Some excellent buys

The much talked about player recently, New Zealand's Corey Anderson, was picked up by Mumbai Indians.-AP

Another team which retained its core before the auction was Mumbai Indians. In Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu it had its foundation in place though one could argue that Harbhajan’s selection had a tinge of emotion attached to it and that Dinesh Karthik would have been a better choice.

Mumbai has always been a side that would assemble a number of ‘Galacticos’. But last year its icon and inspiration, Sachin Tendulkar, retired from all forms of the game. Mitchell Johnson, Dinesh Karthik and Dwayne Smith were let off. Ricky Ponting was no longer there. Suddenly it needed a specialist wicket-keeper, an experienced opening pair and bowling fire-power. It was interesting how it would approach the auctions.

Its buys on day one were according to script. It picked up the most talked about player in recent months — New Zealand’s Corey Anderson. Michael Hussey came in to provide experience and solidity at the top. Zaheer Khan was a like-for-like replacement for Johnson. Pragyan Ojha, though out of favour with the national selectors, was bought back.

But the capture of uncapped Indian players is what sets it apart. Aditya Tare, a proven performer and wicket-keeper for Mumbai in domestic cricket, Jasprit Bumrah, a 20-year-old medium pacer from Gujarat who had a stellar Ranji season with 38 wickets and C. M. Gautam, Karnataka wicket-keeper, for just 20 lakhs were excellent buys.

Two dark horses have also made it to the squad — young Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood, someone primed for success in the long run and West Indian left-arm medium pacer Krishmar Santokie, who did well in the Caribbean T20 league.

More importantly, it’s an outfit whose members are all in impressive form.

THE TEAM

Players retained: Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu.

Players bought: Michael Hussey (Rs. 5 crore), Corey Anderson (4.5), Pragyan Ojha (3.25), Zaheer Khan (2.6), Aditya Tare (1.6), Jasprit Bumrah (1.2), Jalaj Saxena (Rs. 90 lakh), Josh Hazlewood (50), Marchant De Lange (30), Krismar Santokie (30), Ben Dunk (20), C. M. Gautam (20), Apoorv Vijay Wankhade (10), Pawan Suyal (10), Sushant Marathe (10), Shreyas Gopal (10).

N. Sudarshan