The preparations for IPL 2022 have already begun in full swing and a proper plan of action is expected to be laid out post the completion of IPL 2021 in UAE. Two new franchises are set to come on board ahead of next season which is certainly going to make everything interesting for the fans. However, along with the excitement, it will also bring headache to the team management of various franchises as they will have to release most of the players ahead of mega auction.
As per the latest reports, franchises will be allowed to retain only three players from their present group of players. This is going to be an extremely difficult job for everyone but especially Mumbai Indians - who have won back-to-back IPL titles (2019 and 2020) with the present side. Having built such a talented team around so many star players, retaining only three players would be a huge challenge.
With players like Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav in the mix, here are the three players which MI could end up retaining ahead of the mega auction:
1. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is one of the best white-ball batsmen the country has ever produced. Coupled up with his leadership skills, Hitman is a dream for any IPL franchise and there is no doubt that he will be an automatic retention for Mumbai Indians. Ever since he took over the captaincy of the side in 2013, the Nagpur-born cricketer has led his side to 5 IPL titles, making him one of the most successful captains in the tournament.
Talking about Rohit's batting, his numbers are enough to end the debate (if there is any) around his retention. The 34-year-old has played 207 IPL matches, scoring 5480 runs at an average of 31.49. Hitman's strike-rate of 130.50 is also one of his biggest strengths in the shortest format of the game. Considering the fact that he still has few years of explosive cricket left in him, there is no doubt that the team management will look to build the team once again under the leadership of Rohit Sharma.
2. Jasprit Bumrah
The MI pacer has emerged as one of the most lethal T20 bowlers in recent times. Jasprit Bumrah has taken massive strides in both international and franchise cricket since making his debut for Mumbai Indians in 2013. Known for his unorthodox action in the beginning, the right-arm fast-bowler has worked on his skills and variations to make him a force to reckon with on field of cricket.
Bumrah has already played 99 matches for MI in his IPL career, registering 115 wickets at a phenomenal economy of 7.39. Although the 27-year-old has had a few issues with his bowling since his back injury, there is no doubt that he is one of the best death bowlers in the world right now. MI will certainly not want to make the mistake of releasing their X-Factor player by putting one-of-a-kind bowler like Bumrah into the auction pool.
3. Suryakumar Yadav
While Rohit and Bumrah will be easy picks for MI to retain, they will certainly have to ponder quite a lot to finalize their third and final pick. Although Hardik Pandya will be a strong contender to be retained, there is a very high possibility that Suryakumar Yadav could get a nod ahead of the all-rounder if the franchise take form of the players in recent years into consideration.
The right-handed batsman has amassed 512 runs (2018), 424 runs (2019), 480 runs (2020) in last three seasons of IPL. Suryakumar Yadav has been MI's most consistent batsman and has become a vital cog of the team while batting at number 3. Considering his exploits in international cricket as well since making his debut for India, the 30-year-old is at the peak of his career and certainly has a few glorious years ahead of him. MI would indeed be inclined towards retaining him ahead of other available players in the roster.