'His form has dipped big time in the last one year': Pathan names four players Mumbai Indians should retain for IPL 2022
Mumbai Indians face a problem of plenty ahead of the 2022 IPL auction. The five-time IPL champions tackle a huge dilemma as they sit down and decide on the four players the franchise plans on retaining before the auction.
With a star-studded line-up from top to bottom, it will be interesting to see what MI have up their sleeves, with only four among the likes of Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav and more expected to continue their association with the franchise.
All teams have until November 30 to decide the four cricketers they have to retain, and while it may be a tedious decision for the franchise, former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan knows the players he would have chosen if it was up to him. A World Cup winning all-rounder, Pathan has named youngster Ishan Kishan to be the first pick, while remining the franchise that their all-rounder Hardik Pandya is not in the best of nicks.
"Ishan Kishan could be the first pick for Mumbai Indians. As for Hardik Pandya, you have got to understand. His form has dipped big time in the last one year, so MI would be aware of that. Quite a few things go on when you have to make the first four picks before the auction," Pathan said on Star Sports during the lunch interval on Day 2 of the first Test between India and New Zealand in Kanpur.
"So I feel they would look at the longevity and think – can we invest in Hardik Pandya or in Ishan Kishan? The future. Looking at that, they might go for Ishan Kishan and then maybe Hardik Pandya."
Besides local players, MI also face a situation when it comes to retaining from the overseas lot. With match-winners such as Pollard, Trent Boult, Quinton de Kock and others available, Pathan believes that the big-hitting West Indies captain Pollard should be an automatic pick as few can match the value hi brings with his skillset.
"Among overseas players, it will be Kieron Pollard. No doubt about that; at least in my mind. I don't know what Mumbai Indians are thinking. He is the guy that has won you games for so many years and consistently. His batting is still top notch and is still the powerhouse when it comes to big hitting as well as finishing the games," said Pathan.
"So, Pollard will definitely be on the radar. I would definitely go for Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya. I can actually name the other two guys as well. No. 1 would be Rohit Sharma and No. 2 would be Jasprit Bumrah."