Mumbai Indians adopted a very conservative approach at the mega auction, which has cost them big time this season.
Mumbai Indians (MI) have been all out of sorts in the 15th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The five-time champions are no strangers to rough starts in IPL, however, their prospects of a recovery this season seem too bleak. Mumbai are languishing at the bottom of the points tally, with six losses from as many games. They remain the only side in the competition to yet open their tally, and we are almost approaching halfway through the season.
Rohit Sharma and Co. remain one of the few franchises which have always got their auction strategy spot on. The franchise has made quite a few successful buys at the auction, who have all played a part in making Mumbai the most decorated side in IPL. However, it seems that their horrific start to IPL 2022 all comes down to their poor strategy in the IPL 2022 mega auction earlier this year.
Mumbai Indians were already a step ahead of their competitors, as they had to build a team around their core members. Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard were the four retentions made by the franchise. Although, this led to a limited purse at the auction, yet it was enough to build a pretty strong and well-rounded squad.
Mumbai spent a bit too extravagantly on a few players who do not fit into their plans. The franchise did sign a couple of talented batters in the auction in the form of Dewald Brevis and Tilak Varma. However, they have failed to make necessary reinforcements in their all-rounder and bowling departments. In this article, we look at 3 players on whom Mumbai Indians should have spent more and bought in the auction.
3 players on who Mumbai Indians should have spent more and bought in the auction
MI Indians had arguably the best squad in the IPL over the last three seasons. Hence, it was always a big challenge for them to build a similar-looking side, with as many as four retentions allowed per franchise. Trent Boult played a key role in MI’ title-winning campaign in 2020 and had formed a deadly bowling combination with Jasprit Bumrah with the new ball.
However, MI decided against retaining the Kiwi pacer, which was in fact the correct thing to do. Fans expected the franchise to go all out for left-armer in the mega auction, however, they lost the bidding war to Rajasthan Royals. The Royals acquired the services of Trent Boult for a whooping sum of INR 8 crore after MIIndians decided to exit the race at INR 7.75 cr.
MI Indians bought quite a few overseas bowlers who are not as quite as impactful as Trent Boult is. Apart from Jofra Archer, the franchise cashed in for Tymal Mills, Riley Meredith and Daniel Sams for a combined sum of INR 5.1 crore. But none of the three bowlers fit into Mumbai Indians’ long-term plans, and one can argue that the franchise could have spent more on Boult at the auction. They are clearly missing a bowler who can take wickets for them up front with the new ball, and the experienced Kiwi pacer is exactly what they are missing in the bowling department this season.
Mumbai Indians again came out second to Rajasthan Royals in the bidding war for Yuzvendra Chahal. The leg-spinner was released by Royal Challengers Bangalore, and several franchises were in the hunt for Chahal. The bidding started with Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the mix, but it eventually came down to Mumbai and Rajasthan.
The Royals made the final bid at INR 6.50 cr, as Mumbai Indians let go off another star player in the auction. Yuzvendra Chahal has already been turning heads in IPL 2022 so far, being the current holder of the Purple Cap. One can safely say that Rajasthan acquired the services of the Indian spinner at a bargain price.
Mumbai Indians should have pushed Rajasthan Royals a bit more deeper into the INR 8 cr range, and should have bought the Indian spinner. The five-time champions are certainly missing someone who can take wickets in the middle overs, and halt the flow of runs. Murugan Ashwin was a decent pick by Mumbai, however, he is not someone who can single-handedly win games for his side, which Chahal is very capable of doing.
Jason Holder was one of the key all-rounders who was included in the auction pool. The West Indian all-rounder can bowl overs up top and in the slog overs. Moreover, he can prove to be a reliable lower-order batter, who can adjust himself to the situation. Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings were involved in the early bidding war for Holder, with Rajasthan Royals and Lucknow Super Giants coming into the fray in the latter part.
Mumbai’s last bid came in at INR 5 cr, as Jason Holder was eventually sold to Lucknow for a sum of INR 8.75 cr. Again, Mumbai Indians let off a star player by exiting the bidding war a bit too early. In the absence of Hardik Pandya, the franchise is clearly missing a proper all-rounder which has affected their team combination this season. Due to their weak bowling attack and lack of all-rounders, Mumbai are forced to play with five bowlers, which has seen their batting being compromised.
Jason Holder could have been the perfect buy for Mumbai Indians, who could slot into the number seven role. Moreover, he could form an interesting death bowling combination with Jasprit Bumrah, as the latter has lacked support from other bowlers this season.