Defending champions of the Indian Premier League (IPL)- Mumbai Indians (MI) didn’t surprise anyone with their decision to retain skipper Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah for the upcoming edition.
Mumbai still have two RTMs left which they can utilize during the auctions scheduled to be held on January 27 and 28.
Ahead of the mega-auction, former Team India head coach Anil Kumble, who has been roped in by the broadcasting channel Star Sports for the new season, had his say on whom should MI retain for the 11th edition of the T20 tournament.
Some of the top players Mumbai Indians had in their roster in the last 10 seasons include the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McLenaghan, Mitchell Johnson, Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya, to name a few.
One name that Kumble specifically wanted the MI management to retain via RTM is that of Krunal Pandya.
Krunal has been of great service for the Mumbai franchise since joining them in 2016.
Speaking about Krunal’s inclusion, Kumble said that the 26-year-old offers everything Mumbai need and hence he should be their main target via RTM in the auctions.
“Krunal Pandya is a left-hander who floats, bowls spin and is a good fielder. So he is an ideal uncapped player whom Mumbai will want to retain. But the question is the bucket under which he falls for them, which will determine if he is brought in via the RTM.” Kumble told to Mayanti Langer on Gameplan, a show on Star Sports.
The former India Test skipper also admitted that other teams will be looking to purchase players from the defending champions and Krunal will be on their radar for sure.
“It is very difficult to your combinations right at the auctions, especially with the RTMs, as others will go after your key players. Considering Mumbai are the defending champions, the rest of the teams will be looking at champion players,” he added.
Kumble also pointed out that with a maximum of two RTMs available with MI, they might be tempted to go for a wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler who has developed a solid reputation as a late-innings basher.