The previous edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was a dominating run for the Mumbai Indians (MI), right from the early stages of the tournament to the finale against Delhi Capitals that they won comfortably by 5 wickets. With that, the Men in Blue become only the second franchise other than Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to defend their title.
This time around, the Rohit Sharma-led side has a chance of being the first team in IPL history to register a hattrick of titular wins. Mumbai Indians released a total of 7 players ahead of the mini auction and are now left with a salary cap of Rs 15.35 crore. Keeping that in mind, the 5-time IPL champions would be looking to add more power to their armory, especially the bowling department, and to make themselves almost invincible once the tournament commences.
Let us take a look at the players they might look to target in the IPL 2021 auction –
The Kiwi all-rounder impressed the cricket fraternity since his arrival into international cricket and among the potential players who could go for expensive bids in the upcoming auction. Standing 6 foot 8 inches, Jamieson can generate awkward bounce from the wicket, at the same time, he can bowl those full length deliveries to trap the batters.
So far, he has bagged 54 wickets in 38 T20s at an economy of less than 8.00, averaging 20.59, with 6/7 as best figures. Not to forget, Jamieson is a strong and powerful cricketer who can smash the deliveries straight across the fence. The experience garnered at the international arena would come of great help to the 26-year-old in this edition of IPL.
With James Pattinson being released from the franchise and veteran Lasith Malinga taking retirement from franchise cricket, Mumbai Indians would be looking to rope in an overseas pacer who can get bamboozle the rival lineups in both powerplay and death overs. And Richardson could just be the ideal fit for the defending champions in their quest to retain their title this season.
The right-armer topped the bowling charts in Big Bash League 2020-21, averaging an exact 16.31 and scalping 29 wickets in 17 matches with 2 four-wicket hauls to his name. He is a wicket-taking bowler in clutch moments who can swing the ball both ways at speeds higher than 140 kmph.
Mumbai Indians are in need of a spinner who could inflict damage in the middle-overs. Lamichhane, who has been consistent with his spin prowess in T20 leagues played across the globe, can be a valuable addition to the MI squad in this regard. To date, he has picked 125 wickets in 92 matches at an astonishing economy of 6.79 and an average of 18.86.
The leggie was a member of the Delhi Capitals in IPL 2018 and 2019 and picked a collective tally of 13 wickets in 9 appearances at an average of 22.46. A base price of 40 lakhs heading into the mini auction, Lamichhane looks like a steal deal that could be vouched by Rohit Sharma & Co.
A left-arm bowler who can swing both ways is a treasure for any franchise. The angled-out deliveries always tempt the right-handed batters into reaching out for them while the inswinging deliveries are no short of menace.
Aniket can be a handy option on this account, who showed his mettle in the concluded edition of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. He grabbed 10 wickets in 7 matches at an average of 18.4 and an economy of 6.65. Add to that, he has a base price of 20 lakhs, someone MI can ponder upon in the auction to bowl out the powerplays.
Along with Jhye Richardson at Perth Scorchers, Behrendorff proved to be a major threat for the top-order batsmen in the recently finished season of Big Bash T20. He picked 16 wickets while averaging 23.31 and an economy of 7.03.
Behrendoff is a new ball specialist who can deliver at a decent pace and get the ball swinging either way. He was earlier a part of Mumbai Indians in 2019, where he scalped 5 wickets in as many appearances. Behrendorff has improved as a T20 bowler since that stint and could be considered as a backup for Trent Boult in the lineup if picked in the auction.
The left-armer bowling in tandem with ace pacer like Jasprit Bumrah could be another partnership the side could look upon this season.