According to trusted sources, we have learnt that Mumbai Indians will be looking retain Rohit, Hardik and Krunal Pandya before the IPL auction.
Over the last decade, MI had a core group of players that were crucial to their success. The likes of Harbhajan Singh, Keiron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Ambati Raydu and Rohit himself were the nucleus around which the rest of the team was formed.
But most of these players are well past their prime, which is why MI will be releasing these players before the IPL auction.
According to reports, they will only retain Rohit and the Pandya brothers, as they look to build a new core group of players.
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Now this will come as a shock to many MI fans, as one of the best death bowlers in the world, Jasprit Bumrah, does not find himself in the MI retention list.
But according to the same source, MI still want to bring back Bumrah, and that the reason for retaining Krunal instead of Bumrah is a strategic one.
Since the cost of retaining an uncapped player is Rs 3 crores, as opposed to Rs 7 crores for a capped player, MI can get both Krunal and Jasprit and still save Rs 4 crores in the process.
And they can do so by using a Right to Match card for Jasprit Bumrah.
With another RTM card in their possession, MI will have to choose one of out Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga and Keiron Pollard, with the big West Indian being their preferred choice.
But we must not forget that the MI owners, Mukesh and Nita Ambani are two people who give a lot of value to loyalty. Both Harbhajan and Malinga are MI legends, as the pair have provided outstanding service to the Mumbai franchise.
So don’t be surprised to see both Harbhajan and Malinga find their way back to Mumbai, in the IPL auction later this month!