It was a tale of two halves for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. The franchise looked good in the India leg of the IPL but lost of bit of steam in the UAE leg. Although they secured the same 14 points as the fourth-placed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), MI’s poor net run rate eventfully cost them a playoff spot.
MI’s stupendous success over the 13 editions of the IPL has been linked to retaining the core group of players. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, and Jasprit Bumrah have been with the franchise since 2013. Few new additions like Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have also done well for the franchise in the past two years or so. This template of MI could change in the mega auctions of the IPL 2022.
Cricketer-turned-expert Virender Sehwag believes MI might not retain Hardik Pandya for the auctions. The former Indian opening batter has instead picked Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ishan Kishan as his three retention players for MI.
“I think I would retain Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah. Ishan seems to be in it for the long haul, age is on his side so he can serve you better. If Hardik Pandya doesn’t bowl, I don’t think he would be able to fetch a big money at the auction because due to his injury concerns, everyone would think twice,” Sehwag said according to News 18.
Pandya has not bowled for MI in IPL 2021 and Sehwag feels Kishan is a far better pick for retention because of his current form. “Will he bowl or not? If he can declare himself fit and start bowling, then teams can buy him at the auction. The kind of performance Ishan Kishan has dished out today, expect many more from him in time to come because he is top-order batsman, unlike Hardik Pandya, who bats lower,” Sehwag added.