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Mumbai Indians’ adventure in auction could pay off as Jofra Archer breathes fire on return

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In the massive auction in February ahead of the 2022 edition of the Indian Premier League, it was the 171st player who caught everyone’s attention. England speedster Jofra Archer has himself registered for auction but is only available for the 2023 and 2024 seasons due to injury. The 27-year-old, who last played international cricket in an away series against India, underwent elbow surgery before suffering a stress fracture on his return to the County Circuit to rule him out for the rest of the then English season.

All this, however, hasn’t affected the plans of the Mumbai Indians one bit as the franchise has been tough on a fast driver in massive auctions. MI owner Akash Ambani didn’t quite put the pedal down and the war between Rajasthan Royals and MI took the bid to Rs 4.6 crore in a few minutes. RR and MI had secured 12 players each till then, but Mumbai’s superlative purse – Rs 23.70 crore – let them out for the tailor. SRH joined the party for a brief period towards the end of the fag before MI sealed the deal at Rs 8 crore.

There were a lot of riders in that signing, but Mumbai was clear in its plans. The franchise set to work a long-term vision with a potentially explosive pairing between Jasprit Bumrah and Archer. Against popular perception, MI didn’t look to bolster its portfolios before small auctions either because it kept English tailoring.

After a long absence, Archer is back in the middle and was seen during the match between England and England Lions in Abu Dhabi. According to a Telegraph report, Archer upset England opener Zak Crawley and hit him on the helmet.

MI speed battery

It’s still early days, but Archer’s return to competitive cricket will raise a sigh of relief at the Mumbai Indians camp. The five-time IPL winners had also acquired Australian seamer Jason Birndorf in a deal with RCB earlier this month and with Archer and Pomrah the trio are set to field a very powerful attack.

While many described Archer’s offer as a gamble from the Mumbai Indians, the franchise seemed clear in its thought process. Certainly, the injury would not change their way of thinking.

“If someone had told me we were going to walk with Ishan Kishan and Jofra Archer, I wouldn’t have believed them,” Akash Ambani said after the mega auction.

Spinning focus can be in mini auction and indian tailors

Archer’s return could also help MI get some answers and help them get a lot of clarity ahead of the mini auctions. A quick glance at the list of retained players is enough to understand what is missing. The team can now very well look at adding some Indian tailors to the mix and looking for quality rotation options – something that was missing in previous editions.

MI have released Mayank Markande, Murugan Ashwin and Sanjay Yadav and with only Hrithik Shokeen and Kumar Kartikeya in the ranks, the team is likely to be big on a run in the upcoming auctions.

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