The campaign for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 ended after their last league match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Abu Dhabi on October 8. Though MI won the contest by 42 runs but failed to book a place for the playoffs.
Now, the fans will see the Mumbai-based franchise in the 2022 edition of the cash-rich league. And since it’s going to be a mega auction, there is a possibility that most of the players won’t be seen donning the MI jersey again.
The biggest worry for the MI franchise would be to retain players from their star-studded line up.
The exact rules of the IPL mega auction are yet to be announced, but it is expected that each franchise would be allowed to retain up to a total of three players. Considering the same equation, former India opener Virender Sehwag was recently asked to pick three MI players he would retain for the next year’s IPL.
Sehwag went with captain Rohit Sharma, frontline pacer Jasprit Bumrah and wicketkeeper-batman Ishan Kishan. When asked to reveal why Sehwag didn’t pick star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, the cricketer-turned-commentator stated that Ishan has a bright future while Hardik has injury concerns and franchisees would think twice before going for the Baroda all-rounder.
“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 big money at the auction because everyone would think twice due to his injury concerns,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
Notably, in the second leg of IPL 2021, Hardik didn’t bowl a single over for MI. Speaking about the same, Sehwag said if Hardik is fit and starts bowling again, then teams might buy him at the auction.
“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 a top-order batsman, unlike Hardik Pandya, who bats lower,” added Sehwag.