IPL 2014: The Johnson vs Malinga conundrum for Mumbai Indians
Zee Media Bureau/Suyash Srivastava
New Delhi: Mitchell Johnson bowled well for the Mumbai Indians in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League, but the Australian`s performance in the recently concluded Ashes series, has become a serious problem for the team management, who will have to choose between him and Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga ahead of the IPL auction.
While Johnson`s fearsome spells against England in the five-match Test series received praise from all corners, it would be extremely difficult for Rohit Sharma and the team management to ignore Lasith Malinga – who has single-handedly won them several matches by his accurate bowling in several seasons. While Malinga`s form of late hasn`t been extraordinary, he is altogether a different bowler in the shortest format of the game. His bowling in the death overs is still believed to be the best in the business.
According to the new norms, a franchise is allowed to retain a maximum of five players. With every retention, a franchise will also lose a certain amount of money which will be deducted from their total allocated budget of 60 crores.
For example, when RCB decided to retain Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers, an amount of Rs 29. 5 crores (12.5+9.5+7.5) was deducted from their total budget of 60 crores for the auction. So if a team retains five players, it will be left with just 21 crores to be spent at the IPL auction to be held on Februay 12.
Mumbai Indians is a team which is full of world class overseas players like Kieron Pollard, Glenn Maxwell, Dwayne Smith, Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson. While Johnson could be retained on the basis of his incredible form, it wouldn`t be easy for Mumbai to let go Lasith Malinga – the highest wicket taker in IPL history with 103 wickets from 73 matches.