For the first time in the IPL history, the Mumbai Indians finished at the bottom of the table earlier this year in the IPL 2022, which was a 10-team tournament. MI lost their first 8 matches before winning 4 out of the last 6 to take some positives, especially in the batting and spin department.
The 5-time champions are expected to brush the struggles of the last season aside and romp back to winning ways next year, in the IPL 2023.
For that, they will have to release some established international stars to make space for buying players at the IPL 2023 auction, which is slated to be held in mid-December.
Here are 3 big-name players which the Mumbai Indians should release ahead of the IPL 2023 auction:
Kieron Pollard is one of the few players who have spent more than a decade at only one franchise in the IPL. Bought in 2010, Pollard has been a key cog in all of MI’s success. However, that doesn’t – or at least shouldn’t – mean that his poor form with the bat be ignored by the MI management.
Pollard had a terrible IPL 2022 season: in 11 matches, he scored 144 runs at a lowly strike rate of 107 with a best of 25. To include Pollard, MI even dropped Tim David from the XI, which the Australian made them regret after returning to the side in the last few matches. He was in dismal form during the Hundred and the CPL as well.
Pollard was retained for 6 crores ahead of last season. MI have a talented and highly skilled overseas contingent – Archer, David, Brevis, Stubbs, and Daniel Sams are likely to be retained – and this means that there isn’t a place in the best XI for Pollard, and perhaps not even in the squad as MI would want to rope in an in-form and available overseas fast bowler.
MI had put huge hopes on England fast bowler Tymal Mills last season; Mills, who had made his international comeback last year, was supposed to be their main overseas fast bowler in the absence of Jofra Archer.
However, the left-arm seamer played 5 matches with only 6 wickets to his name, and disappointingly was expensive, leaking at more than 11 runs an over resulting in his dropping from the eleven before his season ended due to an injury. Known as a T20 death-overs specialist, Mills had been anything but.
Bought for 1.5 crore at the last auction, Mills has failed to make it into England’s 15-man T20 World Cup squad and has got injured during the Hundred as well.
West Indies spin-allrounder Fabian Allen got to play only one match for MI last season, where in he scored 8 runs and returned with figures of 1/46. Allen, who couldn’t get a spot in West Indies’ T20 WC squad.
Also, MI are likely to release Allen for various reasons: they already have a strong overseas group including a couple of finishers, and they need an overseas fast bowler given the tournament will return to the home and away format next year: MI would do well with an overseas pacer for the pitches in Wankhede rather than a spinner such as Fabian Allen.