IPL 2020: Were Mumbai Indians the most successful side in the trade window?
The trade window was introduced in the Indian Premier League in 2018, which gave the richest league in the world another dimension. Inspired by the European football leagues, the trade window allowed the franchises to sit across the table and negotiate deals to exchange players.
The last two seasons have seen some major trades take place. Players like Shikhar Dhawan and R Ashwin moved teams through the trade window in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
However, it can strongly be argued that Mumbai Indians have been the most successful team in this trading affair. There might not have been any big Indian names which got into the MI setup, but the franchise have gone about their transfer business shrewdly.
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While almost all teams have exchanged players amongst themselves, Mumbai have managed to carry out trades without giving away any player. The prime examples here are the trades of Quinton de Kock and Trent Boult.
In 2018, Mumbai Indians bought South African keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock from Royal Challengers Bangalore without releasing any player in return. It was only a monetary deal where MI had to pay De Kock what RCB were paying him.
This year, just before the trade window closed for all franchises, Mumbai Indians carried out a trade with Delhi Capitals. As part of this deal, they got the services of New Zealand's star pacer Trent Boult, without having to give any player in return.
Also in the news now is that Dhawal Kulkarni will be joining the defending champions for the next season. Here too, Mumbai didn't give any player to the Rajasthan Royals, Kulkarni's former side.
In other deals, Mumbai got the services of Caribbean all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford and had to give away Mayanak Markhande in return to Delhi Capitals. MI also traded Siddhesh Lad to KKR.
As a result of all these deals, Mumbai Indians now have an even stronger core and look a balanced side on paper. Players like Boult and De Kock are too good to be sitting out and hence will be playing almost all 14 games for MI. Also, while Kulkarni might not be a first choice pacer, he can be a solid back-up in case of an injury.
MI sound like a pack of smart minds who have carried out some seriously good trades, both last year and this year. Going into the auction, they will be looking for a good spinner for tracks like Chepauk, to give Rahul Chahar company. They might also go for a hard-hitting middle-order batsman, as there is a question mark over Hardik Pandya's fitness.