During a post-auction analysis show that took place on Star Sports, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan was asked to rate the five-time champions’ squad on a scale of one to five, to which he responded, saying that he felt that there was a crucial piece missing in their side. Pathan felt that the five-time champions show a seemingly empty slot at number seven, which should have ideally been filled by an all-rounder who could give them something with the bat.
“Definitely between three-and-a-half to four. Cameron Green was an extremely good buy. I am giving one point less because you will feel one player is missing when you try to make their playing XI.
You can also get Cameron Green to open and then Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav – these four are confirmed. Tilak Varma will come at No. 5, Tim David will come at No. 6 but who will be the seventh player? Which other guy will bat here? It seems they missed out slightly in that area,”he said.
Pathan believes MI will be lacking a critical element if they try to field their best XI from the group they have gathered. On Friday, the record champions secured the services of eight players at the IPL 2023 auction in Kochi. They had a purse of Rs.20.55 Crore going into the auction and spent the majority of it on Cameron Green, whom they acquired for Rs.17.50 Crore.
There is the likelihood that either of Ramandeep Singh or Arjun Tendulkar could occupy the number seven slot. However, neither of them have too much experience playing at the highest level.
Pathan, however, praised the Mumbai strategists on an excellent bowling line-up, adding that it looked ‘sorted’. Apart from the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer, Mumbai picked up Jason Behrendorff in a trade with Royal Challengers Bangalore, and acquired Jhye Richardson and Duan Jansen in the auction, apart from the veteran Piyush Chawla, who was retained prior to the auction.
“Other than that, your bowling is sorted. You got Piyush Chawla as a spinner. You have Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah, if they remain fit then it’s the best, or else you have the option of both Behrendoff and Jhye Richardson,”Pathan concluded.