Mumbai had a disappointing IPL season this year, with the team failing to qualify for the playoffs by just 2 points. Nonetheless, the consolation for the 2017 Champions would be the net run-rate of +0.317, the highest in the league.
Transfer Window Overview
Retained: Rohit Sharma (C), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Siddhesh Lad, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Aditya Tare, Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff.
Released: , Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Sharad Lumba, Pat Cummins, Mustafizur Rahman, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, JP Duminy, Saurabh Tiwary, Pradeep Sangwan,Akila Dananjaya.
Traded: Quinton de Kock (RCB)
Salary cap available: Rs. 11.15 cr
Available slots: 7 (Indian 6, Overseas 1)
In the 2019 IPL transfer window, Mumbai Indians have made a major overhaul in their team by releasing as many as ten players from their squad that mainly include uncapped players like Saurabh Tiwary, Pradeep Sangwan, Akila Dananjaya and Sharad Lamba among others.
The biggest thing on the Mukesh Ambani-owned side’s mind would be to secure good Indian bowlers, as they have one slot available to sign a foreign player. As the much 2019 IPL Auctions come closer, we look at the 5 players that MI should be targeting primarily.
1. Mohammed Shami
This is a no-brainer, Mohammed Shami is the No. 1 player that Mumbai Indians should target to provide a much-needed stability to their side. One may consider Shami’s lack of International cricket time as a weakness. However, this could, in fact, prove to be a strength as most of India’s star bowlers, including MI’s star fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah, is expected to be rested in the second half if the IPL season for the upcoming 2019 World Cup. Thus, in Mohammed Shami, MI would be getting a stellar, experienced pacer and one who could be with the team throughout the season.
However, it goes without saying that Shami would be in huge demand at the auction considering his domestic form.
2. Jaydev Unadkat
Jaydev Unadkat is another top-line, domestic player that could help fill in the Indian bowler void at MI. Agreed, Unadkat had a difficult season with Rajasthan Royal, who bought him for an astronomical Rs. 11.5 crore. Nevertheless, this doesn’t take away the fact that he was one of the best bowlers in the 2017 season when he scalped 24 wickets for Supergiants. He also has been a crucial member in the domestic cricket for Saurashtra. His abilities to perform in the death overs are another of Unadkat’s assets. WIth Jasprit Bumrah, he could make Mumbai Indians a force to reckon with in the fast-bowling department.
3. Axar Patel
Axar Patel could be acknowledged as the find of 2014 IPL season when he had scalped 17 wickets. However, he has had an ordinary season ever since, with only 3 wickets in 9 games in 2018. As a result, he was released by Kings XI Punjab.
But having said that, Axar still remains one of the most experienced spin bowlers in the auctions. This would be helpful, especially since MI currently rely on local boy Mayank Markande for in the spin bowling department. Along with Krunal Pandya, Axar could form a formidable spin partnership. What works in Axar’s favour is that he has a highly impressive economy rate of 7.52 in his 4 year-long IPL career.
4. Carlos Brathwaite
As mentioned earlier, one the mainstays, the ageing Kieron Pollard is entering the last phases of his career. He could manage a paltry 133 runs last season. Someone has to take the baton from the star all-rounder and who better than his fellow countryman? Carlos Brathwaite could be that man for Mumbai Indians.
Carlos rose to prominence after smashing four historic 6s in the 2016 World T20 final. Although he did go on to captain the national T20 side, he has largely struggled to discover that rich form.
At Sunrisers last season, he failed to get significant game time. Nonetheless, he still managed to feature in some vital cameos in those limited opportunities he got. In the four matches that he played, he managed to score 75 runs coming in at lower middle order. The figure was toplined by the 43* with a run rate of 156.25 and 8 sixes. Carlos also took 5 wickets at an average of just 18.80. Thus, if he could manage to scale up that performance over a long duration, Brathwaite could be that star overseas signing for Mumbai Indians.
5. Chris Woakes
Chris Woakes is, without a doubt, the star overseas player everyone would want to buy in the auctions. Even though Mumbai Indians have a star-studded bowling line-up in the form of Kieron Pollard and Ben Cutting when it comes to foreign players. However, while on one hand their long servant, Kieron Pollard is in the twilight years of his career, on the other Cutting did not have a great time with MI.
With the side only having a solitary slot for a foreign player, the one player that they should in this department is Chris Woakes. Although the feisty all-rounder had an indifferent season with the RCB, Woakes is still one of the most experienced players around. In fact, he can be calculated among one of the most underrated players in the cricket world. He could be an asset with the bat in the lower order. With the ball, he can swing the ball in the powerplay.indian sports news
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