The 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is good five months away but the teams have already started getting into the business of revamping their squads.
And if ongoing negotiations between the respective franchises succeed, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan could open for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019.
According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, Dhawan is unhappy being part of his current franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), and has expressed his desire to leave.
Dhawan, who is bound by a three-year contract, had an argument with head coach Tom Moody and the fact that his price tag last season went below expectations during the IPL players’ auction did not go down well with the Indian opening batsman.
The report further states that Dhawan wanted to be retained as SRH’s no. 1 or no. 2 player in the side which could have seen Dhawan walking with a handsome pay cheque of around Rs 10-12 crore. However, the team management decided that they will not spend that sum for Dhawan and instead released him from the pool and bought him back using the ‘right to match’ (RTM) card. The southpaw was bought at a price Rs 5.2 crore.
Compare Dhawan’s price tag to his India’s colleagues and the gap is evident. Virat Kohli (Rs 17 crore), Rohit Sharma (Rs 15 crore), MS Dhoni (Rs 15 crore) were retained by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) respectively. Other retained players including Hardik Pandya (Rs 11 crore, MI), Suresh Raina (Rs 11 crore, CSK) and Rishabh Pant (Rs 8 crore, DD) also have very high salaries.
In his own SRH team, David Warner was retained for Rs 12 crore and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for Rs 8.5 crore. Even B-listers like Jaydev Unadkat (Rs 11.5 crore), KL Rahul (11 crore), Manish Pandey (11 crore), Glenn Maxwell (Rs 9 crore) and Krunal Pandya (Rs 8.8 crore) earn more than Dhawan.
What could also make the deal come to fruition is Dhawan’s growing friendship with MI captain Rohit Sharma. The duo share a good rapport, both on and off the field, which might help expedite negotiation process.
A top Sunrisers official has admitted to being in discussions with Mumbai Indians to trade Dhawan. “That’s right. If we get a couple of good players as a trade-off, we’re open to it,” he said, adding that the management is also in negotiations with Delhi Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab.
The IPL trading window is currently open and will remain so till a week before the auction, expected to be held on December 16.