Mumbai Indians is one of the most successful teams of IPL. The franchise took time to settle down under the leadership of Sachin Tendulkar, Shaun Pollock, and Harbhajan Singh but once they got the grip on the game, the team stood as the winner of the tournament thrice since 2013. The team sailed towards the title victory under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma.
The fan following and admiration for Mumbai Indians grew ten folded with the entry of Rohit Sharma as the skipper and his career graph grew as well. Hence, the franchise retained the captain Rohit Sharma and the core players of the team in the IPL auctions. Another exciting thing with Rohit Sharma is, he is the only player who won four titles as a captain. In 2009, the Deccan Chargers won the title under his leadership.
Rohit Sharma was surrounded by a group of prominent players like Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, and Pandya brothers. He did his job of maintaining the balance of the team at an exceptional level. Though Pollard was inconsistent in the initial years, he can be entrusted as the match winner.
Famous commentator Harsha Bhogle said that ”They (Mumbai Indians) believe Pollard cannot be seen in any shirt other than blue.”
Players like Bumrah and Pollard were selected on the grounds of their good form but the likes of pacer Malinga were replaced by Mustafizur Rahman. Bumrah, Pollard and Pat Cummins can be entrusted with the fast bowling department. Pacer Mc Clenaghan and Pradip Sangwan can be considered as the backup players. The only drawback with the pace bowling department of the team is, over-dependence on Jasprit Bumrah. Though he is an accurate bowler, he has only two years of international cricketing experience.
Coming to the spinners, Krunal Pandya is one of the match winners for the team. But lack of a wrist-spinner is one of the threats facing the team. Underperformers like Siddhesh Lad and Akila Dananjaya made the team inconsistent when spin bowling department is considered. There is an unwritten tradition of including one or two wrist spinners in every team in the world class cricket. The franchise seems to break this tradition.
Rohit Sharma may opt to open the game along with Evin Lewis. The team always falls in short of efficient openers minus Rohit Sharma. JP Duminy and Krunal Pandya can be considered as the men with X-factor to win the match single-handedly. Pollard can be entrusted as a good match finisher in the lower order. Ishan Kishan, Tajinder Dhillon, and Surya Kumar Yadav may come to bat in the middle-order. Ben Cutting can be considered as a backup batsman.
The Mumbai Indians has a good set of core players but have to work on lower order batsman and spin bowling department to keep up the IPL title.
Likely playing XI
Rohit Sharma(captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Akila Dananjaya,Pat Cummins, Siddhesh Lad/Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya/Suryakumar Yadav, Mustafizur Rahman,Rahul Chahar, and Evin Lewis