The World Cup has just ended and the IPL is back in the news. The off-season transactions among the teams have begun, and in the first trade of the year Mumbai Indians have exchanged a player with the Delhi Capitals for the next season.
Mumbai Indians spinner Mayank Markande has made his way out of the club and joined the Delhi Capitals, in exchange for Sherfane Rutherford. Markande was the frontline spinner for MI in the 2018 season, but his role was taken over by Rahul Chahar in 2019. On the other hand, Sherfane Rutherford is a Caribbean batting all-rounder.
MI were seen thanking Markande on social media for his contributions to the team, and Delhi was seen welcoming the young spinner.
Akash Ambani, the owner of Mumbai Indians, expressed his good wishes for Markande's future, and also tried explaining the rationale behind the transfer.
“We wish Mayank the very best for his future. It is a difficult decision for us, but we are releasing him for better cricketing prospects and know that he is on the cusp of emerging as yet another shining star of Indian cricket. He will always be a part of the Mumbai Indians family,” Ambani said.
The MI owner also believes that Rutherford's all-round skills will work wonders for the defending champions.
Considering the current stock of players in MI and DC, this deal does not seem particularly favorable for either team. The entry of a hard-hitting all-rounder would only add to the list of hard-hitting all-rounders that MI already possess. With Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya already in the team, the chances of Rutherford taking the field look weak.
On the other hand, Delhi Capitals already have Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, J Suchith and Hanuma Vihari who bowl spin. So here too, Markande's entry does not seem to inspire a lot of confidence on paper.
However, if these teams take bold calls before the auction and let go of players that are already present in these departments, this deal could make more sense.
Mumbai Indians letting go of either Pollard and Pandya looks rather far-fetched, as their place in the team seems rock solid. So the inclusion of Rutherford could only be justified as a back-up for Pollard.
As for Delhi, Markande could assist Mishra or be a backup for the veteran, who is possibly nearing the end of his career.
As far as the results are concerned, Mumbai Indians have kept their tradition of lifting the IPL trophy every alternate year. After 2013, 2015, and 2017, Mumbai Indians won the IPL in 2019 as well, making them the most successful team in the tournament's history.
For the Delhi Capitals, the change in name from Daredevils to Capitals worked for them as they broke their tradition of finishing in the bottom 2 every year. They qualified for the play-offs in 2019 for the first time in six years, and would be hoping that Markande helps them repeat the feat in 2020.