Former IPL analyst rants on how Mumbai Indians gamed the IPL auction with Hardik-Green trade

While he lauded the smart move by MI to weaken a direct rival, he emphasized the implications it can have.
Hardik Pandya trade?width=963&height=541&resizemode=4

While the Hardik Pandya trade to Mumbai Indians from Gujarat Titans has garnered quite the limelight, a former IPL analyst has recently dissected how the five-time IPL winners 'gamed' the IPL auction model. To facilitate the move for Hardik, Mumbai Indians traded Cameron Green to RCB to free up their budget. The analyst Dan Weston, who has previously worked with Punjab Kings during the IPL 2022 highlighted some key pointers from the trade. 

While he lauded the smart move by MI to weaken a direct rival (Gujarat Titans), he emphasized the implications it can have. At the same time he drew a comparison with football transfers, where a team can re-invest the money gained by trading/selling a player unlike in cricket, where there is already a pre-set purse value. 

He wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in one of the posts in the thread, "This is a very important point to make, because the transfer fee - unlike in football - cannot be reinvested to improve the squad further. In football, for example, Tottenham sold Harry Kane in the summer for around £100m, but have the ability to reinvest this in their squad."

Why MI went all-out for Hardik Pandya?

Pandya is also touted as a possible captaincy option for MI in the future. Rohit Sharma, 36, has at best a couple of years in the IPL and down the line MI might need a suitable contender to replace him, and who better than Pandya, who led Gujarat Titans to the IPL trophy in their debut season last year and a runners-up finish this season.

The Pandya trade also Mumbai Indians' line-up a lot of flexibility. Along with being a dependable middle-order batter, the all-rounder is also capable of bowling his quota of four overs. Replacing an overseas all-rounder (Cameron Green) with an Indian player also allows MI a lot of options when it comes to picking their foreign players, with only four allowed in the playing XI.

It was a smartly-timed move from MI as they would have never got a Team India player of the quality of Pandya at the December 19 auction in Dubai.

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