IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians Squad Analysis
It was a tough season for the Mumbai Indians, one of the most successful sides in the Indian Premier League, in 2018. Their problems mainly revolved around the poor form of some of their top players. However, this season, MI fans will hope that their favourite team will be back to playing the brand of cricket that they are known for and clinch the trophy again.
The Mumbai Indians went into the auctions in December with an eye on a few quality pacers as well as spin bowling options. This is because most of the overseas pace bowling stock were released ahead of the auctions and the remaining unit needed a much-needed boost of proven match winners.
The spin department, which was more or less led by Mayank Markande and Krunal Pandya last season, also was a bit of a concern for the team since Markande became predictable as the tournament progressed and hence became ineffective while Krunal Pandya was hot and cold with the ball too.
Rohit Sharma’s worst season with the bat didn’t help MI’s cause last season either. However, with last year done and dusted, let’s have a look at the MI squad ahead of this season and their chances of winning the trophy in 2019.
Traditionally, Mumbai’s batting and their ability to play under pressure situations have been their biggest strength. This season too, the batting looks more or less well sorted on paper. While the top order has players like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Evin Lewis, who have done the job for the team on various occasions in the last season, the addition of Quinton de Kock, gives them another solid option at the top of the order.
The middle order also looks well settled with Rohit (if he bats in the middle order yet again) himself along with Yuvraj Singh, Kieron Pollard, and the Pandya brothers, all capable match winners, in the team.
For finishing touches, there is hardly anyone better than Hardik Pandya and Ben Cutting on their day. But MI will have to look for their ideal combination, given Lasith Malinga’s addition to the bowling attack along with Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, and Jason Behrendorff as the overseas seam bowling options.
Mumbai’s biggest concern could be the form of some of their key players. For instance, in a middle order which comprises of match winners, Yuvraj Singh and Kieron Pollard haven’t been in the kind of form that is expected from players of their stature and they will need to step up. A lot will depend on captain Rohit’s form too, who had a poor season with the bat last time.
Similarly, in the bowling department, even though the team has names like Malinga, their form will be critical in determining how far Mumbai can go this season. A lot of MI bowling will then have to depend on their spearhead; Jasprit Bumrah. The other seamers like McClenaghan and Behrendorff must also raise their form when the team needs them to perform.
It is the spin department which it seems at the moment, the weakest. With Krunal and Markande to lead the attack, if either of them gets injured or have a bad season, their back-ups Anukul Roy and Rahul Chahar lack the big stage experience.
A few of the budding Indian international cricketers have been products of the nurturing at the Mumbai Indians dugout. Be it the Pandya brothers or somebody like a Jasprit Bumrah, all these players have taken massive strides as players since the time they first played for the Mumbai Indians squad in the IPL. The trend could well continue this year with Kashmir sensation Rasikh Salam set to make his debut in the IPL.
Yuvraj Singh would feel at home under Rohit’s captaincy and a comfortable dugout full of his national teammates. He might not have got a better franchise to come back to form. Likewise, it could well be a season where Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Lasith Malinga could make their presence felt by powerful performances along with somebody like a Mayank Markande.
Apart from the form of some of their key players, the lack of bench strength, especially in the domestic bowling attack and spin department, is a major concern for the Mumbai Indians. Even the batsmen on the bench- the likes of Anmolpreet Singh and Siddhesh Lad (who happens to be the son of Rohit Sharma’s coach Dinesh Lad) are yet to make their debut in the Indian Premier League.
With the World Cup in view, a few of the regular MI players will get some rest at some point during the IPL and it could all be up to the emerging talents on how they own the big stage.
When Mumbai Indians are in full form, the IPL is much better, and the fans would be looking forward to a great season for the Mumbai Indians.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Yuvraj Singh, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, Evin Lewis, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Lasith Malinga, Barinder Sran, Pankaj Jaswal, Rasikh Dar, Anmolpreet Singh, Jason Behrendorff