The most successful team in the Indian Premier League, winning the competition a whopping 5 times since its inception. Once again the Mumbai franchise heads into the 14th edition of IPL as one of the stronger teams, hoping to be the first team to win the title three years in a row. They have continued to stick with their big-name players and not have lost the knack to find gems among the players.
Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah are some of the present International superstars who were discovered through the Mumbai Indians. That trend continues, as Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav are the new names to be added to the list. With having established players in every slot in their team, they headed into this year's auction having the need to fill up the slots with few decent backup options.
Let's take a look at the players expected to take the field as Mumbai Indians starting XI.
Quinton de Kock
Never having put a foot wrong, the South African skipper has always been a reliable opener for the Mumbai Indians. The left-handed batsman likes to take the attack to the bowlers from the get-go, giving them very little time to settle. In the last edition of IPL, he scored 503 runs from 16 matches at a very good strike rate of 140.50. Showing consistency season after season, this year looks no different.
Indian stalwart, Rohit Sharma is one of the few players in the world who can determine the fate of a match single-handedly. Batting with utmost grace and fluency, he is also the most successful skipper in the IPL winning the trophy five times. He would be looking to up his gear on a personal level this time around having scored only 332 runs from 12 matches last year.
He was one of the finds of last season, as he was able to really turn up with his performances. His attacking instincts are of top-notch quality giving him the ability to smash the opposition bowling and make sure the run rate is on a high. Recently having been called up to the national team, the young batsman once again showed his attacking nature and is a great asset to the Mumbai team.
A batsman who has stood up and taken responsibility, not succumbing to pressure. Suryakumar Yadav has reveled in his role in the Mumbai Indians team as a game-changer. Having the ability to switch gears at ease, he can patiently build the innings or clear the boundary all around the park with ease. With the presence of mind to be unfazed at any situation, he is a big-game player for the Mumbai Indians.
The Indian all-rounder breeds confidence and holds an immense amount of self-belief in his abilities. Hardik Pandya can cause serious dents to the opposition team in both the batting and bowling phases of the game. As an explosive hitter, a fast-bowling all-rounder, and a tremendous fielder, He will continue to be a crucial piece to the Mumbai franchise.
A game-changer in his own rights, the West Indian all-rounder possesses the unique ability to bat the opposition out of contention. Having made a name for himself with his performances using both bat and ball, he is a pivotal part of the backbone of this Mumbai side. Also adding in his exceptional fielding skills, the batsman has to take utmost care to put the ball past him.
The one-half of the Pandya brothers, Krunal Pandya adds to the plethora of all-rounders in the Mumbai lineup. Offering spin variation with his bowling adds to a different option up the skipper’s sleeve. Also providing decent performances with the bat, he adds to the Mumbai firepower, scoring at a strike rate of 178.98 last year alone. Another important player in both facets of the game.
The main spinner of this Mumbai lineup. Rahul Chahar is an intelligent leg spinner who can get the job done for his team. Often used in the power play, he has proven a skillful player for his captain. Often showing flashes of great talent, the IPL has set its stage as an opportunity for the youngster to explore. For a team with exceptional fast bowlers, the presence of Chahar brings something different to the table.
The Australian player plays a supporting role in the main pace bowling cast in the Mumbai Indians lineup. With the ability to trouble the batsman with his pace and steep bounders, the bowler makes sure there is no drop in quality of pressure the opposition batsmen face. Also being able to tonk a few sixes at will, he adds decent firepower to the tail-enders.
India’s leading pace bowler, the owner of a unique bowling action means that opposition batsmen are always going to struggle against this bowler. Often opening the bowling innings with the new ball, he is one-half of the destructive opening pair. Also being an exceptional death bowler ensure runs come at a premium against him in the final overs.
Forming the perfect new ball opening pair in the IPL alongside Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult can wreak havoc among opposition batsmen. Picking up 25 wickets from 16 matches last year alone, he is one the leading pace bowlers in the completion adds to senior Internationals in the squad who brings in a wealth of experience. Furthermore, being a good fielder, he adds to the strength of the fielding unit.
Team rating: 8.74/10
With a strong group of players capable of making a difference in every department of the game, Mumbai Indians will remain bullish on their chances and are the favorites for the latest edition of the Indian Premier League. It would take something special to stop this juggernaut of a team, but if there's one place you can expect it. It is in the Indian Premier League.
Let us know your comments about the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who do you think are their top performers and how far in the tournament do you think they will go. Also, do read Cricwizz's picks on the top 5 MI players to watch out for in this upcoming season of IPL.