Hard-hitting all-rounder Hardik Pandya was first given a national platform to showcase his skills by Mumbai Indians in IPL 2015 and since then, he has helped the franchise win four IPL titles thus far.
However, if reports are to be believed, the Mumbai Indians (MI) franchise might not retain Hardik, sending him into the IPL 2022 mega auction pool. Given Pandya’s recent struggles with injuries and his inability to bowl regularly, MI management might look forward to spending their money wisely in retaining necessary players.
With the IPL set to be a 10-team affair after RP-SG bought Lucknow and CVC owned the Ahmedabad franchises respectively, there will be a big auction in December this year with a lot of teams restructuring their core, looking at the future.
“I think BCCI will have three-player retention formula with one Right to Match card. If RTM is not there, there could be four retentions. Rohit Sharma and India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah are automatic picks. Kieron Pollard will be the third retention. MI’s strength is their continuity as these three are pillars of MI,” a senior IPL official tracking the retention market of franchises told PTI.
The official also stated that instead of spending a huge amount to retain Hardik, MI might look to keep either Suryakumar Yadav or Ishan Kishan for the future given both of them have impressed in their IPL outings.
“At this point in time, there is less than 10 percent chance that Hardik will be retained by MI. Yes, he might just outperform everybody in the next few T20 World Cup games but even then, chances are dim. If there are four retentions or 1 RTM, then Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan are the contenders for that slot,” the IPL official added.
Hardik might still be picked by MI from the auction if he comes within the budget earmarked for him.
“Yes, obviously there is a market dynamics and if required MI will pick him from the auction, provided he fits within a specific budget. In order of preference, the first five MI players are Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, Suryakumar Yadav, and Ishan Kishan,” the IPL insider stated.
It has also been reported that talented Shreyas Iyer will also part ways with Delhi Capitals (DC) franchise, as he eyes the captaincy role. He had led the DC team to their maiden IPL final in the 2020 edition, but his injury ahead of the IPL 2021 led to Rishabh Pant taking over as captain.
Pant did well to keep DC at the top of the points table when the IPL 2021 was suspended and despite Iyer returning to the team for the UAE leg of the tournament, DC decided to continue with Pant and he led the team to the playoffs.
Sources close to Iyer stated that he is looking for a leadership role and it looks unlikely that Delhi Capitals would hand over the captaincy back to him. Having been a successful leader in his own right, Iyer would like to make himself available for a leadership role.