IPL 2024 Retentions: We read too much into what was happening around Hardik, says Kumble

New Delhi, Nov 26 (IANS): As Hardik Pandya was retained by Gujarat Titans on IPL 2024 retentions day, ending days of massive speculation around his possible return to Mumbai Indians, former India captain Anil Kumble, who was the head coach of Punjab Kings, felt many read too much into the chatter happening around the fast-bowling all-rounder.

Ahead of retentions day, many reports came of Hardik making a mind-boggling move from Gujarat to Mumbai, a franchise from where he began his IPL playing career. Though Hardik is with Gujarat as of now, the IPL trade window is still open till December 12, which is a week before the auctions happening in Dubai on December 19.

“Obviously, we’ve been reading too much into what was happening over the last one week in terms of Hardik (Pandya), Rohit (Sharma), Cameron Green and how will Mumbai Indians have that kind of purse. We expected that the trade would happen, but we don’t have that headline today.”

“You never know, IPL has thrown many surprises. It was pretty obvious about Jofra Archer, who was not at his best last season. MI have the money. They certainly need a spinner. Piyush Chawla did the job for them last season, but they will surely be looking at getting a quality spinner for 2024,” said Kumble on ‘IPL Retention Special’ show on JioCinema.

Another big news from the retentions day was of opener Prithvi Shaw being retained by Delhi Capitals, despite having a disappointing time with the bat in IPL 2023. While calling him an absolute gun player in T20s, Kumble feels Shaw, currently out of action due to a knee injury sustained while playing for Northamptonshire in One-day Cup in England this year, has to work harder on his fitness.

“I think he needs to look at his fitness. When you look at Prithvi Shaw, it’s not his cricketing skills. Yes, there may be a few chinks in his batting armoury but that’s something that all batters have. He’s an absolutely gun player in the T20 format. At the top of the innings, he’s someone who can take the game away.”

“It’s just the off-field things you hear about Prithvi. He’s still young. He still needs to work on his fitness. It’s difficult if a Ricky Ponting or a Sourav Ganguly or a David Warner haven’t been able to get Prithvi to work on his fitness. It’s quite a challenge then and that’s something he needs to understand.”

Kolkata Knight Riders’ also made a huge decision to release Shardul Thakur and Lockie Ferguson, which also surprised Kumble, but said the duo’s record at their home venue was not great too. “Both Shardul Thakur and Lockie Ferguson were traded last season and brought in, so releasing both of them is pretty surprising. Even KKR’s record at home last season was not good.”

“They won only two of their seven games at the Eden Gardens. I am sure that’s something Gautam (Gambhir) will be looking at. The way things are going, they have released the faster bowlers. It’s very clear that someone like Gautam will want a turning kind of a surface at the Eden Gardens.”

There was some good news on MS Dhoni’s availability, with him being retained by Chennai Super Kings for the entire 2024 season, after undergoing a knee surgery post making the franchise win IPL 2023.

“Everybody that rules him out probably needs to go and have a look at themselves. Every time we underestimate MS Dhoni, he comes out and puts up a performance that reminds you of just how good he is.”

“He’s the sort of a guy who, if he commits to play for CSK, will not do it half-heartedly. He took over the captaincy half-way through the last season and saw them through. The combination between him and Stephen Fleming has been hugely successful,” said former RCB head coach Mike Hesson.

“Dhoni would definitely like to play the full season. He’s facing some issues with his knee. I saw some videos of his from Dehradun where he was climbing down the stairs but not looking too comfortable. So hopefully he will keep a close watch on his knees.”

“But one thing is certain, if he plays, he’ll play the full season. Last season, too, there were doubts, but he’s proved everyone wrong time and again. So, I’ll refrain from saying anything about Dhoni. He will decide when to leave,” concluded Aakash Chopra.



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Title: IPL 2024 Retentions: We read too much into what was happening around Hardik, says Kumble

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