Malinga, Yuvraj and four new members added to the MI squad - Mumbai Indians

He will go on to represent KKR in the upcoming edition of (VIVO) IPL and was purchased for a sum of INR 5 Cr.KXIP also showed a keen interest in him but we managed to get him in our ranks for INR 80 Lacs.

Lasith Malinga returned to the MI squad and one of India’s most decorated limited-overs cricketers, Yuvraj Singh, were our top purchases of the (VIVO) IPL Auction 2019, which was held in Jaipur on December 18th. In addition to these two superstars, we added four talented Indian players to our squad.

We entered the auction with a purse of 11.15 Cr and made our first move for India international, Hanuma Vihari, who was eventually sold to Delhi Capitals. This was the first successful bid of the auction.

The likes of Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum and Chris Woakes found no takers in the initial round but there was plenty of interest for 2016 ICC World Cup winner and current Windies captain, Carlos Brathwaite. He will go on to represent KKR in the upcoming edition of (VIVO) IPL and was purchased for a sum of INR 5 Cr. Wily spinner Axar Patel was also bought for the same price by Delhi Capitals.

When it was time for the pool of bowlers, there was intense bidding war between KXIP, RR and CSK for Jaydev Unadkat, who was the highest placed Indian in the auction shortlist. He was bought back by RR for INR 8.4 Cr – the most expensive buy of IPL Auction 2019.

Lasith Malinga was the next player to go under the hammer and we went for him straightaway. 3-time IPL winner with us and our former bowling mentor became our first purchase of the auction for INR 2 Cr. ‘Slinga’ brings with him loads of experience and (VIVO) IPL’s leading wicket-taker will not only bolster our bowling attack but will also provide guidance to our youngsters.

The next player on our radar was Mohit Sharma and we were involved in an intense bidding war with CSK for him. We tried our best to get him in our squad but in the end, he was sold to CSK for INR 5 Cr.

The session went well for us as we were able to fill the only overseas slot available for us at the auction.

Our think-tank raised the gavel for Anmolpreet Singh, a hard-hitting batsman who represents Punjab in the domestic circuit. KXIP also showed a keen interest in him but we managed to get him in our ranks for INR 80 Lacs. This was our second signing of the day.

When Shivam Dube’s name came up, we showed avid interest in purchasing him and were involved in a two-way bidding war with RCB who went on to buy him for INR 5 Cr.

Teams went gaga over Tamil Nadu’s mystery spinner, Varun Chakravarthy, who was bought by KXIP for INR 8.4 Cr. Along with Unadkat, he became the joint most expensive player of the auction.

The next player for whom there was plenty of interest across teams in the room was English all-rounder Sam Curran. The bidding for this smart left-arm pacer and handy lower-order batsman reached great height and he became one of the top buys of the auction. He was sold to KXIP for INR 7.2 Cr.

We channeled our interests next for left-arm pacer, Barinder Sran but we weren’t the only one. CSK also battled hard to get this nippy pacer in their squad. We got the better of CSK this time around and got Sran for INR 3.4 Cr.

Our thinktank was satisfied with our purchases at the break and were happy to get Malinga back.

“Lasith Malinga has arguably been our best foreign player”, Akash Ambani had only good things to say about the Sri Lankan legend.

We still had 4 slots to fill and had INR 4.95 Cr in our purse when the final session went underway which included the uncapped players as well as the unsold players.

We went up for Pankaj Jaiswal when his name was announced and managed to purchase him for his base price of INR 20 Lacs. This 23-year-old player is a right-arm medium-pace bowler and a utility batsman who represents Himachal Pradesh in the domestic circuit.

There was a bid from our end when Prabhsimran Singh’s name came up and we were in the hunt briefly as the bid continued to intensify. 17-year-old wicket-keeper batsman from Patiala was eventually bought by KXIP for INR 4.8 Cr.

Rasikh Dar was the next one for which we showed our interest and he became our fifth signing of the evening. 17-year-old Rasikh comes from Jammu & Kashmir and is a lethal right-arm fast bowler who will surely add strength to our pace attack.

We reserved our best signing for the last and when Yuvraj Singh’s name went under the hammer for the second time, our think-tank had no qualms but to bid for him. We bought him for his base price of INR 1 Cr. and finished the auction day on a fantastic note. One of India’s most decorated limited-overs cricketer will be a key player in our middle-order and his experience will come in handy when we start the quest for our fourth (VIVO) IPL title.

Akash Ambani was particularly chuffed by the addition of Malinga and Yuvraj in the MI squad. “Yuvi and Malinga are very critical players. We focused on experience a lot. We've identified specific roles for both.”

The purchases of three fresh faces, one experienced International cricketer and two stalwarts of the game means that we ended the (VIVO) IPL Auction 2019 on a fantastic note!