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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Mumbai Indians retain Rohit, Malinga, Pollard, Harbhajan and Rayudu

Mumbai Indians retain Rohit, Malinga, Pollard, Harbhajan and Rayudu

Last updated on: January 10, 2014 17:11 IST

Lasith MalingaThe franchise is expected to bid for Australia's pace sensation Mitchell Johnson in the auction on February 12 using the 'joker card', which will give them the first right of refusal.

IPL champions Mumbai Indians have retained captain Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu for the 2014 season of the cash-rich Twenty20 league.

The franchise was in a dilemma over retaining Malinga and Australia's pace sensation Mitchell Johnson, who was instrumental in the recent 5-0 whitewash of England, but ultimately decided to opt for the Sri Lankan pacer, who is with them since 2008.

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However, they are expected to bid for the left-arm Aussie in the auction on February 12 using the 'joker card', which will give them the first right of refusal.

Mumbai Indians' co-owner Mrs Nita Ambanisaid the formidable combination of Rohit, Pollard, Malinga, Bhajji and Rayudu forms the nucleus of the squad.

"They have exemplified the spirit of Mumbai Indians and are match-winners in their own right. With the retention of the core players, Mumbai Indians looks forward to build a stronger, well-knit team and share the joy of an enthralling and entertaining performance with its ever-growing fans in the coming season,” she added.

Rohit led Mumbai Indians to the ‘double' last season, as they also won the Champions League T20.

The most notable absentee from Mumbai’s line-up this year is Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from all forms of cricket last November after the two-Test series against the West Indies.

Chennai Super Kings is the only other franchise which has retained the maximum of five players as per the auction rules.

Image: Lasith Malinga

Photograph: BCCI