Indian Premier League 2019 Player Auction: The three-time IPL champions, Mumbai Indians have had a very disappointing campaign in 2018. Though their side looks much balanced, the only thing they would be looking for will the right combinations and back-ups for their retained players. The MI have released ten players from their squad which includes, Saurabh Tiwary, Pradeep Sangwan, Mohsin Khan, MD Nidheesh, Sharad Lumba, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, JP Duminy, Pat Cummins, Mustafizur Rahman, and Akila Dananjaya. Moreover, during the transfer window, they acquired South African wicket-keeper batsman Quinton De Kock from the Royal Challengers Bangalore, which may boost up the top order. That means out of seven slots available, they can buy only one foreign player with having a salary cap of Rs. 11.15 Crore.

The retained players are:
Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff.

Here are the top 5 players Mumbai Indians may look for in the IPL 2019:

1.  Mohammed Shami:

Mumbai Indians don’t have any Indian frontline pacer, other than Jasprit Bumrah. And, it seems Mumbai have a little dull pace-attack. So, experienced Mohammed Shami can be an ideal match for the team.

Adding to the fact that the World Cup 2019 will kickoff directly after the IPL and as per the statements that were given by the Indian Captain Virat Kohli about resting and preserving their players for the WC, clearly shows that there are high chances of Bumrah missing the crucial matches of IPL. So, the 28-year-old pacer can be the back-up for Bumrah in IPL 2019.

2. Carlos Brathwaite:

That entertaining knock by this Caribbean all-rounder in T20 WC 2016 final against England’s Ben Stokes, earned him lots of praise across the world and was one of the expensive buys of 2016 IPL.  And, as far as Kieron Pollard’s current form is concerned, the team might be looking for the all-rounder who can be the x-factor for the team’s winning, just like Pollard used to do in the past few seasons. So, Carlos Brathwaite can be the best backup option for the team.

3. Ishan Porel:

The U-19 World Cup winner Ishan Porel was out of the auction pool due to injury, in 2018. The speedster left the Aussies in trouble in the final of U-19 World Cup and has a good First-Class and List-A record. In First-Class he has taken 28 wickets off 10 matches and 12 wickets off 9 List-A matches. He may add a new feather to Mumbai’s thin bowling line-up.

4. Rajneesh Gurbani:

Though Mumbai has many bowling options like Hardik, Mitchell McClenaghan and Pollard, but don’t have frontline pace options. So, Mumbai could go for Rajneesh, in order to solidify their core bowling strength.
Moreover, Mumbai has a history of producing gems, be it Bumrah or Pandya brothers. So, Is Gurbani the next target for Mumbai?

5. Varun Aaron:

He is one among the bowlers who can bowl at speeds more than 140kph. If not Shami, then Varun Aaron can be the ideal replacement of Bumrah for the last phase matches of the IPL 2019. He has played for the teams like Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore. So comparatively, he has a good amount of experience and he even can put his height to good use.