IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians' SWOT analysis
Going into the 2018 IPL, defending IPL champions Mumbai Indians are one of the title favourites as they have a squad that is capable of repeating last year's feat. Ahead of the tournament, the Mumbai Indians' think-tank did a fantastic job in the IPL auction.
They retained Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya going into the auction where they used their Right-to-Match cards on Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard. Apart from that, they made some decent buys in the form of Evin Lewis, Ishan Kishan, Pat Cummins, Mustafizur Rahman etc.
With a good squad at their disposal, it won't be a surprise if Mumbai Indians manage to win the IPL yet again. Let us take a look at their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats ahead of the 2018 IPL season opener against Chennai Super Kings on April 7.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (C), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rehman, Pat Cummins, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, JP Duminy, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, Sharad Lumba, Siddesh Lad, Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dhananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, Nidheesh.
Mumbai Indians have one of the deadliest batting orders in the IPL. Imagine Evin Lewis and Ishan Kishan walking out to open the batting for the defending champions followed by the tournament's third highest run-scorer of all-time, Rohit Sharma, as well as Kieron Pollard, Suryakumar Yadav, the Pandya brothers. If needed, they have Pat Cummins and Rahul Chahar, who are capable of scoring runs down the order.
Though Mumbai Indians' bowling attack might not be as threatening as their batting, they have the most lethal death bowling combination in the tournament. Without a doubt, Jasprit Bumrah is the best death-over specialist at the moment and backing him will be Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman, who is slowly getting his rhythm back. We have seen what these two are capable of in the previous editions and them playing together will make life difficult for the opposition batsmen in the death overs.
No strangers to pressure
Thriving under pressure is something that is very important in T20s. And Mumbai Indians are no strangers when it comes to handling the pressure as their core players have been there before and it should not be an issue for them in the upcoming edition as well.