IPL Auction Review: MI rejuvenated by old and new faces

Just like the last full rejig in 2014, Mumbai Indians preferred to retain three of its top cricketers in the pre-auction window, keeping captain Rohit Sharma, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and pace sensation Jasprit Bumrah in its ranks.

Mumbai Indians retained India all-rounder Hardik Pandya in its ranks.   -  PTI

Six retentions from last year's squad. Return of four proven customers from the earlier seasons. Addition of a few valuable overseas cricketers. And a plethora of domestic uncapped names who could spring more than a few surprises in the forthcoming edition. That was the tale of the two-day Player Auction for the defending Indian Premier League (IPL) champion Mumbai Indians (MI).

Just like the complete rejig in 2014, the most successful IPL outfit preferred to retain three of its top cricketers in the pre-auction window, keeping captain Rohit Sharma, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and pace sensation Jasprit Bumrah in its ranks.

And even before the auction began, it was a given that the think-tank would exercise its Right to Match on veteran all-rounder Kieron Pollard and his emerging counterpart Krunal Pandya.

Besides the duo, it also retained Mumbai batsman Siddhesh Lad, who would be hoping to make his debut this season.

MI also welcomed back the likes of Jean-Paul Duminy, Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary and Aditya Tare who have played a valuable part at some point in its first decade.

While Duminy and Tiwary were key performers in the formative years, Yadav and Tare returned to their home franchisee after playing important roles in its 2011 Champions League and 2014 IPL triumph, respectively.

As for the new signings, with Lasith Malinga having passed his sell-by date, MI preferred to blood in Australian Pat Cummins, one of the most prolific performers of IPL 2017, and Bangladesh speedster Mustafizur Rahman, along with Australia's Ben Cutting and Jason Behrendorff, set to play the support role.

Delhi's seasoned left-arm pacer Pradeep Sangwan lends the Indian flavour to the pace attack.

MI has the most experienced and structured scouting system. It resulted in the management splurging Rs. 6.2 crore on young wicket-keeper-batsman Ishan Kishan and almost Rs 2 crore on leggie Rahul Chahar.

Don't be surprised if relatively unknown quantities like India under-19 left-arm spinner Anukul Roy, Punjab leg-spinner Mayank Markande, fast bowler duo of Mohsin Khan and M.D. Nidheesh end up hogging the limelight come April.

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