It was not too long back that the Indian all-rounder, Hardik Pandya was India’s premier allrounder in the shortest format of the game and was one of the best T20 players in the world, but his fragile bowling fitness has left Mumbai Indians (MI) with no choice than to release him before IPL 2022 mega auction.
The reports suggest Mumbai Indians were thinking about retaining Hardik Pandya, but they changed their plans as the all-rounder has not been bowling at all, either in international cricket or in the IPL in the recent past.
Hardik Pandya was part of 4 title-winning campaigns of Mumbai Indians, ever since the 2015 edition. He and his brother Krunal Pandya turned Mumbai into the most balanced team of the league, a team that didn’t just bat deep, but also had 6 bowling options to their disposal all the time.
While Krunal Pandya has suffered a bit of a decline in terms of his form post pandemic, the issue with Hardik is his inability to bowl consistently since his back surgery and if Mumbai Indians had to retain him at this stage, he had to be retained effectively as a specialist batter.
It was earlier speculated that Mumbai might retain the young left-hander Ishan Kishan as their 4th player, but as it turned out, it was Suryakumar Yadav who was retained as the 4th cricketer by the franchise alongside the captain Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard.
There were reports going around that Surya was one of the players the two new IPL franchises were eyeing for draft picks. Even some of the reports of Cricbuzz had said that one of the franchises had even approached Surya with an offer, but he didn’t answer back to the approach and Mumbai eventually kept his services for the next season.