Ahead of IPL 2022, all the franchises have started their preparations with the mega auctions slated to take place in February. A lot of exciting names will be up for grabs with all the 10 IPL teams looking to build a formidable squad for the next season. And it seems like Mumbai Indians have already set their eyes on one domestic player.
As per sources close to SportsTiger, the 5-time champions are extremely interested in securing the services of Himachal Pradesh's all-rounder Rishi Dhawan. Mumbai Indians will be bidding for the cricketer during the mega auctions and will be hoping to outbid the other franchises in order to complete the signing.
Rishi Dhawan could be Hardik Pandya's replacement
One of the main reasons behind the success of MI in IPL has been their depth in side. With players like Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya, the franchise had a solid lower middle-order who could contribute with both bat and bowl when required. The trio won a lot of games for Rohit Sharma led side in last few years, sometimes with their vital knocks and sometimes with their crucial spells.
However, Mumbai Indians will now have to build their team once again as the Pandya brothers were released by the franchise. As Hardik Pandya looks set to join Ahmedabad franchise, MI have been put in a situation where they need to look for like-to-like replacements for the all-rounder. Hence, Rishi Dhawan's name is being considered by the 5-time champions.
The 31-year-old impressed everyone with his heroic performances in the recently-concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy where he led Himachal Pradesh to their maiden domestic title. Rishi Dhawan scored 458 runs in 8 matches at an average of 76.33 and an impressive strike rate of 127.22. Moreover, he also scalped 17 wickets in the tournament with his medium-pace bowling.
Although he would be on the radar of many franchises, Rishi Dhawan seems to be the ideal replacement for Hardik Pandya considering the present situation and list of available players and Mumbai Indians might not hesitate to spend a few extra bucks in order to get the all-rounder on board. Notably, the experienced campaigner has been part of Punjab Kings, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in past.