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IPL 2022 – Stories | Indian Premier League

Kevin Pietersen: Mumbai Indians had their soul ripped out at the IPL mega auction

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Former England star Kevin Pietersen has laid the blame of Mumbai Indians’ struggles in IPL 2022 so far at the door of their auction strategy.

Five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians have lost all eight of their games in the 2022 competition so far, leaving their hopes of making the playoffs hanging by a thread.

IPL 2022 was preceded by a mega-auction, with Mumbai Indians forced to let go of India all-rounders Hardik and Krunal Pandya, South Africa opener Quinton de Kock, and New Zealand left-arm quick Trent Boult. Writing for Betway, Pietersen singled out the latter as the single “biggest loss” for the franchise ahead of the ongoing tournament.

“The IPL has been a catastrophe for Mumbai,” Pietersen said. “They say that batters win you sponsorships and bowlers win you premierships. I just can’t understand why Mumbai have weakened their bowling so much by using up a spot on an injured Jofra Archer and letting Trent Boult go elsewhere.

“Left-arm seamers are such a valuable commodity in the shorter form of the game because of the different angle and Boult is as good as it gets. He’s world class. I think he’s their biggest loss, ahead of Quinton de Kock and the Pandya brothers, but they are all fabulous, match-winning players.

“Mumbai seem to have had their soul ripped out at the mega auction. Lots of the star players that made them what they are have left and they have made a horrible start to the competition. Mahela Jayawardene must be wondering what’s going on.”

With the addition of two extra teams for this competition, the talent pool of the player’s available has had to be stretched further, with some fearing a decline in quality ahead of the event. However, while Mumbai Indians are struggling to adapt, Pietersen has been impressed by Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans, the two new sides competing for the trophy.

“The two new teams, Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Super Giants, are going really nicely,” he said. “They’ve added plenty to the competition because they are a breath of fresh air. Whereas most franchises have some old players trying to accommodate some new ones, these two teams are just a bunch of new players with fresh energy.

“Everybody is in the same boat and they seem to be really enjoying themselves. It wouldn’t surprise me to see either of them lifting the title in a few weeks’ time.”

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