Despite having the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga and Trent Bout in their ranks – Zaheer Khan, Director of Cricket Operations at Mumbai Indians feels the defending champions need some more strength in their bowling department. With injury-related issues plaguing the Mumbai ahead of Indian Premier League’s (IPL) next edition, the former India pacer feels the trade-ins ahead of the Player Auction were a reflection of what’s in the mind of the franchise thinktank.

Zaheer also stressed that this season would be a different one with the team dynamics also shifting. Mumbai Indians have retained their core team including veteran Sri Lankan pacer Lasith while releasing 12 players. MI has retained 18 players which helped them win the fourth IPL title earlier this year while releasing 12.

Kiwi seamer Trent Boult, West Indian Sherfane Rutherford and Mumbai pacer Dhawal Kulkarni are the three trade-ins for the franchise. “The core of the team is very stable and experienced so this year is going to be a different one,” Zaheer spoke in an exclusive video message on Mumbai Indians official Twitter handle.

“We have had some challenges in terms of injuries. Hardik Pandya to start with has had a back surgery. (Jasprit) Bumrah has been out of action with back issues and Jason Berehndoff also has had a back surgery.

“That was one of the concerns and the trades were a reflection of exactly what was the planning for the upcoming season,” he pointed out.

“We felt that we will need some kind of strength around the bowling department and hence the trades with Delhi and RR.”

Zaheer further said the focus for MI has also been about spotting and fielding domestic talent. “In terms of domestic talent as well, it has been trend with MI that we have been spotting and going with domestic talent. But this is going to be the end of the cycle as well. “This is the third year the IPL dynamics in terms of big auctions work differently so there is going to be some more thinking in terms of what direction we should be going in, but its pretty pre matured at this stage.

“The release list is out so we will have to keep an eye on which are players released from other teams and what are the options so yes that process should start very soon now,” he concluded.

“Going into this December’s auctions for the 2020 edition, Mumbai Indians now have the option of filling up slots for 5 domestic and 2 foreign players during the day-long event in Kolkata,” MI had said in a statement.

The players retained are captain Rohit Sharma, all-rounders Hardik Pandya and his brother Krunal, spinner Rahul Chahar, wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah.

South African wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock and Malinga have also been retained.

Mumbai Indians Retained players: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Anmolpreet Singh, Jayant Yadav, Aditya Tare, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni (Traded in), Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, Sherfane Rutherford (Traded in), Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult (Traded in).

Mumbai Indians Released players: Evin Lewis, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff, Beuran Hendricks, Ben Cutting, Yuvraj Singh, Mayank Markande (Traded out), Barinder Sran, Rasikh Salam, Pankaj Jaswal, Siddhesh Lad (Traded out), Alzarri Joseph.