Defending champions Mumbai Indians have off-loaded their entire pace battery barring ace fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and Kiwi champ Trent Boult. The five-time champions released as many as seven names which include Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga, New Zealand paceman Mitchell McClenaghan, Australian fast bowling duo of Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson. Along with the big names, they also released Guyanese all-rounder Sherfane Rutherford, uncapped leg-spinner Prince Balwant Rai and fast bowler Digvijay Deshmukh from the team for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. Also Read - Rohit Sharma's 161-Run Knock in 2nd Test Was Most Defining Moment in Series: Virat Kohli

The defending champions, who won a record fifth title in 2020, now have 18 players in their squad with seven spots open which can be filled in the mini-auction. In this piece, we take a look at three players whom Mumbai can target at the upcoming IPL mini-auction in February. Also Read - IPL 2021 Date And Schedule: T20 Tournament to Start From April 9, Final to be Played on May 30 - Report

Umesh Yadav

Released by Royal Challengers Bangalore after a ‘no-show’ in the IPL 2020 edition, Umesh Yadav can fill as the backup option for Jasprit Bumrah in the Mumbai Indians unit. In the absence of Malinga, Pattinson and NCN – Umesh can be a very good option to share the workload in the pace bowling department. However, the India pacer was criticized for his poor bowling performances in a couple of matches he played in last IPL season. But, with IPL likely to be organized on Indian pitches this year – the experience and skill of Umesh can prove to be a difference for MI camp. Also Read - IPL 2021 in Mumbai? BCCI to Get Full Support From Government to Host T20 Tournament at Venue

Sandeep Lamichhane

Sandeep Lamichhane, Nepal’s star cricketer and first from his country to play in the cash-rich T20 league – IPL, has been released by Delhi Capitals ahead of the IPL auction. The 20-year-old spinner first became the part of the Delhi-based franchise in IPL 2018. With as many as four overseas players slot available to fill in – Mumbai can go for the services of Lamichhane who’s considered to be a good exponent in T20 cricket. He has picked up 121 wickets in 93 T20s at an outstanding strike-rate of close to 16. Lamichhane can also form a solid bowling combination with Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya to torment the opposition batsmen.

Tom Curran

With Malinga, Pattinson, NCN and Mitch released, Mumbai will definitely push hard to strengthen their bowling unit in the upcoming IPL auction. Keeping that in mind, England paceman Tom Curran can be another solid option to look forward to for Mumbai in the mini-auction. The elder Curran was released by Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday. His wealth of experience in T20 cricket can also go in his favour. The Cape Town-born pacer has picked up 157 wickets in 134 T20 matches. Just like his younger brother, Tom can also contribute with the bat and his 132.42 strike-rate further provides a testament to that fact.

MI PLAYERS RETAINED: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Quinton de Kock, Anmolpreet Singh, Aditya Tare, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Jayant Yadav, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohsin Khan, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy

MI PLAYERS RELEASED: Mitchell McCleneghan, James Pattinson, Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sherfane Rutherford, Digvijay Deshmukh, Prince Balwant Rai Singh.

Auction purse left: 15.35 CR