IPL 2020: 3 ways Mumbai Indians could line up next season
With four IPL titles to their name, Mumbai Indians are the most successful team in IPL history, short as it may be. The franchise, based in India's financial capital and bankrolled by one of the country's most influential and wealthy families has always been a hotbed of talent and success.
Despite only winning their first title in 2013, the Mumbai Indians have caught up to the Chennai Super Kings, and, some would say, surpassed them in record time. Currently the defending champions as well, Mumbai have consistently had one of the most formidable squads in the tournament, a trend which has continued this year with a few savvy trades and smart auction buys. So, let's have a look at how they could line up in 2020.
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The First Choice XI
To start off, we can hazard a guess as to what the most settled line-up will be for Mumbai. It is fairly likely that they will plump for the above combination, which gives them seven batsmen and seven bowlers with variety, as well as two wicketkeeping options.
Captain Rohit Sharma's best position is undoubtedly at the top of the order, alongside South African keeper Quinton de Kock. Following them are two fantastic domestic talents, who have showcased their skills in the IPL previously, in Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. The firepower in the line-up is provided by the next three batsmen; Kieron Pollard, and the two Pandya brothers, Krunal and Hardik. It also helps that all three of these players are effective with ball in hand as well.
In the bowling department, the attack is likely to be led by Jasprit Bumrah, arguably the world's best T20 bowler at present. Supporting him will be Lasith Malinga, who needs no introduction given his legendary status in the game and Trent Boult, acquired in a trade deal with Delhi Capitals, who is an astute signing, and a definite upgrade on compatriot Mitchell McClenaghan. The last player in this XI is likely to be leggie Rahul Chahar, cousin of CSK's Deepak, who will bowl in tandem with the left-arm spin of Krunal Pandya.
Batting the Opposition Out of the Game
Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah.
It is often said that bowlers will win you more games than batsmen and that is especially true of Mumbai, given the fact that their home stadium, Wankhede, is a batting paradise, so don't expect to see this team being put out too often. However, there is a slight possibility this could happen, given the strength of this line-up.
The openers remain the same as before, with Rohit and de Kock perhaps playing with a bit more freedom given the talent to follow. At number 3 is Chris Lynn, picked up at this year's auction, who doesn't have the best IPL record, but can be devastating on his day.
Following him are Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, as before and the finishers are the same as well; Pollard and the Pandyas. However, the addition of Nathan Coulter-Nile ensures that this team will bat till number nine, and the man at that position is no mug with the bat, his 92 against the West Indies in the 2019 World Cup still fresh in the memory.
The bowling may look slightly weaker, but is still dangerous. Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Coulter-Nile form the seam quartet, although only Bumrah and Coulter-Nile can be described as express pace, while the spin attack is the same, with Chahar and Krunal.
The Pace Battery
Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Aditya Tare, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga.
Alternatively, Mumbai could go with a bowling attack that would make opposition batsmen positively quake in their boots. If this line-up is ever used by MI, it could be absolute carnage for the stumps, and could really help the team boost thier net run rate.
Rohit Sharma continues in the opening slot, but is now accompanied by Ishan Kishan, who has played this role with aplomb for his domestic side. Suryakumar Yadav thus moves back to the number 3 slot and is followed at number 4 by local boy and man-for-all-seasons Aditya Tare, who is extremely useful in his own right. Numbers 5, 6 and 7 have a familiar look to them; Pollard, Pandya, Pandya.
However, the really exciting bit in this XI is the last 4 players; Mitchell McClenaghan, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga. This attack is perhaps the most devastating that any team in this year's tournament could hope to have.
There is a sense of variety here, with the left-handedness of the Kiwi duo, the slinging action of the Sri Lankan veteran and the deceptiveness of India's star bowler. Between the four of them, this bowling attack could wreak havoc on opposition batters and have them running for cover.Modified 13 Jan 2020, 15:56 IST