The Ambani co-owned Mumbai Indians (MI) are the most successful franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
They have won four IPL titles so far, with championship wins in every alternate season since 2013.
This season, the Rohit Sharma-led side’s primary challenge will be to successfully defend their title, which they haven’t thus far.
Recently, India legend, Sunil Gavaskar, picked the playing XI for MI which will take part in the tournament opener against arch-rival, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and after that.
“Mumbai Indians have won the IPL 4 times which means that they know how to come out of difficult situations. Therefore, I feel MI shouldn’t find it too difficult to win the championship again this year,” Gavaskar told India Today.
Gavaskar reckoned that experience is the key for MI this season. During the interaction, the legendary Mumbai cricketer also heaped praises on MI’s auction strategy.
Ishan Kishan at No.4, Rohit to open: Gavaskar
“What they don’t have are experienced spinners like other teams. And another area of concern is the middle order, they have to think hard about who will bat for them at No.4 and 5. If Quinton de Kock plays then he will open the innings with either Rohit Sharma or Suryakumar Yadav. But who will bat at No.4?” the cricketer-turned-commentator added.
Further, Gavaskar opined that the best position for Ishan Kishan to bat is at number four. He suggested that MI can even look at promoting Hardik Pandya up the order.
According to Gavaskar, a suitable number for the West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard is number five. Pollard is coming off a triumphant campaign in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2020, with the victorious Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR).
‘Sunny’ even gave the green-signal to MI’s new recruit Sherfane Rutherford in the playing XI. The 71-year-old made room for Australia’s white-ball specialist Nathan Coulter-Nile in his lineup for MI.
The conditions on offer in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is more likely to assist the spinners and make stroke-making difficult. Gavaskar reckoned that a total of 160-180 would be a match-winning one in IPL 2020.
The cash-rich league will be graced by the presence of Gavaskar, who’d voice his opinion on the mic as a part of the elite English commentary panel of IPL.
Here’s Gavaskar’s playing XI for MI:
Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Mitchell McClenaghan/Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.