Mumbai Indians (MI) is the most successful franchise in the popular Indian Premier League (IPL), having won as many as four titles, which is the maximum by any side. They won the 2019 edition of IPL by defeating another triumphant team Chennai Super Kings.
The Mumbai-based team has been efficacious in producing excellent results. The biggest strength of MI is that they have a combination of young and experienced cricketers. They are quite loyal towards their players, which helps them to perform at crucial stages. That’s the reason MI have retained their star players like Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Quinton de Kock, and Mitchell McClenaghan.
The Rohit Sharma-led side didn’t make any significant changes in their squad. In the 2020 auctions, Mumbai picked up two Australians – Chris Lynn (INR 2 cr) and Nathan Coulter-Nile (INR 8 cr).
Apart from the Aussies, MI have also bought Saurabh Tiwary (INR 50 lakh), Mohsin Khan (INR 20 lakh), Digvijay Deshmukh (INR 20 lakh), Balwant Rai Singh (INR 20 lakh). Whereas, Dhawal Kulkarni, Sherfane Rutherford, and Trent Boult were included in the squad via trade window.
Now, let’s have a look at the best playing XI for the Mumbai Indians team in the upcoming IPL season:
Just like the previous season, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock will open the innings. Rohit has incredible numbers to his name in the IPL. He’s the third-highest run-scorer (4398) in the lucrative league after Virat Kohli (5412) and Suresh Raina (5368).
In the last season, Rohit scored 405 runs in 15 games. De Kock, on the other hand, also had a tremendous 2019 edition. In 16 matches, the left-hander-smashed 529 runs at a strike-rate of 132.91 with four half-centuries. Overall, the wicket-keeper batsman has clubbed 1456 runs in 50 games.
Mumbai’s latest inclusion Chris Lynn will bat at No.3. There is no doubt that Lynn has every potential to take the game away from the opposition, and more importantly, he’s in superb form. He had a phenomenal T10 tournament in Abu Dhabi. With an average of 53.00 and a strike rate of 236.30, Lynn dominated the entire T10 2019 season and scored 371 runs with four fifties.
In the last season of the IPL, the 29-year-old scored 405 runs in 13 games. In the recently concluded Big Bash League (BBL), Lynn smashed 387 runs in 14 matches.
Suryakumar Yadav, who usually bats after the fall of the first wicket in MI, will play at No.4 due to Lynn’s addition in the squad. The local player has been in good touch for the past couple of years. In the 2019-20 season of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Yadav scored 392 runs in 11 games with an outstanding average of 56. The 29-year-old had a pretty good outing in the last season of the IPL as well. In 16 matches, he slammed 424 runs with a strike-rate of 130.
Hardik Pandya, who is out of competitive cricket due to a back injury, is currently recovering, and there is a possibility that he will return to the squad before the cash-rich league begins. Pandya has been a valuable asset for the Mumbai team. He single handedly turns the game with the all-round performances.
Pandya is a big hitter and bowls well in the middle overs. One can’t forget his knock when he took Mumbai to victory with a quick-fire eight ball 21 against CSK in the league stage last year.
In the 2019 season, Pandya scored 402 runs with a mind-boggling strike-rate of 191.42. Overall, he has played 66 games and clubbed 1068 runs.
West Indies’ hunk Kieron Pollard is arguably one of the most gifted players in the shortest format of the game. He can bowl at crucial stages, hits gigantic sixes, and spellbind the fans with his spine-tingling efforts in the outfield. No wonder the Mumbai team always retains this exceptional cricketer.
In IPL, Pollard has scored 2755 runs – sixth most by an overseas player. In the T20s overall, the 32-year-old has accumulated 9966 runs in 499 games. He will bat at No.6 in the upcoming season of the cash-rich league.
Just like Pandya, his elder brother Krunal is also a precious property in the Mumbai squad. This will be his fifth season with MI. In 55 games, Krunal has scored 891 runs with an impressive strike-rate of 146-plus. He has also taken 40 wickets in the exciting tournament. Krunal has the ability to break partnerships. He’s a terrific fielder as well.
Apart from Krunal, Mumbai requires a specialist spinner and to fill that gap they have a quality leg-spinner named Rahul Chahar. He has played 16 games so far in the IPL and has taken 15 wickets.
For the No.9 position, Mumbai has the option of trying out one of the traded players, Dhawal Kulkarni. He relies on his accuracy and seam movement to provide early breakthroughs.
Dhawal is a useful lower-order batsman and has often shown the ability to add vital runs in the domestic circuit. In 90 games, the right-armer has grabbed 86 wickets with 4/14 being his best.
The responsibility of fast bowling will be carried by one of the biggest match-winners of Mumbai Indians’ naming Jasprit Bumrah. Being the frontline bowler in India’s national cricket team, Bumrah knows what it takes to help his side.
The right-armer is arguably the best-rated death bowler in the current cricket. He can bowl in the powerplay, middle-overs, and of course, in the slog overs with ease.
Bumrah has played 77 IPL matches and scalped 82 wickets. In the last season, the Ahmedabad-born player took 19 wickets in 16 games and finished at the third spot amongst Indian bowlers in the leading wicket-takers list after Deepak Chahar (22), and Shreyas Gopal (20).
The ace Sri Lankan bowler, Lasith Malinga, is currently the leading wicket-taker in both IPL and international T20s. In the lucrative league, the 36-year-old has taken 170 wickets in 122 matches. While, in 82 T20Is, Malinga has scalped 106 wickets.
Malinga is also the only bowler to touch 100-wickets figure in T20 internationals. Apart from the tally of wickets, the Galle-born cricketer has bowled the maximum maidens (8) in IPL amongst foreign bowlers. He will lead the bowling of Mumbai Indians.
Here’s Mumbai Indians’ best XI for IPL 2020:
Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Dhawal Kulkarni, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.
Full MI squad for IPL 2020:
Rohit Sharma, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Aditya Tare.