The 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has well and truly taken the cricketing world by storm. We’ve seen some action-packed cricket for over three weeks now. There have been a lot of talking points over the course of the last three to four weeks and now, we have another.
As the season approaches the halfway point, there is a buzz about a new concept in the IPL. It is around the mid-season transfer of players. For the first time in the history of the IPL, the transfer window will be open for both domestic and international cricketers. The trading window will be open after every team has played at least seven games each. A player will be eligible to be traded or transferred if he has played two or less game for his current franchise.
As far as Mumbai Indians (MI) are concerned, one may argue they seem to have a perfect balance and are well-rounded. However, they might just want to plug a couple of holes if possible. So, here are three players they can target in the mid-season transfer window.
MI look solid in their pace department. The trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and James Pattinson have fired on all cylinders and have looked threatening every time they’ve bowled. Moreover, the overseas pace backups are good too in the form of Mitchell McClenaghan and Nathan Coulter-Nile. However, the Indian pace bowling backups are not that great.
Yes, they have Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh and Mohsin Khan. But none of them inspires a lot of confidence, especially if MI need to consider a death bowling backup just in case something happens to Bumrah. Hence, they could do with the inclusion of someone like Basil Thampi.
After winning the Emerging Player of the Tournament award in 2017 (11 wickets in the season and impressive bowling at the death) when he played for Gujarat Lions, Thampi moved to Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). He has played just seven games across 2018 and 2019 and has warmed the benches this year. The Kerala fast bowler has the ability to nail the yorkers consistently and can be a good addition.
Well, this name might come as a slight surprise. Sandeep Lamichhane has been with the Delhi Capitals for the last couple of seasons and has done well. In the nine games he has played in his IPL career so far, the Nepal leg-spinner has picked up 13 wickets. However, this season he has been sitting the on the bench and with Delhi doing really well, they might not tinker with their line-up too much either.
Moreover, MI has just one leg-spinner and a total of three proper spinners which includes Rahul Chahar, Krunal Pandya and Jayant Yadav. Thus, the four-time champions could welcome someone like Lamichhane in their squad. As the tournament progresses, there is expected to be quite a bit of wear and tear which will bring the spinners into play.
That is where MI could use Lamichhane if they decide to trade him in. He could play as the second overseas bowler. The Nepal superstar is a wicket-taking option and could well make an impact
MI has a couple of left-arm spinners in Krunal Pandya and Anukul Roy. However, they could bolster their squad with the addition of another in the form of Shahbaz Nadeem. The Jharkhand left-arm spinner has been playing the IPL since 2011 and has played 64 games. In fact, till 2018, he was with the Delhi Capitals before he moved to Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2019.
He has a decent record – 42 wickets at an economy of 7.48. With Krunal Pandya’s form being indifferent and pitches expected to take some turn later in the tournament, Nadeem could come in handy. He can be used upfront in the powerplay as an attacking option as well.
It is an option worth considering. They have a squad of 24 members and can afford to slot in another player and it could be an all-cash deal. Or they could trade one of the pacers either Dhawal Kulkarni or Mohsin Khan.