Hardik Pandya excluded in Virender Sehwag's list of players MI must retain ahead of mega auction

Hardik Pandya excluded in Virender Sehwag’s list of players MI must retain ahead of mega auction

Virender Sehwag reckons Ishan Kishan will be a far better pick than Hardik Pandya.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

The ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) didn’t go as per expectations for Mumbai Indians (MI). The team lost a bit of steam in the UAE leg of the IPL and ended up on the fifth slot in the points table with 14 points. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) too had secured 14 points but by virtue of a better net run rate, the team qualified for the playoffs. MI have dominated the league by winning five editions of IPL in the 13 years that have gone by.

MI’s biggest strength and success over the years has been built on maintaining the core of the squad. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, and Jasprit Bumrah have been playing for the team for the past four years. Things though could change during the mega auctions of the IPL in 2022 with new teams also coming. The official news is still not clear as to how many players a franchise can retain.

Cricketer-turned-expert Virender Sehwag believes MI should retain skipper Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan, and pacer Jasprit Bumrah. “I think I would retain Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah. Ishan seems to be in it for the long haul, age is on his side so he can serve you better. If Hardik Pandya doesn’t bowl, I don’t think he would be able to fetch a big money at the auction because due to his injury concerns, everyone would think twice,” Sehwag said according to News 18.

Ishan Kishan would be a far better pick: Virender Sehwag

Hardik has not bowled this season for MI in the UAE leg of the IPL. Head coach Mahela Jayawardene felt if the all-rounder is pushed to bowl, then it would affect his batting. Sehwag feels at the present moment, and in current form, Kishan is a far better pick.

“Will he bowl or not? If he can declare himself fit and start bowling, then teams can buy him at the auction. The kind of performance Ishan Kishan has dished out today, expect many more from him in time to come because he is a top-order batsman, unlike Hardik Pandya, who bats lower,” Sehwag added