Former Indian cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra has a piece of advice for Mumbai Indians as they prepare for another edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). But before that, comes the IPL auction, and the former Indian opening batsman says MI's pace-bowling department needs to be sharpened.
Chopra, who also played a handful of games for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, said the reigning champions needed someone as a backup for Trent Boult, the New Zealand fast bowler, considered one of the best in the business.
Ahead of retention and releases, the Rohit Sharma-led side had no other option but to release James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Mitchell McClenaghan. With Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lankan fast-bowling legend and the all-time leading wicket-taker in the IPL, now retired, MI have a serious task of rebuilding their pace-attack.
“The interesting thing is that the Mumbai Indians have changed their entire fast bowling attack. Malinga has retired, they have let go of Pattinson who was his replacement and they have let Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell McClenaghan also go,” Chopra said on YouTube.
Chopra further added that the six-time champions now needed at least two overseas fast bowlers, before suggesting Australian speedster Mitchell Starc as a good fit.
“They will need at least two overseas fast bowlers now after leaving out so many. They don’t have a backup for Boult and have a vacant fast bowler’s spot also. If Mitchell Starc comes for 8-10 crores, then Bumrah and Starc will be a fantastic pair. But I don’t think the Mumbai Indians will be able to acquire Mitchell Starc if he puts his name,” he stated.
He, however, added that if Mumbai fails to get Starc, they can still buy back Coulter-Nile in the auction, set to take place on February 18 in Chennai.
“They can buy Pattinson again but he was very cheap, so they probably have someone else in their mind. Kyle Jamieson, Jhye Richardson, Chris Morris, and Sheldon Cottrell are available. I don’t see a very big exciting name. They might take back Nathan Coulter-Nile because he was very expensive,” Chopra added.
Mumbai Indians, under the captaincy of hitman Rohit Sharma, have been the most successful side in the marquee cricket tournament, winning five times in the last eight years alone.