Even though IPL is more than 5 months away, things are heating up in the trading windows before the start of the mega-event.
IPL has two trading windows for the teams to trade players, the first one starts right after the end of the season which goes on till a month before the auctions, while the second one starts after the auctions till the start of the tournament.
The trade window is an excellent opportunity for the teams to get on board players that they need and who can help their cause. This can help them sort out things before the auctions.
Mumbai Indians have already started their trading with buying Quinton de Kock and released Mustafizur Rahman and Akila Dananjaya. Quinton de Kock will add teeth to Mumbai Indians' batting line-up.
Also, the fact that Mumbai Indians did not have the best of the seasons last year might result in some big changes in the overall squad. Mumbai Indians failed to reach the playoffs due to the poor performances of a lot of their senior players. Here is the list of 5 players Mumbai Indians should get in the IPL trade to improve their performance this season.
#5 Shahbaz Nadeem
Mumbai Indians raised a few eyebrows when they did not pick any experienced spinner in the squad last season. Even though Mayank Markande started the season with a bang, he couldn't continue it in the latter half of season.
Mumbai Indians might look to buy another spinner who has experience of bowling on Indian pitches and that spinner can be Shahbaz Nadeem. Nadeem has been one of the most consistent performers in the domestic circuit and has been in fabulous form off late.
He has been the go-to bowler for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. The left-arm spinner broke the world record for the best bowling figures in List A cricket by picking up 8/10 against Rajasthan. Nadeem's experience can make a huge difference for Mumbai Indians.
#4 Carlos Brathwaite
Keiron Pollard has been a star player for Mumbai Indians over the years but his form has taken a dip in the last year or so. The Trinidadian looked awfully out of form last year and was eventually dropped from the playing XI. In all probability, Pollard will not be retained by Mumbai Indians this year.
A like-for-like replacement for Pollard can be his West Indies teammate Carlos Brathwaite. Brathwaite, who won World T20 for West Indies by 4 sixes off Ben Stokes, played for last season's runners-up Sunrisers Hyderabad. But he wasn't picked in the playing XI for a long time as he got to play only 4 matches in the entire season.
However, in the limited opportunities that he got, Brathwaite gave a good account of his hitting ability by hitting some big hits in the death overs, especially in the playoffs. Brathwaite is also a more than useful medium-pacer and will provide more options to the side.
#3 Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar had a forgettable IPL season last year. Sundar, who won the man-of-the-series award in the Nidahas trophy just before the IPL, was expected to play a crucial role in Royal Challengers Bangalore's campaign. But unfortunately, he looked completely out of sorts.
Sundar took just four wickets in seven matches giving away runs at a poor economy of 9.60 runs per over and in all likeliness will be dropped from the RCB squad for IPL 2019. Sundar was later selected in India's limited-overs squads for the tour of England but was ruled out due to an injury that kept him out of competitive cricket for nearly four months. However, he is back and raring to go.
The talented youngster from Tamil Nadu bowls with amazing control and has been used extensively by his captains in the powerplays. Also, he can use the long handle to good effect and can be a useful batsman down the order. Sundar can be a good addition to Mumbai Indians.
#2 Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad for a staggering amount of Rs 11 crore. But Pandey couldn't convert the big bucks into big runs.
The middle-order batsman had a disastrous season for the Sunrisers as he looked out of touch throughout the season. Pandey struggled to get his timing right and scored runs at a below-par strike-rate of 115.44.
Sunrisers might not want to retain Pandey this season which means a chance for other franchises to pick him in their sides. Though he struggled last year, Pandey has been a successful IPL batsman. Pandey was the mainstay of Kolkata Knight Riders, his previous franchise, and played some match-winning innings for KKR.
Mumbai Indians' over-dependence on Rohit Sharma was on show last season as the middle-order failed to put up consistent performance due to Rohit's indifferent form. Manish Pandey can solve MI's middle-order problems with his experience and talent.
#1 Jason Roy
One of the major reasons for Delhi Daredevils' woeful campaign last season was their inability to utilise the players that they had. One of those players who wasn't used properly was Jason Roy.
Roy played only five matches last year and warmed the bench for the most part of the season. He gave glimpses of his brute power in his innings of 91 runs that he played against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede.
Mumbai Indians might want to get the Englishman in their team to provide explosive starts to the team. The destructive batsman is one of the leading limited-overs batsmen in the World at the moment and has annihilated bowling-attacks single-handedly in the past. Roy struggled a little playing on slow Delhi pitches, but as the pitches in Mumbai are nothing less than a batting paradise, Jason Roy will be a big match-winner for Mumbai Indians.