The opening encounter of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will witness defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) locking horns with arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on September 19.
The MI franchise has turned out to be the most successful one in the IPL. They won the most number of titles in the tournament’s history. The Rohit Sharma-led team has won four titles thus far.
They have won every alternate season since 2013. This time around, the Ambani-owned franchise has come up with a formidable squad boasting rich depths in all departments.
Today, let’s have a look at the ideal playing XI for MI:
Openers: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock
Looking at their woes at the top-order, MI bought the Aussie power-hitter, Chris Lynn, for this edition of IPL. Given Lynn’s form in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and the surfaces on offer in UAE, it is unlikely that Lynn will feature in the playing XI.
MI shelled out INR 2 crores for Lynn during the last auctions and retained Quinton de Kock. But, captain Rohit Sharma is expected to pair up with De Kock for an explosive opening alliance.
Middle-order: Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav
The middle-order would be boosted by the presence of Surya Kumar Yadav and youngster Ishan Kishan.
The Jharkhand cricketer has been rated highly by MI in the past. Kishan would hope that he can contribute with the bat consistently in the upcoming edition of IPL.
SK Yadav, on the other hand, has been efficient with the bat in the recent seasons of the IPL, even while facing the new ball.
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard
MI has displayed rich depth in the all-round department of-late and would be looking at the contributions from Pandya brothers.
On his day, Hardik can be the most destructive batsman in the world as well as provide breakthroughs with the ball.
Krunal’s spells would be pivotal for MI, given the nature of the surfaces on offer at UAE. Kieron Pollard, on the other hand, is coming off a successful stint in the CPL 2020, leading the unbeaten Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) to title victory.
The trio of Pandya brothers and Pollard have been the prized possession for MI in the past. They complete the all-round department for MI.
Bowlers: Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan
MI has the comfort of choosing from rich reserves of bowling potential in the squad. It should be a face-off between Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile for the first choice overseas seamer.
The MI will be devoid of the services of their talisman, Lasith Malinga, this year. Mitchell McClenaghan‘s variations shall prove handy for MI in the slow surfaces in UAE.
Rahul Chahar, in all likelihood, will pair up Krunal in the spin department. Coach Mahela Jayawardena has the option of experimenting with Jayant Yadav for the spinner’s role.
Jasprit Bumrah’s spell with the new ball as well as at the death will remain crucial for MI.
Here is MI’s ideal playing XI:
- Quinton de Kock – Matches: 50; Runs: 1456; Average: 30.33; 100’s: 1; 50’s: 10
- Rohit Sharma – Matches: 188; Runs: 4898; Average: 31.60; 100’s:1; 50’s: 36
- Ishan Kishan – Matches: 37; Runs: 695; Average: 21.06; 50’s: 3
- Suryakumar Yadav – Matches: 85; Runs: 1548; Average: 28.14; 50’s: 7
- Hardik Pandya – Matches: 66; Runs: 1068; 50’s: 3; Wickets: 42; Economy: 9.06
- Krunal Pandya – Matches: 55; Runs: 891; Average: 26.20; 50’s: 1; Wickets: 40; Economy: 7.16
- Kieron Pollard – Matches: 148; Runs: 2755; Average: 28.69; 50’s: 14; Wickets: 56; Economy: 8.85
- Trent Boult – Matches: 33; Wickets: 38; Best: 3/19; Economy: 8.78
- Mitchell McClenaghan – Matches: 56; Wickets: 71; Best: 4/21; Economy: 8.49
- Rahul Chahar – Matches: 16; Wickets: 15; Best: 3/19; Economy: 6.77
- Jasprit Bumrah – Matches: 77; Wickets: 82; Best: 3/7; Economy: 7.55