The Mumbai Indians have a little over ₹15 crores remaining in their purse and have four overseas slots vacant. The Mumbai-based franchise released all their overseas fast bowlers barring Trent Boult as part of their retention exercise ahead of the auction.
In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra spoke about the players the Mumbai Indians might be looking to target at the upcoming auction.
The reputed commentator started by pointing out that the Mumbai Indians no longer have Lasith Malinga, James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell McClenaghan as part of their squad.
"The interesting thing is that the Mumbai Indians have changed their entire fast bowling attack. Malinga has retired, they have let go of Pattinson who was his replacement and they have let Nathan Coulter-Nile and Mitchell McClenaghan also go," said Chopra.
Aakash Chopra observed that overseas fast bowlers will certainly be on the Mumbai Indians' radar. However, he feels the five-time IPL champions will not be able to onboard Mitchell Starc due to the paucity of funds at their disposal.
"They will need at least two overseas fast bowlers now after leaving out so many. They don't have a backup for Boult and have a vacant fast bowler's spot also. If Mitchell Starc comes for 8-10 crores, then Bumrah and Starc will be a fantastic pair. But I don't think the Mumbai Indians will be able to acquire Mitchell Starc, if he puts his name," observed Chopra.
The former KKR player believes the Mumbai Indians might even look to buy back some of their released pacers. He also suggested a few other pacers the Rohit Sharma-led team could opt to acquire.
"They can buy Pattinson again but he was very cheap, so they probably have someone else in their mind. Kyle Jamieson, Jhye Richardson, Chris Morris and Sheldon Cottrell are available. I don't see a very big exciting name. They might take back Nathan Coulter-Nile because he was very expensive," added Aakash Chopra.
Aakash Chopra added the Mumbai Indians could even think about playing an additional spinner in their playing XI, especially if the IPL takes place in India. The former Indian opener feels Mujeeb Ur Rahman or Sandeep Lamichhane could be in their thoughts in such a scenario.
"They may also want a backup spinner as the IPL could be in India. They can play a spinner instead of a fast bowler. They could go for Mujeeb or Sandeep Lamichhane. They can go for Krishnappa Gowtham as he can bat as well. They only have Jayant Yadav as an off-spinner," stated Chopra.
"The Mumbai Indians will not go towards Glenn Maxwell" - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra stated the Mumbai Indians could be interested in acquiring Shakib Al Hasan, Moeen Ali or Cameron Green as all-rounder backups for Kieron Pollard. He feels the defending IPL champions will not consider Glenn Maxwell for that position.
"They might need a backup for Pollard. So, they could take Shakib or Cameron Green. They will not go towards Glenn Maxwell as they don't prefer volatile players. May be Moeen Ali, outside chance," said Chopra.
The 43-year-old signed off by stating that the Mumbai Indians might consider acquiring local boy Shivam Dube, although they already have a formidable Indian batting lineup.
"They might be interested in Shivam Dube as he is a Mumbai boy. They might want to take him as an all-rounder although their Indian batting department seems absolutely fine to me. They will not be running behind too many Indian players," concluded Aakash Chopra.
The primary focus for the Mumbai Indians will be acquiring overseas players as they just have four in their squad including Chris Lynn, who is a backup for Quinton de Kock. Considering that, they are unlikely to go for Shivam Dube, as the all-rounder is bound to be a tad expensive.
Also see: MI retained players list 2021