The Mumbai Indians are the defending WPL champions. [P/C: wplt20.com]

"They will unearth uncut and unpolished diamonds" - WV Raman on the Mumbai Indians' likely approach at the WPL 2024 auction

WV Raman expects the Mumbai Indians (MI) to acquire relatively unknown talented players at the WPL 2024 auction in Mumbai on Saturday and develop them into future assets.

MI released only four players, including Heather Graham from their overseas contingent, ahead of the auction. They have a remaining purse of ₹2.10 crore and can buy a maximum of five players, including one foreigner.

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While previewing the auction on Sports 18, Raman was asked about the Mumbai Indians' likely approach, to which he responded:

"What they will do is use this auction as a platform for investment. They will unearth uncut and unpolished diamonds like they always do. I am sure that they will pick up three-four players for the future. They will develop their skills so that they are going to serve them in the years to come."

The former India head coach added:

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"I think that's exactly what Mumbai Indians are going to do in this auction. They will look for young Indian players because they know that you need to have a strong Indian contingent in your squad for you to win tournaments."

Raman feels the franchise will follow the tried-and-tested approach at the auction as it has yielded rich dividends in the Indian Premier League and last season's Women's Premier League.

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"You want to still keep your nucleus and build on that nucleus" - Anjum Chopra on the Mumbai Indians

Saika Ishaque was one of the players honed by MI in WPL 2023.

Anjum Chopra was asked about the Mumbai Indians not needing to do much on the auction day, to which she replied:

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"At the end of the day, you want to still keep your nucleus and build on that nucleus. The little conversations that I have picked up - they are looking for a leg-spinner, and they are looking to also have an all-rounder batter who can be an explosive finisher."

The former India skipper reckons the defending champions would want to add depth to their batting. She said:

"They have got a good batting lineup, especially with Amelia Kerr also coming in after Nat Sciver-Brunt, but (it will become better) if you can get an Indian recruit there. Right now, we are playing in Mumbai, but you still want players who can go outside Mumbai and be adaptable to other cities."

Chopra named Simran Shaikh and Simran Bahadur as a couple of players the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side might look to acquire. She pointed out that the latter has skill sets similar to Jintimani Kalita and Amanjot Kaur and would provide the franchise with an additional seam-bowling all-rounder option.

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