Every year, an IPL side usually has around 20-25 players in their squad. Hence, squad management is one of the biggest tasks of the support staff and the team management of every franchise. There are players that are bound to sit out for a major part of an IPL season. However, there are certain stars who’ve had to do that as well.
Mumbai Indians (MI) are statistically the best team in the history of the Indian Premier League. However, they’ve had issues managing the players in their squad as well. Over the years, there have been multiple stars who haven’t got big opportunities at Mumbai Indians.
Thus, here are five players who have been a part of the Mumbai Indians side but didn’t get consistent opportunities
1. Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell made his IPL debut in 2012 while playing for Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals). However, he played just two games in the entire season. It was during the IPL auctions for the 2013 edition where he made headlines. Mumbai Indians splurged $1 million on the Australian all-rounder.
However, all Maxwell played was three games in the 2013 season. He first played for MI against Pune Warriors and scored a quickfire unbeaten 13, finishing off a relatively low run-chase. He scored 17 in the next game against Rajasthan Royals (RR) but returned with a duck against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Hence, after scoring 36 runs from three innings, Maxwell was dropped from the XI.
Despite spending so much money on the Victorian all-rounder, MI didn’t utilize the resources of Maxwell well. In fact, he will go down as one of their most regretful signings in the history of the IPL. In the very next season, Maxwell displayed how destructive he can be as he scored 552 runs at a strike-rate of 187.76 in one season for KXIP.
2. Shreyas Gopal
This may be a pretty surprising name on this list. But if there is a list of most underrated cricketers in India, Shreyas Gopal will feature in that list. The Karnataka leg-spinner has never really hogged the limelight. Despite putting in consistent performances in domestic cricket, he largely goes unnoticed.
Gopal has played 31 IPL games and six of them have come for Mumbai Indians (MI). However, those six games spanned across three seasons. In 2014, he was bought at his base price of INR 10 lakhs. The leg-spinning all-rounder played four games in that season where he picked up six wickets and was pretty impressive. However, in the next two seasons (2015 and 2016), he played just one game each as he warmed the benches throughout. In fact, in 2017, he didn’t play a single game.
Hence, in 2018, he was bought by Rajasthan Royals (RR) for his base price and in the two seasons he’s played, he has already shown what he is capable of. The Karnataka leg-spinner has picked up 31 wickets and has chipped in with the bat at times as well. Thus, Gopal will go down as one of the promising players that were under-utilized by MI.
3. Yuvraj Singh
When you have a player like Yuvraj Singh in the side, you expect him to play every game. However, that was not the case. In 2019, during the auctions, the Punjab southpaw almost went unsold before Mumbai Indians bought him at his base price.
But throughout the season, all Yuvraj played was a mere four games. He made his debut for MI against Delhi Capitals where he struck a fifty which went in vain. He got starts in his next two innings as well before failing against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
After scoring 98 runs from four innings at a strike-rate of 130.66, Yuvraj was axed from the XI. He wasn’t in the greatest of forms but his returns weren’t too bad either. Moreover, MI could’ve used him better and given him a longer rope. Hence, he makes this list of regretful choices by MI in the history of the IPL.
4. Lendl Simmons
If you look at the stats, you will invariably ask how can someone at No. 5 in the list of highest run-getters for MI be in this list. However, Lendl Simmons has never played all games in a single IPL season. Across four editions, the West Indian has played just 29 games in the IPL.
Simmons made his IPL debut in 2014. He was brilliant as he amassed 394 runs at an average of 56.29 and those runs came at a strike-rate of 135.40. However, he played just seven games that season. In 2015, he played a large chunk of the games. Simmons scored 540 runs in 13 games as MI lifted the IPL title for the second time.
In 2016, after just one game, Simmons was ruled out with an injury. However, when he returned in 2017, he played just seven games throughout the season. Thus, Simmons wasn’t used well enough after his injury. His record will go down as one of the best for MI. In fact, no other player has a better average than his (39.96) for the franchise.
5. Martin Guptill
It is surprising to see a player of Martin Guptill caliber feature in just 13 IPL games. He has been a part of three IPL franchises so far but has warmed the benches for a large part. In 2016, he was called in by Mumbai Indians as an injury replacement for Lendl Simmons.
However, the New Zealand opener played a mere three games in his stint with MI that season. He scored 57 in three innings before he faced the axe. Guptill was on the bench for more than a month as he saw MI crash out as well.
Guptill is one of the leading run-getters in international T20 cricket. He has an excellent record and is one of the consistent run-getters for New Zealand. Thus, he deserved a longer rope. Hence, he will be one of MI’s most regretful signings.
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