Manish Pandey is one of the best fielders India has ever produced. If Manish Pandey would’ve capitalized on the opportunities at the international level, he would’ve been one of the faces of Indian cricket as he has it all – skill, looks, and fluency in the language. Not many of the fans know that the Karnataka sensation played the inaugural IPL season for MI.
He was an integral part of MI from 2009-2010 wherein he picked up 21 wickets at a bowling economy of under 7.5 runs per over which is outstanding for a team’s main bowler. After that, he was again a part of RCB where he was more successful than his stint at MI. Finally, he came back to MI for a solitary season in 2014 after which his last 3 years were with the Delhi Daredevils.
Initially, Maxwell was picked up by the Delhi Daredevils but didn’t get enough chances there, but showed glimpses of his reverse sweeps and hitting ability. As a result, he got a contract of a million dollars from MI, giving him the name of the million-dollar baby. Surprisingly, he was warming the bench despite his heavy price tag.
The only orange cap winner in the history of IPL who has won the tournament in the same year as well (IPL 2014 with Kolkata Knight Riders), Robin Uthappa is one player who is technically sound when in full flow. He played his first season for MI in 2008 and had a decent first season. He played 14 matches and scored 320 runs at an average of 35.55 and a strike rate just below 115.
Dwayne Smith embodies the Calypso batting style with his high backlift, forceful pickup smashes over midwicket and square leg, booming drives through the off side, and casual swagger. To add to that, he even has a knack for breaking partnerships with his seam bowling. He was a part of MI’s 2008 IPL squad but played only 3 matches with an average season, hence wasn’t retained.
He played 10 matches 148 runs at an average of 18.50 and strike rate just below 110. He couldn’t complain as he had got sufficient opportunities but the pressure was too much on the 20-year-old. Post his stint in MI, he was picked by Rajasthan Royals (RR) and this was exactly what he wanted. He flourished under the leadership of his idol, Rahul Dravid, and even went on to captain the franchise.
Ambati Rayudu was the crisis man for Mumbai Indians for eight long years (2010-2017). He was one player who did everything the team management asked him to do, whether it be playing in the middle order, finishing the innings, keeping wickets – call Rayudu. He is truly what we call a utility player and each team would love a player like him.
He played 24 matches across two seasons (2016 and 2017) and scored 527 runs at an average of 25.10 and a strike rate just below 145. However, he showed his true capability playing for RR. He has played 41 matches for them across 4 seasons scoring 1471 runs at an average of 41.17 and a strike rate touching 150. What more do you need out of an opener?
Currently India’s best white-ball spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal started his IPL career with Mumbai Indians who grabbed him at the base price of INR 10 Lakhs in 2011 IPL and was part of the setup till the 2013 season. However, due to the Harbhajan Singh Pragyan Ojha duo, he was warming the bench for 2 whole seasons and finally made his IPL debut in the 2013 season.
He was with Mumbai Indians for 3 seasons (2008-2010). He played 30 matches and scored 457 runs at an average of 21.76 and a strike rate below 120. He also picked up 26 wickets at an economy of just over 8 runs per over. However, he too is a player who reached his full potential after donning the yellow jersey.