Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra believes that Caribbean all-rounder Kieron Pollard will not be retained by the Mumbai Indians for the 16th edition of the Indian Premier League. Pollard had a terrible time with the bat this season. In the 11 games that he played, he could manage only 144 runs at a poor average of 14.40.
Mumbai Indians had their worst season this year as they became the first team to be knocked out of the race. Towards the end of the league stage, Pollard was dropped from the playing XI as Rohit Sharma decided to give chances to the budding cricketers in the camp. The five-time champions, as a result of their dismal run, ended last in the points table. “I think we have seen the last of Kieron Pollard. ₹6 crores will be released if they don’t retain him. I think they can let Murugan Ashwin (₹1.6 crores) go as well. I am not sure about Jaydev Unadkat (₹1.3 crores) but they can definitely say bye-bye to Tymal Mills (₹1.5 crores),” said Chopra while speaking on his YouTube channel.
While there were a few players who could not stand up to the expectations, there were some who made a mark this season for MI? One of the finest findings of MI this season was Tilak Varma, who batted consistently throughout the season in the team’s middle order and contributed to the franchise’s victories this season. “He is absolutely brilliant. He was given a chance to bat up the order and delivered it. He is a future investment. He has a very good temperament and it doesn’t seem like he will have second-season blues. Also, Mumbai did not show enough confidence in Tim David. But when they did, he showcased his talent,” he added.
Varma finished the season with 397 runs in the bag from 14 games at a strike rate of 131.02, while David knocked up 186 runs in eight games with a powerful strike rate of 216.28. Chopra feels that though the team had powerful batters in the top order and middle order, what stopped them from winning games was the lack of all-rounders. “There are no issues with batting as such. The problem is with the lack of all-rounders. It’s a very one-dimensional team. Batters don’t bowl, bowlers don’t bat. That is where they were pegged back. Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, and Pollard used to do the job earlier but that is not happening now,” he concluded.