Former India opener, Aakash Chopra speaks about the squad formation strategy of the defending champions, Mumbai Indians ahead of the upcoming auction for the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The auction for IPL 2021 is to be held in Chennai on 18th February.
Mumbai Indians have released all but Trent Boult from their fast bowling cartel from last season: Mitchell McCleneghan, James Pattinson, Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile are offloaded along with Sherfane Rutherford, Digvijay Deshmukh, and Prince Balwant Rai Singh.
Aakash Chopra, on his YouTube channel, points out that Mumbai definitely will go after overseas fast bowlers in the auction. The 43-year-old envisages the prospect of the 5-time champions bagging in Australia speedster, Mitchell Starc – which would mean we could see a dream bowling pair of Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell Starc bowling in tandem.
However, he quickly retracts that thought the Ambani-owned franchise has only 15.35 crore purse – considering the massive price that Pat Cummins fetched in the previous auction, Mitchell Starc will surely be one of the costliest player this auction, if he enters, Hence it would be difficult for MI to buy the left-arm pacer and also other players to bring in back-ups.
“They will need at least two overseas fast bowlers now after leaving out so many. They don’t have a backup for Boult and have a vacant fast bowler’s spot also,” Aakash Chopra said in his YouTube video.
“If Mitchell Starc comes for 8-10 crores, then Bumrah and Starc will be a fantastic pair. But I don’t think the Mumbai Indians will be able to acquire Mitchell Starc if he puts his name,” he added.
Despite being one of the most lethal fast bowlers in the world, Mitchell Starc has played only a couple of season in the IPL; in 2013 and 2014 he played for Royal Challengers Bangalore and snared 34 wickets in 27 games.
Mumbai Indians need a back-up spinner: Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra reckons the Rohit Sharma-led team would also hunt for a quality spinner as the IPL 2021 is likely to be staged in India. The former KKR batsman asserts that Mumbai would need back-up for Rahul Chahar and Jayant Yadav as Krunal Pandya was expensive at the time last season.
Chopra feels that the franchise could go after the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Sandeep Lamichhane, who both are proven assets in the shorter format of the game.
“They may also want a backup spinner as the IPL could be in India. They can play a spinner instead of a fast bowler. They could go for Mujeeb or Sandeep Lamichhane. They can go for Krishnappa Gowtham as he can bat as well. They only have Jayant Yadav as an off-spinner,” the former opener added.