Mumbai Indians (MI) may have failed to give a befitting account of their talent and depth in IPL 2021 but the five-time champions will definitely be starting as the favourites in the next year’s edition of the competition.
Fans and experts are backing MI to get back on their feet quickly after an iffy Indian leg and a poor start in the UAE leg came back to haunt them in the tournament’s latest iteration.
MI managed to win just 7 of their 14 games, including wins in only three of their seven matches in the second half, and finished fifth on the eight-team points table. Despite being an incredible resourced side in most departments of the game, MI missed out on the playoffs berth.
But the mighty franchise is expected to bounce back strongly and the first step towards them standing resurrected ahead of the IPL 2022 will be the process of finalising a correct set of retentions before the next year’s mega auction. With that in mind, here are the few notable retentions that MI should make.
3 players Mumbai Indians should retain ahead of IPL 2022
1. Rohit Sharma
Rohit’s flow and consistency may have been an issue for MI at times, but the Indian right-hander finished as his team’s highest run-maker in an unsuccessful IPL 2021. The MI skipper made 381 runs from his 13 innings at a strike-rate of 127.42, including one half-century.
While there have been suggestions from outside that MI should let go of Rohit as he is approaching deeper into his thirties, the batter quietly proved a point, being the most prolofic of his team’s top six batters on neutral grounds in India and UAE.
2. Kieron Pollard
Experienced West Indies cricketer Pollard was MI’s most exceptional allround cricketer throughout the IPL 2021. Pollard batted at a strike-rate of 148.48 while averaging 30.62. In absence of Hardik Pandya the bowler, Pollard also chipped in with useful tight overs in the competition, going for 7.21 runs per over with 5 wickets.
Given Pollard’s invaluable presence for MI in either department and his rich influence on the side as a capable vice-captain over the years, Pollard looks one of their certain retentions before the next season.
3. Jasprit Bumrah
It showed Bumrah’s class and ability that even in a season where most of the MI stars failed to come to the party, he was one of the only few who could claim to have had a good tournament. Bumrah was definitely not one of the reasons why MI failed to make the playoffs, as he finished the competition as its third-highest wicket-taker with 21 scalps and an economy rate of 7.45.
Bumrah is another certain retention pick for MI as they look to build a squad that gets them back to winning ways and keep the franchise’s rich legacy going in the coming years. The pacer has now taken 130 wickets in his IPL career with an economy rate of 7.41.