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IPL 2018: 3 players MI should have bought via RTM instead of Kieron Pollard

Kieron Pollard only scored 133 runs in 9 games this year.

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu of Chennai Super Kings. (Photo by IANS)

The champions of the 2017 season, Mumbai Indians didn’t have an ideal Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. They lost quite a few close games to start off with and found it tough to gain the momentum later on. However, Mumbai got their combinations right in the second half of the tournament. But, it was already late by then and every game was a virtual knockout.

Still, they managed to almost make it to the playoffs and will have to be commended for that. There are many explanations and reasons for the failure. Right from their strategies at the auction table to the form of skipper Rohit Sharma, there were various things that went wrong for the team.

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However, their biggest disappointment was Kieron Pollard. Pollard was picked in the side as a pure batsman given he doesn’t bowl anymore. He was expected to play an important role but failed miserably. Although he found some form towards the end, it was already too late by then.

He scored 133 runs in 9 games for the team which included a fifty his average was just 19 this season and strike rate wasn’t to his standards either. However, many were even more disappointed about the fact the MI used their RTM card for Kieron Pollard. Here are the options they had in hand and could’ve gone for instead of Polly.

1. Ambati Rayudu

Ambati Rayudu
Ambati Rayudu. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ambati Rayudu this season was mind-blowing. This was probably the best we have ever seen him bat. Chief selector of the Indian team, MSK Prasad was so impressed with him that he made a public announcement that Rayudu will possibly get a chance for the England tour quite early in the tournament and he was picked in the ODI squad when the team was named.

Rayudu was equally impressive earlier for MI as well and played many crucial knocks for the team. He was with the side since 2009 and there was no real reason as to why MI had to part ways with him. He didn’t get many chances last year due to his inconsistency and hence MI dropped him. However, he has proved them wrong in all possible ways by scoring 602 runs in 16 games at an average of 43 this season.

2. Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler
Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

In a side full of superstars, it is always tough to choose who to pick. This was exactly the case with Mumbai Indians this year. They decided to part ways with another destructive batsman in Jos Buttler this season. Buttler was involved in many of MI’s memorable victories earlier.

Batting lower down the order, he scored 255 runs in 2016 and 272 runs in 2017. He had done enough to retain his spot in the side. But MI didn’t buy him at the auction and will surely regret their choice. Buttler scored 548 runs in 13 games this season at an average over 50 and played a crucial part in taking RR to the playoffs.

3. Krishnappa Gowtham

Krishnappa Gowtham
Krishnappa Gowtham of RR. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Krishnappa Gowtham grabbed all the headlines this year when RR bought him for 31 times his base price at INR 6.2 crores. He was earlier a part of the Mumbai Indians in 2017. They bought him for Rs 2 crores back then but he didn’t get a chance to feature in any of their games.

Mumbai would feel that they missed a trick by not opting for Gowtham this year. He was impressive both with the bat and the ball and helped RR to some memorable wins. He is someone who can clear the fence easily and bowl economical overs while also chipping in with wickets. In 2018, he has scored 126 runs in 15 games and has picked 11 wickets. His batting strike rate was nearly 200 which is very impressive.

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