Kieron-Pollard,-Krunal-Pandya-Mumbai-Indians’-top-RTMs

Mumbai Indians (MI) have won Indian Premiere League (IPL) as many as three times in 10 seasons. And for obvious reasons, MI retained their captain Rohit Sharma along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya and ever-improving Jasprit Bumrah. However, MI have two Right To Match (RTM) left.

In all 578 players will go under the hammer for 182 open slots during the 2018 IPL player auction in Bengaluru this weekend. A franchise can retain a maximum of three capped Indian players, two overseas players, and two uncapped Indian players. Ahead of the auction, MI have already got hold of three, but the question beckons: who are the remaining two players MI are willing to spend money on in case other franchises have already decided to pocket them? Before that let us understand how RTM works.

What is RTM?

Let us say Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) go for Jos Buttler who MI have not retained yet. SRH and RR settle for INR 15 crores.

MI, however, can claim RTM and pay exactly that amount for Buttler to retain him. To put things into perspective, MI do not have to outbid anyone to claim Buttler: paying the same amount should settle the matter. Now, wait. What if one of the franchises bids for more than 15 crores? The fight will go on until MI gives up. To make this spectacle more interesting, a franchise can RTM player at most twice.

How much have MI already spent?

INR 33 crores (15 for Rohit, 11 for Pandya, and 7 for Bumrah)

How much do they still have?

INR 47 crores

How many RTM card do they have?

2

Need of the hour

For unknown reasons, Rohit does not opt to open in IPL like he does for India. That leaves the opening spot empty. If they RTM for Buttler, they will get a wicketkeeper as well as an explosive batsman who can bat at any position.

There also is Kieron Pollard to pull off unbelievable catches. When he goes bonkers with the bat, you know what happens. And there were times when he took his team victory by bowling the last over. But, there also is Krunal Pandya who was Player of the Match in the previous season’s semi-final and final. Krunal’s base price is INR 40 lakhs, so that should not create a financial crisis for MI until some other franchises raises the bid in crores.

“Krunal Pandya is a left-hander who floats, bowls spin and is a good fielder. So he is an ideal uncapped player whom Mumbai will want to retain. But the question is the bucket under which he falls for them, which will determine if he is brought in via the RTM,” former MI coach Anil Kumble told Star Sports.

“It is very difficult to your combinations right at the auctions, especially with the RTMs, as others will go after your key players. Considering Mumbai are the defending champions, the rest of the teams will be looking at champion players,” Kumble explained.

In other news, MI have parted ways with their long-time fielding coach Jonty Rhodes and have replaced him with New Zealand’s James Pamment. Rhodes mentioned that he wants to spend more time in his business ventures, and will not be available for MI in IPL 2018.