. And with Rising Pune Supergiant now defunct, MI would definitely want to get the man they so desperately wanted at the last auction. Stokes has played only one season in IPL so far, where he scored 316 runs and claimed 12 wickets. His buy pretty much makes a side unstoppable and is the only player worth gambling over Pollard. With his price expected to reach over 10 crores, MI will have to coy on him.



Evin Lewis- Mumbai’s success over the years has pretty much rested on the shoulders of their openers. In Rohit Sharma, they have one of the best in the business and the key remains to find a perfect partner for him. Lewis has been the name floating around this season, especially after his 2 centuries against India in T20Is, and MI are expected to bring him in by all means. West Indian openers Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Smith have previously proved to be blistering for MI and they would look to stick to the same formula. With a base price of 1.5 crores, his price isn’t expected to shoot over 4 crores.

Sanju Samson (wk)- One for the future, the youngster is fast becoming one of the shining prospects in Indian cricket. Despite Parthiv Patel serving MI well over the years, Samson looks like someone Mumbai could add to their young arsenal and the investment should pan out very well. Starting his nascent career with Rajasthan Royals, the middle order batsman from Kerala has amassed 1426 runs so far, in five seasons. His athleticism behind the wicket is also worth admiring. With his base price at 1 crore, Samson’s bid could up to 5 crores, something MI could afford.

Bowler

Mitchell McClenaghan- With the likes of Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah in bag, MI would need another pacer that can hold the mast of their ship from the other end. And McClenaghan should be their first choice in this criterion given his pace and ability to confuse batsmen with a mixture of deliveries. He was their most effective bowler last season taking 19 wickets in 14 matches. Coming down the order, the muscular New Zealand player also possesses the ability to hit big shots. Debuting in IPL back in 2015, McClenaghan has scalped 54 wickets in 40 games so far. With a base price of 1 crore, the Kiwi should see is price reach a decent 5 crores.

Harbhajan Singh- Harbhajan Singh has been the face of Mumbai since the very beginning and we think that the spinner would continue to be a part of the new-age squad even after his international stint is anything but over. Though his wicket-taking days are past him, the experienced bowler still has the ability to check runs. He took eight wickets last season in 11 matches with an economy rate of 6.95 and has proved his efficacy in a squad having cut-throat competition. With a base price of 2 crores, Bhajji isn’t expected to cross 5 crores.

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