IPL’s most successful franchise and most valuable team is Mumbai Indians. The team is owned by Asia’s richest person: Mukesh Ambani. People generally claim that it is the big money that is the reason behind the success of the franchise. The dugout of the team is filled with the greatest of the game as their support staff, like Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan, Jonty Rhodes Shane Bond, Mahila Jayawardene, and more. But, there is another set of support staff who are very crucial to the team’s success.
Players like the Pandya Brothers, Fast-bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, or Ishan Kishan, or recently Tilak Varma, Nehal Wadhera, or Akash Madhwal. They are scouting finds. They have been in the net with Mumbai Indians for a while now. Arjun Tendulkar is also part of this scouting group. I hope he is.
Mumbai Indians are known to be reckless spenders at auctions. They bought Ishan Kishan for a heft amount, as they couldn’t retain him. And, they bought England’s fast bowler Jofra Archer. Although, Archer hasn’t had any impact on Mumbai’s IPL game. Archer had to return early from IPL 2023, for recovery. They bought Aussie player Cameron Green was big bucks too.
They have earlier spent money on Australia’s Glenn Maxwell. And he didn’t play many matches. There was Englan’ds Jos Butler. Or, even Kieron Pollard, who ended up becoming a cornerstone of Mumbai’s future plans. The list goes on.
Some outside it may seem like they are big spenders, but the scouting team is giving the team young-talented reliable players. These players would be part of the franchises for a long time. Simultaneously, the team management can build the future of the franchise in IPL around them.
There is a conversation that Mumbai Indians buy superstar players and then go on to win the tournaments. That is far from reality. Think of the time when the above-mentioned players made their debut. The team management backed them, then they became superstars. Both, Hardik and Krunal (Pandya brothers) are very important IPL players. They are the leading sides in the tournament. Jasprit Burmah is one of the best bowlers in the world. Suryakumar Yadav was given the middle-order battling role, instead of a finisher’s role. And, he flourished.
If you follow any franchise-based like football, baseball, basketball etc, you understand how important is scouting. For reference, watch films like Brad Pitt’s Money Ball, or Amazon’s latest film Air, directed by Ben Affleck. Both films explain how scouting works. It is essential to identify the talent and groom them. Basically, it is to see the talent before it is popular, quite like what Mumbai Indians have done.
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