After the auction for 2020 edition of Indian Premier League, in this series we take a look at how the teams stack up and what their strengths, weaknesses are.
Breakdown of the MI squad with players bought at the auction highlighted in bold:
|Rohit Sharma||Dhawal Kulkarni||Hardik Pandya||Ishan Kishan|
|Sherfane Rutherford||Jasprit Bumrah||Jayant Yadav||Quinton de Kock|
|Suryakumar Yadav||Lasith Malinga||Kieron Pollard||Aditya Tare|
|Anmolpreet Singh||Mitchell McClenaghan||Krunal Pandya|
|Chris Lynn||Rahul Chahar||Anukul Roy|
|Saurabh Tiwary||Trent Boult||Digvijay Deshmukh|
|Nathan Coulter-Nile||Prince Balwant Rai Singh|
Mumbai didn’t need to do much in the auction and they didn’t. But they had a few slots they needed to do and they managed to do that without much fuss.
They needed a big hitter at the top of the order and they got Chris Lynn on their first try, at his base price of Rs 2 crore. The Australian opener is not at his best against spin but give him a flat batting track and he truly can win matches on his own. The fact that no one else even bothered to bid for him seemed to amuse the Mumbai Indians management no end. At Rs 2 crore, he was a bargain if there ever was one.
But will we see Lynn open the batting for Mumbai Indians along with Rohit Sharma?
“There are possibilities,” said MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene. “But, at the same time, not to forget what Quinton de Kock, you know, produced for us last season. He’s been fantastic. Rohit was brilliant, a great partnership together, they had a very good season. But like I said, these are all the options available for us and you never know, he might bat somewhere else for us. Gives us that X-factor, so we’ll think about it. It’s always good to have these options available for you rather than not available.”
The other big buy for MI was Nathan Coulter-Nile but as easy as it was to understand why they went for Lynn, it was just as hard to understand why the MI team management would go after Coulter-Nile for Rs 8 crore. The talk is that he is back up for Malinga, but he isn’t anything like the Sri Lankan.
He can hit the ball a fair distance but given the number of big hitters MI have in their line-up, very rarely would the game come down to Coulter-Nile’s batting. During a chat on Star Sports, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar did mention how Rohit Sharma usually likes to go in with two overseas fast bowlers and this might have been their way of ensuring that they will have enough options if they need them.
Zaheer Khan, who is the Director of Cricket Operations for MI, also said that this particular buy was also influenced by the different dynamics at play.
“I think this year’s auction was, in a way, the dynamics were a bit different,” said Zaheer. “The few slots in a similar category which were going for a marked-up price is something that we felt in this auction. We had a few options sorted around that and we felt with regard to our combination as MI squad it was a requirement for us to fulfill that slot and everyone was pushing us and Nathan Coulter-Nile being a part of MI will certainly bring value to the table. And hence, we decided to go ahead with Coulter-Nile.”
Among the other buys, there was Saurabh Tiwary, the Jharkhand batsman who returns to MI yet again. He is now 29, having played his last match for India in December 2010.
And then, there is the MI scouting team that has been hard at work. They have brought Mohsin Khan, Digvijay Deshmukh and Prince Balwant Rai Singh into the mix. In the past, they have discovered talents such as Jasprit Bumrah and they will be hoping to do the same again.
MI, as it has been said earlier, have all bases covered and they will certainly be very strong contenders in the coming season. They remain the team to beat.