The Mumbai Indians beat the Delhi Capitals comfortably in the IPL 2020 final to successfully defend their title on Tuesday night. Rohit Sharma's side thus won their fifth IPL title, adding further backing the claim that they are the best team in the league.
Despite a slightly inexperienced spin bowling lineup, MI was always one of the favorites to lift the trophy. They did so with a lot of conviction as they won eleven out of their 16 games this season. Two of their losses came in Super Overs.
Their core group of players seemed to be the strongest in the league, with Ishan Kishan and Trent Boult delivering some brilliant performances besides their usual stars. Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya did a good job as the side's main spin bowlers. Even Anukul Roy, who was the regular substitute fielder for them, made a consistent impact with some stunning catches and fielding.
After such a dominant season, one wouldn't expect MI to make too many changes to their squad. They are sure to retain most of their core group ahead of the IPL 2021 auction, but there are some fringe players who they could release to free up some funds and overseas slots.
Let's take a look at three players that the champions could release before next season.
Mitchell McClenaghan has been of MI's most under-rated performers in the IPL. The Kiwi speedster played a prominent role in Mumbai's 2015 and 2017 titles and was their main strike bowler before the rise of Jasprit Bumrah. He has a good IPL record, with 71 wickets in 56 matches at a good strike-rate of 17.94.
His game time has, however, declined rapidly in the last couple of seasons, with him playing just three games last season. After the arrival of Trent Boult, McClenaghan didn't feature in a single game this season.
Given the presence of Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson in the MI ranks, McClenaghan is unlikely to get much game-time in the upcoming season. While his past performances might weigh in his favor, McClenaghan is still likely to be released to free up an overseas slot.
#2 Sherfane Rutherford
Sherfane Rutherford was part of a trade move with the Delhi Capitals, with Mayank Markande going the other way. The Caribbean all-rounder was, however, benched for the entirety of the season and never looked like getting a game.
Rutherford doesn't have a good IPL record and has scored just 73 runs in seven appearances for DC, at a poor average of 14.60. He doesn't really have much of a T20 record as well and has been used primarily as a utility player for most franchises.
While he has a reputation of being a big-hitter, the youngster has done little to warrant game-time. Given how strong MI's middle-order is, Rutherford is likely to be released to free up an overseas slot ahead of the auction.
#1 Chris Lynn
Mumbai Indians were thought to have pulled off another steal when they signed Chris Lynn for his base price of ₹2 Crore in the IPL 2020 Auction. However, the Aussie opener didn't feature in a single game for MI, despite Rohit missing games due to injury.
While this may partly be attributed to the brilliant form of MI's top order, it must be said that Lynn's poor form before the tournament was another factor. He had a poor CPL 2020 and struggled to play against spin on sluggish tracks, something which MI encountered a lot in the IPL.
While he does have a great record in the IPL, MI doesn't really need someone like Lynn in their team. They might look to release him ahead of the auction to free up some funds and an overseas slot.Published 13 Nov 2020, 15:13 IST