Five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians (MI) picked up 21 players at the mega auction in Bengaluru. Young wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan (Rs 15.25 crore) was their biggest purchase. In addition, they also picked Jofra Archer for Rs 8 crore and all-rounder Tim David for Rs 8.25 crore. Among bowlers, they went for Jaydev Unadkat (Rs 1.3 crore) and Riley Meredith (Rs 1 crore). Following the conclusion of the auction, we analyze MI’s performance on the bidding table.
Whether MI’s decision to spend a whopping Rs 15.25 on Ishan Kishan was the right one can be debated. What cannot be is the fact that they were spot on in purchasing him back. Ahead of the auction, MI had retained Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard. There were reports that the franchise would go all out to buy Kishan since they wanted him back. And they did. Kishan offers a lot with his attractive strokeplay and can keep wickets as well.
Also, the move to pick Archer was fraught with risk due to his long battle with injury. He might not even be available for this edition. Having said that, if and when Archer and Bumrah play together, they could form a deadly combo on the lines of Bumrah-Malinga and Bumrah-Boult. So despite the apprehensions, the move can be viewed as a positive one.
A close look at the squad MI have chosen points to a clear lack of firepower, particularly in the bowling department. Mumbai had Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Trent Boult, and Nathan Coulter-Nile in their ranks. While Bumrah has been retained in the current squad, apart from him and Archer (if available), there isn’t much to write home about.
Jaydev Unadkat has had his chances for various franchises over the years but has been inconsistent. The other pacers in the team are Basil Thampi, Daniel Sams, Tymal Mills, and Riley Meredith. Even in the spin department, they have Murugan Ashwin and Mayank Markande. In the past, MI had done well with leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, so they might have missed a trick by not purchasing him back. However, he added a bit of zing to the bowling line-up.
Singapore-born Australian cricketer Tim David was an interesting purchase at the IPL 2022 auction for Rs 8.25 crore. David is a highly experienced T20 cricketer, having featured in most of the prominent T20 leagues globally. In 85 T20 matches, he has smashed 1908 runs at a strike rate of 159.39 with nine fifties. David can tonk the ball a long way and could very well be MI’s X factor in the upcoming edition. Apart from his batting skills, he is also a handy off-break bowler.
The squad also features South Africa’s rising star Dewald Brevis, who took the cricketing world by storm during the U19 World Cup in the West Indies. Brevis even drew comparisons with the great AB de Villiers. He could be a potential X-factor, although he is still relatively young. There have been cases of the IPL giving a platform to many new talents to showcase their skills over the years.
Verdict? Not so good
MI did well to retain Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard ahead of the auction. In addition, the purchase of Ishan Kishan was on expected lines. However, overall the squad doesn’t look anywhere near as strong as the previous teams.
MI Squad for IPL 2022: Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Ishan Kishan, Dewald Brevis, Basil Thampi, M Ashwin, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, N Tilak Varma, Sanjay Yadav, Jofra Archer, Daniel Sams, Tymal Mills, Tim David, Riley Meredith, Mohammad Arshad Khan, Anmolpreet Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Rahul Buddhi, Hrithik Shokeen, Arjun Tendulkar, Fabian Allen, Aryan Juyal