Over their time in the IPL, they have always had a good blend of youth and experience, and their squad for the upcoming edition of the tournament in the UAE is no different. They have a tried-and-tested combination that is set to take to the field, albeit in different conditions.
Players who might warm the MI bench in the 2020 IPL
As a result of the 4-time IPL champions' high standards on the field, many talented players find themselves without a guaranteed spot in the playing XI. Great T20 players like Glenn Maxwell and Jos Buttler didn't have a great time at MI, with opportunities few and far between.
Here are 3 quality MI players who could be benched for the entirety of the 2020 IPL.
#3 Sherfane Rutherford
In the 2019 IPL auction, the Delhi Capitals snapped up Sherfane Rutherford for 2 crores, and he played 7 games for the side without much success. In these games, the West Indian managed a highest score of 28, apart from picking up only 1 wicket at an economy rate of 8.63.
As a result, DC traded him away to MI in exchange for young leg-spinner Mayank Markande, who has since been traded to the Rajasthan Royals. Although Rutherford is young and has certainly been bought with an eye on the future, it is difficult to see the all-rounder making an appearance for Rohit Sharma's men.
The presence of two all-rounders in Kieron Pollard (although he doesn't roll his arm over very frequently nowadays) and Hardik Pandya, apart from the spin of Krunal Pandya, might see Rutherford warm the bench throughout the 2020 IPL.
The 22-year-old could, however, make a late run for a spot in the MI playing XI with good performances in the upcoming edition of the Caribbean Premier League for the Guyana Amazon Warriors.
#2 Nathan Coulter-Nile
Nathan Coulter-Nile hasn't been seen in the IPL since 2017, and his international career hasn't taken off as well despite playing for Australia in the 2019 World Cup. He last played in June 2019 for the Kangaroos, and has struggled with injuries and form.
In 26 games in the IPL, he's scored 719 runs and and picked up 36 wickets, which are decent returns from someone who's never consistently been in the team. But much like Rutherford, the presence of other all-rounders and foreign players means that Coulter-Nile probably won't get a game.
The 32-year-old fetched a massive price of 8 crores in the 2020 IPL auction, but despite his price indicating that MI have plans for him, he might be nothing more than a backup option. Trent Boult and Lasith Malinga will be ahead of him in the pecking order, and even the man who is #1 on this list might be preferred to Coulter-Nile.
#1 Mitchell McClenaghan
Mitchell McClenaghan has been one of MI's most underrated players in the IPL, but he has slowly seen the number of games that he gets in a season reduce. After picking up 18, 17, and 19 wickets in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 seasons of the IPL respectively, he shockingly went unsold in the 2018 auction before returning to the Wankhede Stadium as a replacement for the injured Jason Behrendorff.
McClenaghan played 11 games that season, his lowest in an IPL campaign, before featuring in only 5 matches in last year's campaign. The acquisition of Trent Boult further complicates matters for the Kiwi, who is now past his prime at 34 years old.
Even if Boult doesn't have the impact that is expected of him, MI can call upon the services of 2019 IPL final hero Lasith Malinga, who is the leading-wicket taker in the history of the league. It wouldn't be surprising if McClenaghan warms the bench for MI, despite his consistent performances for the team in the past.