With an INR 17.50 crores deal, Cameron Green was Mumbai Indians’ biggest buy – the second most expensive – at the IPL 2023 mini-auction in Kochi on Friday.
Mumbai Indians, the most successful team in IPL history with five titles till date, had a poor run in 2021 and 2022, hitting an all-time low with a bottom finish in a 10-team contest earlier this year.
At the heart of their poor run was the indifferent form of skipper Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan, after the latter was roped in as the most expensive buy in the mega-auction. Hardik Pandya and Trent Boult’s absence was clearly felt in the line-up, with Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah lacking support on the respective fronts.
Come the IPL 2023 auctions, MI seem to have filled in the gaps in their setup which potentially appears a formidable outfit yet again. With Jofra Archer set to return, there’s even more firepower to the Bumrah-led pace attack, which now features Australia quicks Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff, who were bought at the auctions.
The highlighting pick though was that of Green, making him the second most expensive buys in IPL auction history at an INR 17.5 crores deal, with MI perhaps looking at him and Tim David to perform the roles which Hardik and Pollard excelled in over the years.
“With his recent performances in India, we thought he is exactly the player we needed and he fits the right age-profile. We were looking at younger players. In the last two auctions, we have deliberately picked players that are younger and give us more lifetime value. That’s why we thought Cam is perfect for us to come in,”said Akash Ambani, Mumbai Indians owner during the auctions.
Shams Mulani has been rewarded for his fine run for Mumbai in domestic cricket, and Arjun Tendulkar, Hrithik Shokeen, Kumar Kartikeya and Tilak Verma’s recent progress too, would be encouraging.
Rohit and Ishan, despite their mixed success in the last two editions are primed to open once again, and there would be a temptation to have Green at the top, given his exploits against India earlier this season. That would mean Suryakumar Yadav dropping down by a spot, thereby also ensuring to add more stability to the middle-order sans the experience of Pollard.
Dewald Brevis and David would be the designated hitters, with Verma likely to play the role of the floater, a role Krunal Pandya played to great effect during his time at the franchise.
Bumrah and Archer would lead the pace attack, with Richardson and Behrendorff offering as back-ups to the latter, who is set to return from a long injury break. Kartikeya and Shokeen might lack inexperience, but could be the preferred duo keeping the future in mind. MI also have the experience of Piyush Chawla to lean on that front.
Predicted lineup for Mumbai Indians
Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Cameron Green, Suryakumar Yadav, Dewald Brevis, Tim David, Tilak Verma, Hrithik Shokeen, Kumar Kartikeya, Jofra Archer, Jasprit Bumrah