The Mumbai Indians (MI) are known to identify some of the finest talents in the country. Often, they pick unknown commodities at the IPL auction and sometimes give at least a couple of chances to some of these players. For instance, in IPL 2019, the team gave young Rasikh Salam a chance to play right in the first match.
While there are such surprises that pop up at times, not everyone is fortunate enough. There are some players who might not get any games to play in the entire season. Yet, it is always a great learning curve given that the MI squad and the coaching staff is studded with some of the biggest stars. Rubbing shoulders with some of the players in itself is a massive experience.
Here are five players MI might not pick in the XI for IPL 2020:
1. Prince Balwant Rai
The MI management made an interesting pick during the auction event in Kolkata. They surprised many when they chose to go ahead with a completely unknown player – Prince Balwant Rai. Balwant was born in 1999 and is just 20 years old now. He is a leg-spinner and can also bat a bit.
Balwant hasn’t played a lot of professional cricket thus far in this career. He represented the Punjab U16 team earlier. It will be a great experience for him to be in the MI dressing room and practice along with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and others.
Matches: – DNP
Innings: – DNP
Wickets: – DNP
Average: – DNP
2. Digvijay Deshmukh
Ever since he was picked in the auction, there has been a lot of buzz about Digvijay Deshmukh. If you’ve watched the movie ‘Kai Po Che’, you’d definitely remember the shy little boy Ali who used to play marbles and hit sixes with ease. He is the same child actor who got picked by MI at his base price of INR 20 lakhs six years hence.
Digvijay says he never was an actor and always wanted to be a cricketer and is happy that his dream is coming true. He tells that he played a part in the movie only because there were a lot of cricket scenes it in. It’d be a very exciting journey ahead for him but it will be tough to make it to the final cut.
3. Mohsin Khan
Mohsin Khan is a 21-year-old cricketer from Uttar Pradesh. He is a left-arm pacer and has represented his state teams at various levels thus far. This isn’t the first time Mohsin will be a part of the Indian Premier League.
Earlier, the Mumbai Indians (MI) bought him at the IPL auction in 2018. However, he didn’t get to make his debut in the tournament back then. The management might have identified an x-factor in him that they decided to buy him again. But it will be quite tough for him to make it to the eleven given the extreme competition amongst the bowlers.
4. Saurabh Tiwary
The MI team decided to buy Saurabh Tiwary once again in the auction. It was sort of a surprise to many as the 29-year-old hasn’t been in great form in recent times. Even in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy this year, there aren’t many big scores from him and in fact, he seemed to have struggled.
Yet, they went ahead with this experienced cricketer. One reason behind this could be that they don’t have enough back-up options in the middle order. In case a need arises, they can possibly avail his services. But looking at all the options they have, it doesn’t seem as if Tiwary will get a chance.
5. Dhawal Kulkarni
The Mumbai Indians (MI) traded Dhawal Kulkarni ahead of the auction. MI didn’t have many genuine Indian pace options in case a situation arises where they can’t play some of their mainstream players. Thus, they might have decided to keep him as a back-up option.
Dhawal hasn’t had a great time in the IPL in the last three or four years. He leaked runs and thus failed to make it to the eleven in many games previously. In IPL 2019, Dhawal Kulkarni picked up only 6 wickets in 10 matches and gave away almost 10 runs per over. Thus, MI management would not look at him as a first-choice pick and he might end up being just a back-up like Tiwary.
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