IPL: Hardik Pandya unlikely to be retained by Mumbai Indians

NEW DELHI: Colourful all-rounder Hardik Pandya is likely to be sent back into the IPL auction pool by Mumbai Indians as the five-time champions are more or less sanguine about the players who are in their retention list for the 2022 season.
With the IPL set to be a 10-team affair after RP-SG bought Pune and CVC owned the Ahmedabad franchises respectively, there will be a big auction in December this year with a lot of teams restructuring their core, looking at the future.
However MI, one of the best IPL teams across the 14 seasons, will have their core almost same but a notable absentee could be Hardik, a flamboyant all-rounder who has of late become more of a specialist batter.
“I think BCCI will have three-player retention formula with one Right to Match card. If RTM is not there, there could be four retention. Rohit Sharma and India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrsh are automatic picks.
“Kieron Pollard will be third retention. MI’s strength is their continuity as these three are pillars of MI,” a senior IPL official tracking the retention market of franchises told PTI.
“At this point in time, there is less than 10 percent chance that Hardik will be retained by MI. Yes, he might just outperform everybody in the next few T20 World Cup games but even then, chances are dim. If there are four retention or 1 RTM, then Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan are the contenders for that slot,” the IPL official added.
The reason behind MI’s reluctance to retain Hardik is purely cricketing as he is no longer the feared all-rounder that he used to be two years back.
His back will perhaps never allow him to be the brisk fast-medium bowler that he used to be once upon a time. He will not be able to bowl consistently in late 130 kmph and no seasoned IPL outfit will punt purely on his batting skills.
Hardik might still be picked by MI from the auction if he comes within the budget ear-marked for him.

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