All eyes are on the Mumbai Indians to see if they can somehow find the players who will help them replicate the success that has made them the most storied team in the history of the Indian Premier League.
With a total salary cap of Rs 90 crore available at the mega auction for each team, the eight franchises were eligible to retain up to 4 players with a maximum of three Indians, two overseas players and two uncapped Indians.
Each of the eight franchises used the Player Retention option with Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals, Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians opting to retain four players each.
Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad have retained three players each while Punjab Kings have retained two. As a result, PBKS will have the highest salary purse available with Rs 72 crore while Delhi Capitals have the least at Rs 47.50 to be used at the mega auction. Mumbai Indians, for their remaining 21 slots available, have Rs 48 crore.
MI built their success on stability and while they still have four core members, their focus will be on trying to first build their best XI before they go looking for the other variables.
With no wicketkeeper-batter in the mix – MI will be in the market for a big buy or two in that department and then they will have their eye on Trent Boult, who has had great success for them in the past few seasons. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar was also a key performer but will the team eye, perhaps, another bowler?
Still, given that all teams are looking to build squads, MI might not get the players it is looking for and that is what makes the Mega Auctions so interesting. You have to have your Plan B and Plan C in place too.
Players retained by MI & their values
|Rohit Sharma||Indian||Rs 16 Crore|
|Jasprit Bumrah||Indian||Rs 12 Crore|
|Suryakumar Yadav||Indian||Rs 8 Crore|
|Kieron Pollard||Overseas||Rs 6 Crore|
MI IPL history
Recent auction history: Hit or miss
The Mumbai Indians have usually had a pretty good record in the auctions. Their scouting system has been strong (just think of Jasprit Bumrah) and they have identified the kind of talents they need to get stronger in a structured manner. From getting in Rohit Sharma to making the best use of Trent Boult, who was acquired in a trade from the Delhi Capitals, Mumbai built a core group of players.
MI have got it wrong at times too. They bought Glenn Maxwell in 2013 but hardly used him. JP Duminy was another buy that didn’t go right but that was way back in 2009. Of late, they have usually looked to fill in specific holes in their strategy and that meant they would go looking for specific players.
Nathan Coulter-Nile was picked up for Rs 8 crore in 2020 but it didn’t go according to plan and the same might be said of Krunal Pandya, who was retained for Rs 8.8 crore with a ‘Right to Match’ card in 2018.
But they also had a great trade deal in Quinton de Kock in 2019 when they got him from RCB (as was Boult later). So even if MI doesn’t get the player they want in the auction, they are always on the lookout for a good trade if possible.
Any off-season changes since IPL 2021?
The Mumbai Indians team management is led by former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene who is the current head coach of the IPL franchise. Jayawardene joined the team in 2017 and has so far won three IPL titles with the team. The Ambanis have usually given him a free hand in running the team but have been pretty hands-on at the same time.
Jayawardene works closely with Sachin Tendulkar (icon), Zaheer Khan (Director of Cricket Operations), Shane Bond (bowling coach) and Robin Singh (batting coach).
In addition to that, they also have a very strong talent scout setup which helps them find the best young players in India.
Who’s saying what
“MI will do their level best to get back Ishan Kishan and that will come at a cost but yes they might have to look at a different formula for success as compared to what has worked so far,” former India opener Aakash Chopra said on Star Sports show ‘Game Plan IPL Auction Special’.
Overall purse remaining for all 10 teams
|Franchisee||Salary cap remaining (Rs cr)||Open player slots||Open overseas player slots|
|Chennai Super Kings||48||21||7|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||48||21||6|
|Lucknow Super Giants||59||22||7|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||57||22||7|