Zaheer Khan cites the reason behind MI releasing Hardik Pandya

Zaheer Khan

Mumbai Indians had a tough time selecting the four players they would like to retain ahead of the mega auction. The five-time champions have a lot of star players in their team which made the choice difficult for the franchise.

The five-time champions retained their skipper Rohit Sharma (16 crore), Jasprit Bumrah (12 crore), Suryakumar Yadav (8 crore) and Keiron Pollard (6 crore). The franchise had to let go the likes of Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan and many more.

Former Indian cricketer Zaheer Khan who is part of Mumbai Indian’s think tank has revealed the reason behind MI releasing their star all rounder Hardik Pandya. Hardik has been a vital cog for Mumbai Indians in the past few years and is an integral part of the success they had.

Speaking about the same, Zaheer Khan stated that retention is a complex process and it contains various aspects and angles. However, the left-hand seamer has backed the star all rounder saying that he will return to full fitness soon.

“Absolutely (Hardik can regain his full fitness). Hardik is very keen on that. The retention calls usually take into consideration various aspects and angles. The debates are usually very long (laughs). It is not an easy process when you set yourself up for a big auction and say goodbye to all players with a heavy heart with whom you spent a lot of time and energy,” Zaheer Khan said during an interview with TOI.

With the addition of two new teams-Lucknow and Ahmedabad it remains to be seen if Hardik will participate in the mega auctions or he will be picked up by one of the new franchises.

Team India have not found a left arm seamer since Zaheer Khan retired. The likes of Barinder Sran, Jaydev Unadkat and Khaleel Ahmed have tried their luck in the highest level but have failed to cement a spot in the Indian team. T. Natrajan who debuted in the Australia tour performed really well but a series of injuries has prevented the 30-year-old to make a comeback in the Indian team.

Zaheer Khan who is regarded as one of the best left arm seamer team India have ever produced spoke about the same. He said that there are a lot of young talents in the domestic circuit and that Team India have been waiting for a long time to find the perfect candidate.

“There are plenty of good talents in the circuit. It is just about the timing. Maybe the wait is a little longer (laughs). If you have that kind of option (left-arm pace), it’s a luxury. But you need to get someone ready to play at the highest level,” Zaheer Khan added.