Opinion: Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings should not sign Tom Banton in IPL 2020 Auction
The right-handed batsman rose to prominence by setting the T20 Blast on fire with his exploits at the top of the order. Banton scored 549 runs for Somerset in the competition and soon received a call-up to the English T20I team.
His displays have also gained the attention of IPL franchises, in particular, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. However, both sides would do well to steer clear of the dashing opener and here we take a look at why Mumbai and Chennai should not sign Banton during the auction.
Mumbai Indians' point of view
A close look at Mumbai's 2019 IPL squad suggests they had two of the world's best opening batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock, in their ranks. While Rohit has been phenomenal as an opener over the past few years, de Kock has a better record than most of the other overseas opening batsmen in Indian conditions.
If Mumbai decide to push Rohit down the order and have someone else open instead, they can always turn to domestic talent Suryakumar Yadav or hard-hitting West Indian opener Evin Lewis to do the job.
Considering the fact that de Kock can keep wickets as well, Banton would not add much value to Mumbai's squad. As a result, Mumbai should look for an all-rounder in the auction and allow Banton to be picked by another team.
Chennai Super Kings' point of view
The runners-up of the previous edition of the IPL, Chennai Super Kings have experienced all-rounder Shane Watson as their primary opening option. His former opening partner Ambati Rayudu has also made his intentions clear to come out of retirement and play for Chennai Super Kings. The three-time champions also have South African skipper Faf du Plessis and domestic star Ruturaj Gaikwad as their standby openers.
In the wicket-keeping department, captain MS Dhoni is the team’s first-choice, while the back-up options are Sam Billings and Narayan Jagadeesan. Just like Mumbai Indians, Chennai have a plethora of options in the departments Tom Banton specialises in.
Thus, it would be wise for both the franchises not to waste a precious overseas spot by pursuing Tom Banton and instead allow the youngster to play for a team where he can truly flourish.