Bhajji will play for Chennai Super Kings after the team bought him for Rs 2 crore in the IPL auction.
Mumbai Indians let go off-spinner Harbhajan Singh who was with the three-time champions since inception of Indian Premier League in 2008. He also enjoyed the status of the skipper for quite a while and let his team to Champions League triumph in 2011. The off-spinner’s experience with the ball and explosive batting down the order kept him in the MI side for 10 seasons and took 127 wickets.
Now Bhajji will play for Chennai Super Kings after the team bought him for Rs 2 crore on Saturday in the IPL-auction. This will be the spinner’s first stint from the Mumbai outfit. The Nita Ambani-owned side had an option to buy him at the auction but maybe after his average performance where he took just eight wickets in nine games at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, they decided to let go of him. The 37-year-old has also been out of favour in the national team.
Lasith Malinga, who was another senior in the Mumbai Indians team since his inclusion by the franchise in 2009, went surprisingly unsold in the auction. Malinga, who is the most successful bowler in IPL with 154 wickets has terrorised a major number of batsmen in the past sending them back to the pavilion with his stingy yorkers. The owners made sure in the previous auctions to retain the bowler but this time Malinga went unsold with no other team bidding for the fast-bowler.
He will be up for grabs on day two of the auction hoping that the hammer strikes thrice when his name is announced.
Mitchell McClenaghan who has been Malinga’s partner in the pace department in last three seasons, played a major role in helping Mumbai lift the crown in 2015 picking up 18 wickets in 12 games. He remained the wicket taking option during Mumbai Indians last triumph in 2017. He took 54 wickets in 40 matches in his stint of three years. For now, even he remains unsold. The franchise despite bidding heavily for wicket-keepers didn’t show much interest in diminutive England wicketkeeper batsman Jos Butler.
Mumbai Indians also had the option of using RTM card for Butler but they chose not to use it and Butler went to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 4.4 crore. The indications of letting go of Butler were evident after the lunch session of the IPL auction as Mumbai Indians entered into a bidding war for wicketkeepers like Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Quinton de Kock and Sanju Samson.