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'Hardik For Green Is A Strange Swap' -  Ashwin Opens Up On MI's Big IPL Trade

image-lpjpml84Hardik Pandya in MI colours (X.com)

Amidst numerous speculations around Hardik Pandya’s possible reunification with his former franchise, the all-rounder finally put all the speculations to rest by joining MI (Mumbai Indians) last Sunday. Prior to the transfer, Hardik had spent two seasons with GT (Gujarat Titans) and had a tremendous amount of success as a skipper leading them to their maiden IPL title in 2022 while finishing as runners-up in the 2023 edition.

But in order to accommodate the heavyweight all-rounder, MI let go of Australian all-rounder Cameron Green, who was eventually traded to RCB for INR 17.5 crore. Upon hearing the news of Green’s transfer to RCB to fit Pandya into the squad, Ravi Ashwin confessed that he was baffled by Mumbai’s decision and called it an "RKO out of nowhere".

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ashwin does not consider it to be a like-for-like replacement. The three-format specialist spinner strongly feels that MI have struck a golden deal by roping in Hardik, who has grown in leaps and bounds as a captain in recent times. Whereas Green, on the other hand, despite being a very strong player has yet to make a lot of credible gains in his overall cricketing career.

“Green has left Mumbai Indians for RCB. It is a straight swap. Mumbai Indians have cleared their purse. Hardik for Green is a strange swap. They have money for one spinner and one overseas fast bowler and it is pretty much clear for Mumbai. It's done and dusted. They have landed gold. I mean it is not even a like-to-like because MI have got the Indian T20 captain who has won an IPL and came runner-up in 2023. Basically he went to GT, became a leader, got an MBA degree and came back home.”

Green featured in 16 games for his Mumbai-based franchise last year and notched up one unbeaten century and two half-centuries. While with the ball in hand, Green accounted for six scalps. Ashwin believes that the return of Hardik makes Mumbai Indians appear well-prepared even before the much-anticipated auction due to take place in Dubai next month.

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