Amidst the attention-grabbing return of Hardik Pandya to the Mumbai Indians (MI), another noteworthy deal made by the five-time champions ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 auction has earned praise from veteran Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Mumbai Indians’ strategic move draws praise from Ravichandran Ashwin
Ashwin has commended the Mumbai-based franchise for what he sees as a strategic steal – signing West Indies all-rounder Romario Shepherd in an all-cash trade valued at INR 50 lakh from Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) which was the first deal of the season done in November.
“Mumbai Indians have pulled off a burglary at LSG. Hardik Pandya is himself a well-organized planned heist like we saw in Money Heist. But Romario Shephard was a little pickpocket while walking for a breeze. I feel they have given 50 lakhs for a player on the right side of his career,” Ashwin said on his Youtube channel.
Also READ: Shakib Al Hasan reveals the reason behind his withdrawal from IPL 2024 Auction and the PSL Draft
Romario Shepherd impressive performance in ODI series against England
Impressed by MI’s ability to execute not only the high-profile trade of Pandya but also the tactical acquisition of Romario Shepherd, Ashwin envisioned Shepherd as an impact player capable of being a game-changer for MI. He also expressed admiration for Shepherd’s impactful performance in West Indies’ ODI series triumph against England.
“Romario Shepherd has been in the IPL for two years and has not exactly lived up to his potential. However, he scored with a 150 strike rate for West Indies against England and picked a couple of players as well. Mumbai have a solid Indian core so with the impact player rule, Romario Shephard is a dangerous player,” the 37-year-old concluded.
Shepherd’s IPL journey
Shepherd’s journey in the IPL saw him join Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) for a significant deal of ₹7.75 crore in the 2022 mega auction. However, after a limited stint with SRH, he was released ahead of the 2023 season. LSG then secured the 29-year-old for the base price of ₹50 lakh, where he featured in only one game during the 2023 season. Shepherd’s IPL stats include four games, scoring 58 runs and picking up three wickets at an economy rate of 10.89.