In the one decade of their existence, the Mumbai Indians haven’t given an extended run to any leg-spinner. Apart from the sporadic appearances from the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Karn Sharma, it has been Harbhajan Singh all the way as the franchise’s primary spinner, with Pragyan Ojha having played his part until 2014.
However, with Harbhajan most likely to change boats after not being retained, Mumbai could be eyeing a spinner vital to their fortunes in their pursuit of winning a fourth IPL, come summer 2018.
‘Revelation’ is an understatement for Rashid Khan: he has absolutely scorched the T20 scene with leg breaks: a clever concoction of variations and dexterity, one who isn’t afraid to toss the ball up. He can bamboozle batsmen with turn off the pitch, or with movement in the air.
He’s quick to the crease, the action is swift and deceptive, and can turn into the strike bowler to prise out wickets. Alternatively, he can send the batsmen into their shell with some quiet overs in the middle.
For Mumbai Indians, he could turn out to be the perfect choice as their lead spinner.
He made his mark with the IPL, a tournament he entered with few expectations and no big reputation. Sunrisers Hyderabad scooped him up for a massive Rs. 4 crores, and people were a little surprised by Tom Moody’s splurge.
Halfway through the tournament, Rashid was the leading wicket-taker and had startled the best in the world with his turn and bounce.
A leg-spinner in T20s is always a threat: the attacking nature of batsmen can be best neutralised by an attacking form of bowling, and leg-spin perfectly fits the bill.
With Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, the retained players for Mumbai, spearheading the batting, all-rounder and pace departments, an enigmatic spinner like Rashid Khan can be the perfect fit for Mumbai Indians.
When the retentions for the latest season of the IPL were announced, the Mumbai Indians retained three key players, skipper Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, and Jasprit Bumrah. There was speculation that Krunal Pandya may be retained in place of Jasprit Bumrah, but Mumbai followed through with the expected plan and retained their ace bowler.
Retaining three players allows them to use two RTM cards in the auction and with players such as Krunal Pandya, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga and Lendl Simmons in the pool, Mumbai Indians will look to bring both the cards into play.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians in all likelihood will be retaining skipper Rohit Sharma along with Pandya brothers, Hardik and Krunal, while under-performing Delhi Daredevils may keep Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer in their stable ahead of the IPL auction on January 27.
While the last date of submission for the player retention is January 4, the franchises are more or less certain about the kind of players they would like to retain and the ones they would buy back with Right To Match (RTM) cards.
“Skipper Rohit Sharma is an automatic retention having led the team to three IPL titles. Hardik Pandya is one of the big match-winners and the interesting third retention would be Krunal Pandya,” a senior BCCI official in the know of things told PTI on Monday.
“Krunal being an uncapped Indian can be retained for only Rs 3 crore instead of Rs 7 crore for third capped player. Also Krunal was an exceptional performer last year,” he added.
It is learnt that it is a strategic decision to retain Krunal as this will enable the franchise to buy back Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah with the ‘Right To Match’ cards.
“MI has been the biggest advocate of five retentions. These five are their core group of match winners and it will be surprising if they deviate from this strategy,” the BCCI official said.
It is learnt that Delhi are still undecided about having two or three retentions but Pant and Iyer being India players are certain to be retained.
“If you retain two capped players, you spend Rs 21 crore (Rs 12.5 crore for Player 1 and Rs 8.5 for Player 2) instead of Rs 33 crore for three capped players (Rs 15 crore for Player 1, Rs 11 crore for Player 2 and Rs 7 crore for Player 3),” the official explained.
Steve Smith is expected to be retained by Rajasthan Royals after having spent two years at the Rising Pune Supergiants.
he Chennai Super Kings are set to retain three of their marquee players — skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, IPL superstar Suresh Raina and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja while Dwayne Bravo, if fit, is all but certain to be bought back with Right To Match card.
David Warner looks certain to be retained by the Sunrisers Hyderabad who can also retain the immensely talented Deepak Hooda by paying Rs 3 crore for the uncapped player just like MI will be doing for Krunal.
Mumbai Indians, owned by Reliance Industries Limited, is the most successful team in the Indian Premier League by winning 3 IPL titles. After an initial struggle in the starting two seasons, the club has shown massive improvement from the 3rd season till now, by qualifying to the play-offs each time. The men in blues are the only team to win 100 T20s and one of the two teams to win 2 Champions League T20 titles.
Being the defending champions, Mumbai Indians, have developed a well-settled side that they would prefer to keep intact and build a strong team around for the upcoming edition of the IPL.
Here are the players that Mumbai Indians should absolutely retain (3 retention + 2 RTM card) for the 2018 season:
1. Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians will not willingly let go of the man who led the team to three IPL titles.
In 2011, he was grabbed by the Mumbai Indians for $2millions. As a Captain, He has led the Mumbai Indians team successfully to three IPL title victories, becoming the only captain to have won the highest number of IPL title. As a prolific batsman, he has scored 4207 runs with a strike rate of 130.89, becoming the third highest run-scorer in IPL history. Apart from batting, he also owns a hat-trick against his current club Mumbai Indians in 2009.
He has also been the leading run scorer for the team, hitting the 3,000-runs mark in the last season. His 2017 IPL run was admittedly mediocre, but the team should nonetheless consider him as its first pick for retention.
2. Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah is easily the Mumbai Indians’ best gift to the Indian team.
The Gujarat pacer was picked by Mumbai Indians for a whopping 1.20 crores in the 2014 Auctions. Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians started bidding from a base price of 20 Lakhs, which went on for quite a while. However, it was Mumbai who eventually won the bidding war.
Bumrah made his IPL debut in 2013 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. His first wicket, Virat Kohli, grabbed the instant attention of cricket fans across the country. In his debut match of IPL he took 3 wickets for 32 runs.
Though he played just a couple of games in IPL-6, his impressive show in the domestic circuit convinced the Mumbai Indians management to buy him back for IPL-7.
Bumrah’s improvement has been significant in the years since. With the decline of Lasith Malinga, Bumrah would be the perfect death bowler for the Mumbai Indians, and the management should ensure that they retain him.
3. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya should be an obvious pick for the Mumbai Indians – even though there have been speculations about his keenness to be part of the auction pool, that would result in a big blow for the team as it would be hard to get a player of his stature back via auction.
He was initially grabbed by the Mumbai Indians for 10 Lakhs back in the 2015 Indian Premier League auctions. Ever since he has played several match-winning hands and has grown in stature as a cricketer. With an ability to clear the ropes with ease, he has turned out to be a hot prospect for Indian cricket.
Hardik has been in an amazing form this year and has proven himself in the international arena over and over. His presence in the Mumbai Indians line-up would be a great boost to the team in all three departments. His hard-hitting ability, handy medium pace, and terrific fielding make him an all-rounder par excellence and, if the opportunity to retain him presents itself, the Mumbai Indians should not pass it up.
4. Lasith Malinga
Malinga is MI’s strike bowler in this format and is a leading bowler in the competition.
He was bought by MI in 2008 for 3,50,000 ($USD) from the IPL auction.
Sachin Tendulkar described Malinga as an important cog in the Mumbai Indians game plan.
He won the Purple Cap award (most wickets) in the fourth season of Indian Premier League with 28 scalps in 16 matches. Throughout the tournament, he led the Mumbai Indians attack from the front and was instrumental in many victories.
He created quite the buzz in his first IPL game for Mumbai Indians in 2009, taking 3 wickets for just 15 runs against Chennai Super Kings which helped the team to victory. He has been outstanding for us, having taken 143 IPL wickets, the most by any bowler in this competition.
Mumbai should use 1 RTM Card for him.
5. Lendl Simmons
In April 2014 it was announced that Simmons had been signed by Indian Premier League side Mumbai Indians, replacing Jalaj Saxena. This had the aim of improving the team’s fortunes, after they had gone without a win in any of their 4 matches prior to his signing. On 22 May 2014, Simmons scored his maiden IPL century helping his team post a 7 wickets win over Kings XI Punjab.
Simmons was selected for Mumbai Indians for play 2014 IPL and 2015 IPL seasons. He opened the batting with Indian Parthiv Patel during the 2015 season due to injury of Aaron Finch, where they became the most dangerous opening pair of the IPL 8 with an average over 50. Simmons played a major role in the team guided to the IPL 8 win by Mumbai Indians. It was their second title in IPL.
He has been MI’s consistent and most destructive opener and MI should definitely look forward to retain him..