Despite Green's inclusion, MI missing a crucial cog in their wheels: Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan believes the much highlighted inclusion of Cameron Green into the Mumbai Indians' (MI) squad hasn't quite resolved all of the franchise's issues on the field ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023.
While Green's inclusion for a whopping INR 17.50 crores at the mini-auction on Friday (December 23) is hogging the limelight, Pathan reckons MI still have a piece of their puzzle missing at the crucial No.7 spot in their line-up.
The Australian allrounder comes in place of Kieron Pollard, the experienced West Indies allrounder, who retired from IPL cricket in November.
But the surge of Cameron Green in the MI camp within their top 6 doesn't quite paper over an issue that has held the side back ever since they lost Indian allrounders Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.
Pathan on MI's missing jigsaw
Speaking for Star Sports, Pathan gave Mumbai three and half to four points on the scale of five for the squad they have managed to compile and stressed on the missing cog in their wheels, stating that the side might still rue not focusing on identifying a quality No.7 who can balance up their playing XI.
"Definitely between three-and-a-half to four. Cameron Green was an extremely good buy. I am giving one point less because you will feel one player is missing when you try to make their playing XI," Pathan said.
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The former India pacer reckons Green bolsters an MI side that finished bottom of the pile in IPL 2022, with skipper Rohit Sharma moving below to the middle-order. However, who comes in at No.7, a place that the Pandya brothers once rotated around and nailed with great utility, remains to be seen.
"You can also get Cameron Green to open and then Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav - these four are confirmed. Tilak Varma will come at No. 5, Tim David will come at No. 6 but who will be the seventh player? Which other guy will bat here? It seems they missed out slightly there."
In absence of another solid utility cricketer at No.7, MI seem staring at the prospects of giving a run of games to the inexperienced Ramandeep Singh or Arjun Tendulkar, who hasn't played an IPL game yet.
"Other than that, your bowling is sorted," Pathan said. "You got Piyush Chawla as a spinner. You have Jofra Archer and Jasprit Bumrah, if they remain fit then it's the best, or else you have the option of both Behrendoff and Jhye Richardson."
"Mumbai Indians' problem might get sorted out because of the impact player that is going to come. There you can play an extra bowler at No. 7, or a batter if you have to bowl second. So the overall team is good but I gave the rating based on the best playing XI," he added.