Mumbai Indians (MI) may be the most successful team in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) with four titles. But it is their scouting team that has done a fabulous job through the years. Season after season, they have unearthed some absolute gems and world-class players. Be it Indian or overseas players, MI have one of the best team management and scouts.
Thus, over the years, Mumbai Indians (MI) have never been a side that goes over the board and spends big on players in the auction. You hardly see them around in the most expensive players’ bracket. However, there have been times when they did overspend on certain players.
Here are five players on whom MI have overspent in the history of the IPL auctions:
1. Glenn Maxwell ($1,000,000) – 2013
It was in 2012 that Glenn Maxwell made his IPL debut as he turned out to play for Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals). However, he was called in as a replacement player for Travis Birt. He played just two games and barely had any impact.
But in 2013, he made headlines in the IPL auction as he became IPL’s latest ‘million-dollar baby’. The Australian all-rounder was the most expensive player in the auction as he was bought for $1,000,000 by Mumbai Indians (MI). There was a massive buzz around him in the leadup to the 2013 season as well.
There was no use of paying Maxwell such a hefty amount as MI barely made him play. Maxwell played a mere three games in the entire season as MI went on to lift their maiden IPL title. The Victorian all-rounder scored 36 runs and bowled just two overs in that season.
2. JP Duminy ($950,000) – 2009
In the 2009 IPL auctions, it was the England stars Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff who stole the limelight. The English duo were bought for a whopping price of $1,550,000. Pietersen was bought by RCB while Flintoff was bought by CSK. However, there was a certain JP Duminy who was bought a staggering amount of $950,000.
It was Mumbai Indians who won the bid for the South African left-hander. It was their second big bid in as many years after they bought Sanath Jayasuriya for $975,000 in 2008. While Jayasuriya was their star player in the maiden IPL season, they did go overboard for Duminy. He wasn’t worth the $950,000.
The South African middle-order batsman scored 529 runs at an average of 35.27 in two seasons (2009 and 2010). He took only five wickets with the ball. While the performances weren’t as bad but he didn’t quite have the impact.
3. Nathan Coulter-Nile (INR 8 crore) – 2020
This was in the latest IPL auction and one might argue how can a judgement be made when the season hasn’t been played. However, given the way the last couple of years have panned out, INR 8 crore for Nathan Coulter-Nile is quite a bit.
Coulter-Nile has been playing the IPL since 2013. In fact, he made his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians (MI) itself after they bought him for $450,000 in 2013. However, he moved to Delhi for the next three seasons before playing the 2017 edition for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). He played 26 games across five seasons for three different teams and picked up 36 wickets.
The Australian pacer was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2018 for INR 2.2 crore. However, he’s not made it to the IPL for two seasons in a row and has been breaking down frequently. While he has a good record, his injury history doesn’t bode well for him. Moreover, with a battery of pacers in their ranks, Coulter-Nile for INR 8 crore was not worth it at all.
4. Thisara Perera ($650,000) – 2012
In his first three years in the IPL, Thisara Perera just played here and there and was never considered as first-choice. He made his IPL debut in 2010 when he was with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and bowled just one over and didn’t bat. In 2011, he played four games for Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK) and wasn’t at his best. Despite that Mumbai Indians (MI) went ahead and bought Perera for a price of $650,000 in the 2012 auctions. That was 13 times Perera’s base price.
Moreover, despite paying a decent sum, MI barely made the Sri Lankan all-rounder play. In fact, he played in just two games in the entire season. He batted in both those games, scoring four not out and zero. With the ball, he conceded 27 runs without picking up a wicket from 2.3 overs. Thus, while MI didn’t pay as much as the other players, $650,000 was a bit too much for Perera.
5. Krunal Pandya (INR 8.8 crore) – 2018
Krunal Pandya’s name may be a very surprising one in this list. Ever since he made his IPL debut in 2016, Krunal Pandya has been a core part of the Mumbai Indians (MI) setup. He’s performed well too and contributed big time to MI’s success.
In the first couple of years (2016 and 2017), Pandya scored 480 runs at an average of 36.92 and had a strike-rate of 158.42. Moreover, he was economical with the ball and also picked important wickets. Thus, it was no surprise that MI used their Right To Match (RTM) card to retain the left-handed all-rounder. However, it didn’t come at a cheap price. They paid a hefty sum of INR 8.8 crore for the Baroda all-rounder.
The elder Pandya hasn’t been at his best. Despite playing all 30 games that MI have played across 2018 and 2019, he has scored just 411 runs at an average of 19.57. His strike-rate has dipped too. Thus, INR 8.8 crore was quite a lot even if it was for Krunal Pandya. In fact, they spent more on him than they did for Jasprit Bumrah or even Kieron Pollard.
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