IPL 2024 | Hardik Pandya confirms MI return with Cameron Green headed to RCB in blockbuster trades
Hardik Pandya led Gujarat Titans to the IPL title on their debut season|
Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been traded to Mumbai Indians, leaving Gujarat Titans seeking a new captain. To make up for the dent in their auction purse, the Wankkede-based team has let go of Cameron Green to Royal Challengers Bangalore after buying him for a record-breaking fee in 2022.
Hardik Pandya was picked up by Gujarat Titans as one of their three marquee players ahead of the mega IPL auction in 2021, alongside Rashid Khan and Shubman Gill, for a price tag of INR 15 crore. His trade to Mumbai Indians would include a significant injection into Titans' auction purse alongside an undisclosed transfer fee to which the player would have a 50% claim, as per ESPN Cricinfo. Mumbai, in order to have the resources in place for Pandya's return, have traded Cameron Green to Royal Challengers Bangalore despite the Australian all-rounder previously expected to be a franchise player after becoming the second-most expensive player in IPL history in 2023 with a fee of INR 17.50 crore.
Pandya led Gujaart all the way to the title in their very first season before a close finish against Chennai Super Kings in 2022 denied the Titans the elusive chance to go back-to-back. In his two seasons at the franchise, Pandya underwent a transition from a destructive middle-order batter to a top-order anchor, accumulating 833 runs at an average of 36.22 and a strike rate of 133.49. However, it was Mumbai Indians where he first came to the fore of the Indian conscience, making his India team debut across all three formats during the seven seasons he spent at Wankhede. Notably, Pandya's leadership stint at Titans saw him elevated to the role of stand-in skipper for the national side as well albeit he is now reunited with Rohit Sharma who remains to official T20I skipper.
Green, meanwhile, had made waves in the cricket world with his ability to bowl 140-plus and showcase decent technique with the bat in his two-meter frame. After a successful T20I series in India ahead of last season's IPL proved to be the ideal audition for the all-rounder, the 24-year-old went on to score 452 runs for Mumbai at the top of the order at an average of 50.22 and an astounding strike rate of 160.28, including a 47-ball century against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Green's returns with the ball were much less impressive, managing just six wickets in 38 overs at an economy of 9.50, and it remains to be seen how Royal Challengers Bangalore utilize his services having let go of several fast-bowling all-rounders to make room for the youngster.