The great Indian cricket festival is well underway. Just 5 days into the IPL and we have already witnessed multiple last-over finishes, a Super Over, and a fair share of controversy to boot. While each year's IPL feels fresh and exciting, one aspect has appeared to remain the same: the Mumbai Indians' slow start.
Mumbai Indians came up short in their first match when they faced rivals Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener on 19th September. While they started off strong, Mumbai failed to accelerate at the back end of their innings and ultimately failed to defend their total of 162.
But along with slow starts, another staple of a Mumbai Indians campaign seems to be their ability to bounce back. Boasting arguably the strongest line-up among the 8 teams, Mumbai Indians will be desperate to get their playing 11 just right come match day. Here are the four ideal overseas players that would help them achieve that balance.
1. Kieron Pollard : IPL's MVP
If you have him, you play him. A modern great of the T20 format, Kieron Pollard will find an assured spot to play in any team he represents. What makes Kieron Pollard such a threat in the IPL is his contribution on three fronts.
Firstly, he has the ability to clear any ground with ease. He has also time and again proven that he is proficient in stabilizing an innings if the need arises. Secondly, wily right-arm medium deliveries from the 6'4 West Indian unsettles opposition batsmen enabling him to chip in with crucial overs.
Lastly, he is fresh off his successful captaincy stint with Trinidad Knight Riders who lifted the CPL trophy, in a tournament where they were unbeaten. This means that Pollard can be an integral part of the captaincy group of the Mumbai Indians and is responsible for making up the core of the team.
2. Quinton de Kock: A formidable IPL Opener
The 28-year-old Protean joined the Mumbai Indian outfit in IPL 2019. He complimented his captain Rohit Sharma perfectly at the top. Though Mumbai might be tempted to give Chris Lynn a chance, Quinton de Kock's IPL 2019 performance gives him the edge.
Amassing 529 runs at an average of 35.26, Quinton de Kock more often than provided a brisk start to his team. With his 33 off 20 balls in the tournament opener, Quinton de Kock showed that he was in good knack and would therefore be a sure starter come the second match against Kolkata Knight Riders.
3. James Pattinson: Introducing Raw Pace into the IPL
James Pattinson was brought into the IPL as a replacement for Lasith Malinga. In his debut match in the cash-rich league, the pacer did not disappoint.
James Pattinson is an Australian who constantly clocks in at high 140kph speeds. In his first match against CSK, he returned with figures of 27-1 in his four overs.
The Aussie trapped Murali Vijay in front in his very first over to give Mumbai Indians a leg-up in the competition. With him able to pitch in with a few handy runs with the bat down the order, he becomes an indispensable part of an already lethal Mumbai pace attack.
4. Trent Boult: Kiwi flavour in Mumbai's IPL Campaign
Trent Boult is the third prong in the trident that is the Mumbai Indian's pace attack. The left-arm quick was traded from Delhi Capitals ahead of IPl 2020. Known for troubling the batsmen with his reverse swing, Boult is the weapon the Mumbai Indians can reserve for the death overs.
Trent Boult returned with figures of 1-23 in 3.2 overs as he was one of the only bowlers that the Chennai Super Kings' batters struggled to put away. He also accounted for the big wicket of Shane Watson which enabled Mumbai Indians to considerably slow down Chennai Super Kings' chase.
With Bumrah having an off-day, Boult along with James Pattinson, ensured that Lasith Malinga's absence is not felt as they were miserly with their overs.
With the IPL in its nascent stage, Mumbai Indians will avoid impulsively dropping players after every match. Like all successful teams, they will aim to back their players to come good in the long run and stick with these quality players for the foreseeable future.
The IPL points table 2020 has been updated!! Click here to see.Published 23 Sep 2020, 13:50 IST