IPL 2023 Auction: 3 All-Rounders Who Mumbai Indians Could Pick To Replace Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard has left massive shoes to be filled for the Mumbai Indians after announcing his retirement from the IPL on Tuesday. Bought in 2010, Pollard was an integral part of all of MI’s five-title wins and two Champions League trophies and finished with an overall 3412 runs in 189 IPL games scored at a strike rate of 147.
Pollard was hailed as one of the most clutch players in the MI team and was the Player of the Match in 2013 final vs CSK. The West Indian also snapped up 69 wickets in the IPL.
Mumbai Indians suffered their worst IPL season in 2022, finishing at the bottom of the points table in the 10-team tournament.
Here are 3 all-rounders who Mumbai Indians could pick in the IPL 2023 auction to replace Kieron Pollard:
After his sensational T20 World Cup 2022 tournament, where he unlocked himself as England’s death bowler, Sam Curran will set the auction room on fire with teams jostling to get the 24-year-old seam-bowling all-rounder who has already achieved plenty in his career so far.
Curran was named the Player of the final vs Pakistan (3/12) and Player of the Tournament (9 of his 13 wickets came in the death overs). In 32 IPL games between 2019 and 2021 for Punjab and CSK, the southpaw picked up 32 wickets - including a hat-trick - and with the bat, in the IPL he averaged 22 at a strike rate of 149.
Should Sam Curran enter the auction, he will have franchises bidding for him fiercely, and Mumbai Indians have a handsome purse of INR 20.55 crore to use. Curran would be the perfect long-term replacement for Pollard.
The other England all-rounder who will force teams to bid aggressively for him is Ben Stokes. And after his successful return to T20 cricket straight during the T20 World Cup - where Stokes played two crucial innings vs Sri Lanka in a must-win game followed by a half-century in the final vs Pakistan, plus that he took 6 wickets with the ball and opening the bowling - Stokes’ stocks as an elite, in-demand all-rounder remains intact.
He had once helped the Rising Pune Supergiant reach the IPL 2017 final, and was named the Man of the Tournament in the 2017 IPL. After retiring from ODIs, Stokes is likely to enter the IPL 2023 auction.
Stokes brings in immense experience of playing and performing well in the most high-pressure situations - a proper clutch player - as Pollard was for Mumbai, who could eye to bag Stokes in the upcoming auction.
Veteran Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza had a phenomenal T20 WC: Raza smashed 219 runs at a strike rate of 147 and picked up 10 while keeping an economy of 6.5, including being the Player of the Match in the thrilling victory over Pakistan.
Raza has never been part of the IPL. But the 36-year-old’s dream of playing in the IPL could come true next year after his terrific performances during the T20 WC.
While there are a number of top-order hitters going around, there won’t be as good finishers and experienced ones in the IPL 2023 auction that Mumbai Indians can target to replace Pollard.