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IPL desk in Bengaluru 29 February 2012 - 05:57pm IST

Johnson adds to bowling options: Bhajji

MI disappointed to miss out on McCullum, Narine

Mumbai Indians offspinner, and title-winning captain of CLT20 2011, Harbhajan Singh said the team was delighted to acquire Australian all-rounder Mitchell Johnson (USD 300,000) at the IPL Player Auction 2012.

He, however, rued not being able to get New Zealand wicketkeeper batsman Brendon McCullum and West Indies offie Sunil Narine ahead of the 2012 season."I hope Mitchell is fit and he will play most of the matches for us,” Harbhajan said.

“Now, we have a lot of options. We were sitting till four in the morning discussing the players. Narine and McCullum got away but still we have a very good team."We had a set plan and we got the players we were looking for. I was a little tense initially. It was more intense than playing cricket," he said.

Johnson, who had decided to stay away from the IPL in 2008 to concentrate on his Test career, entered this year’s auction at a base price of USD 300,000, for which he was eventually bought by the Mumbai franchise.The 30-year-old Aussie fast bowler has been on the sidelines for a while, recuperating from a toe surgery he underwent in December 2011.

He is sure to sit out Australia’s tour to West Indies in March and April and hopes to make his international comeback on the back of a good IPL season.Johnson apart, Mumbai Indians also bought South African opening batsman Herschelle Gibbs (at his base price of USD 50,000) and left-arm orthodox spinner Robin Peterson for his base price of USD 100,000.Indian fast bowler RP Singh (base price USD 200,000) was bought by the side for USD 600,000.

RP was a key member of Deccan Chargers’ title-winning side in 2009, ending that tournament as the highest wicket-taker.MI fought hard with Kolkata Knight Riders for Narine and McCullum.

Narine, who had a base price of USD 50,000, was sold for a whooping USD 700,000 while McCullum went for USD 900,000. McCullum was a part of the Knight Riders for the three years before being bought by Kochi Tuskers for last year’s edition.

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