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Watch: Zaheer Khan Explains Reasoning Behind Mumbai Indians’ Retentions


Record five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians (MI) had some of the toughest calls to make in the retentions on Tuesday. Boasting of stars in all departments, MI had to let go of some big names like Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Trent Boult, among others, as they decided to retain captain Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard. MI’s Director of Cricket Operations, Zaheer Khan, later spoke to Star Sports to discuss the reasoning behind the franchise’s retention decisions.

Asked whether retaining Rohit and Bumrah was a no-brainer, he replied, “You don’t have to think a lot about (retaining) them.”

Zaheer added that leadership qualities played an important factor in the retention of players.

“There are leaders in the team who have been there for many years – and you can include Pollard in that. Pollard’s journey with MI started in 2010 and now he is considered a strong finisher in this format. So, from that view, that was not a difficult decision either,” he said.

“If you look at the retention list of Mumbai Indians, you will notice that there are leaders in there who have performed consistently. Yes, we had to say goodbye to the other players with a very heavy heart. Overall, it was very difficult to make these decisions,” he explained.

Asked why Suryakumar Yadav had been picked in place of the likes of Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, among others, Zaheer responded, “I always that he is a player with high potential.”

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The Indian pace great hinted that MI would try to bring back some of the released players in the mega auction.

“We had discussions about all the names, not just the three or four names you mentioned. Rahul Chahar was also doing very well for us.

“The big names that you mentioned – Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Krunal Pandya – that list is very long. We discussed about everyone. The way we had to move forward and the way we could bring back the players who have been associated with us for a long time, we discussed that as well.”

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