Defending champions Mumbai Indians on Wednesday retained their core-group and released seven players including Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson for the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Record five-time IPL title holders now have 18 players in their squad with seven spots open which can be filled in the mini-auction. MI can pick as many as four overseas players for the next season.
Mumbai has backed their core players which enabled them to lift the IPL trophy in back-to-back seasons.
With skipper Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock at the top, hard-hitting Australian batsman Chris Lynn is a solid back-up option for the Men in Blue & Gold. MI's uncapped batsmen have performed exceptionally well in the middle order. Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan will hold the mantle for number three and four while the likes of 2010 Emerging Player of the Season Saurabh Tiwary, Punjab batter Anmolpreet Singh and Mumbai veteran Aditya Tare serve as dependable middle-order options. Not to forget, Tare along with de Kock and Kishan, is a full-time wicket-keeper too.
Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and his brother Krunal Pandya will be ready for another season of fireworks with their dual abilities.
Apart from Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar has led the spin department for MI with consistent wickets in the middle overs. Rohit has a few gems on his bench too. India's Test cap Jayant Yadav and 2018 U-19 hero Anukul Roy serve as exciting options in the dugout.
Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult will return for another season of new-ball magic. Local boy Dhawal Kulkarni and UP's left-arm sensation Mohsin Khan are the domestic options for Mahela's men.
With Malinga, Pattinson, Coulter-Nile and Mitch released, MI will be on the lookout to strengthen their bowling squad in the upcoming IPL auction.
Retained players: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Chris Lynn, Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare (WK), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan.
Released players: Lasith Malinga, Mitch McClenaghan, James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sherfane Rutherford, Prince Balwant Rai, Digivijay Deshmukh.
( With inputs from ANI )
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