Mumbai Indians (MI) became the most successful franchise last year by clinching the championship title for the fourth time in the history of Indian Premier League (IPL). They did so by defeating their arch-rival, Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Under the astute leadership of Rohit Sharma, and armed with a vast reservoir of T20 specialists, MI would leave no stones unturned to successfully defend the IPL trophy this year.
MI have match-winners in every department of the game. On the batting front, they boast a terrific unit comprising swashbucklers like Rohit, Quinton de Kock and Suryakumar Yadav. At the same time, the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan and Trent Boult form the pace unit of the team.
In a build-up to the 2020 edition of the much-awaited T20 extravaganza, let’s have a look at the top 5 players who can help MI win the trophy for the second time in a row.
5. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya will be making a comeback after enduring a nagging back injury last year. He was supposed to return in an ODI series against South Africa earlier this year. But, the ongoing pandemic played a spoilsport.
Last season, Rohit Sharma-led side was heavily reliant on the hitting prowess of Pandya to pile up big totals. And, the Baroda all-rounder didn’t disappoint either. He finished the campaign with a whopping tally of 402 runs at a remarkable average of 44.66.
Pandya’s three-dimensional attributes would be very crucial for MI to defend their championship title successfully.
4. Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah’s craftsmanship in the death overs has single-handedly won numerous matches for MI. Bumrah will be shouldering a massive burden in the absence of his professor Lasith Malinga, who pulled out of the tournament owing to personal issues.
Irrespective of the conditions and circumstances, the paceman is adept enough of wreaking havoc with his timeless yorkers, slower ones and a plethora of other trickeries in his armoury.
Bumrah will be well assisted by the likes of Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan in the pace department.
3. Quinton de Kock
The experiment of pairing Quinton de Kock right at the top with Rohit Sharma reaped rich rewards for the franchise in 2019.
While Rohit used to anchor the innings, de Kock was licensed to carry no-holds-barred assault in the powerplay. The South African repaid the faith shown by team management as he ended up the campaign as the highest run-getter for MI.
The 27-year-old will be more than desperate to continue his purple patch this year as well.
2. Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard had a very forgetful campaign last year as he aggregated a paltry 279 runs in 18 matches. The 33-year-old repeatedly failed to play the kind of innings he is known for all over the world.
But, it would be too early to write him off. Pollard’s heroics in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) should ward off all such doubts. On slow, square turner pitches of Trinidad, where most of the batsmen had a horrible time, Pollard was an exception by a fine margin.
The Trinidadian would be hoping to repeat the same in the UAE.
1. Rohit Sharma
With a record four championship titles under his belt, Rohit Sharma has cemented his position among the most successful captains of the league. Sharma has mastered the art of leading from the front, and his game-reading ability is second to none.
However, in the past three seasons, Mumbaikar’s contribution as a batsman has plummeted drastically. His average hangs below 30 in the last three years, which is pretty dismal if one considers the sky-high standards he has set for himself.
Hitman finished the year 2019 as the leading run-scorer in ODI cricket, and 2020 hasn’t been much different for him in the international arena. Now, he would be hoping to replicate the same sort of performances in IPL 2020.