IPL 2020: Strongest probable playing XI for Mumbai Indians
- Mumbai Indians have one of the strongest squads in the IPL.
- Having strengthened their team even further, MI would be hoping to win their fifth IPL title.
Mumbai Indians (MI) are the most successful team in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), having won the title on four occasions, including last year. The defending champions will be hoping to retain the title in 2020.
Having strengthened their squad even further in the trading window and at the IPL auctions, MI are one of the favorites to hold aloft the trophy this year as well.
Mumbai Indians Squad for IPL 2020: Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton de Kock, Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anmolpreet Singh, Aditya Tare, Kieron Pollard, Sherfane Rutherford, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni, Lasith Malinga, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh
Besides having a potent first XI, Mumbai Indians also have capable backup options for almost every position in the team.
Keeping the above squad in mind, let us have a look at the best probable playing XI for the Mumbai Indians this year.
#1 Openers (Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock)
Rohit Sharma, who missed the ODI and Test series against New Zealand due to a calf injury, would like to lead from the front, both while batting and on the field. Having had a relatively poor IPL 2019 by his standards, he would hope to continue with the good form he has displayed at the international level both in the limited-overs and the Test format in recent times.
Quinton de Kock, who was one of the more successful MI batsmen last year, will like to continue in the same vein this year as well. He has been in terrific form in the recent South Africa-Australia limited-overs series, other than a couple of early dismissals against Mitchell Starc. He would be expected to give MI a flying start to ease the pressure on Rohit at the other end.
De Kock and Rohit form a perfect left-right hand combination that can give a headache to any bowling attack with their sublime strokeplay. The Mumbai-based team also have the option of using the swashbuckling Chris Lynn at the top of the order in case of any injuries or loss of form.
#2 Middle-Order (Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan)
The in-form Suryakumar Yadav will be expected to carry the momentum provided by the MI openers. SKY, as he likes to be called, has been in great form for Mumbai in the domestic circuit this season. He would like to carry the same momentum into the IPL where a good performance might just give flight to his ambitions of making it to the Indian T20I squad.
Ishan Kishan, who along with Rishabh Pant was considered as a possible replacement for MS Dhoni, seems to have fallen off the radar a little bit. Having had a poor IPL last year, he would like to atone for it this year and showcase his potential to the national selectors by providing the required solidity to the MI middle-order.
#3 All-rounders (Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya)
Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya had carried the bulk of the burden of the MI batting last year and they would like to continue with the same form this year as well. Pollard, whose hitting abilities seemed to be on a decline for a little while, seems to have got back his mojo, especially after taking over the captaincy of the West Indies limited-overs team. The added responsibility of captaincy seems to have brought the best out of him and he would like to shoulder the finisher's responsibility for MI as well.
Hardik, who is coming back from back surgery, would like to take it a little easy at the start of the league and slowly move into top gear, especially on the bowling front. He would like to continue with the same impact performances he had dished out for MI in the IPL last year, where he had a strike rate of above 190. The IPL would give him the perfect opportunity to test his fitness before the rigors of international cricket, especially with the T20 World Cup coming up later in the year.
Krunal Pandya, who did not have a great IPL last year, especially with the bat, would like to be back at his former best with both the bat and ball. Having fallen down the pecking order as a spin bowling all-rounder in the Indian team, this IPL provides him the perfect opportunity to come back into the reckoning.
#4 Bowlers (Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Trent Boult)
Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga will be leading the MI pace attack. Bumrah, the highest wicket-taker for India in T20Is, has come back recently from an injury layoff and was not at his best during India's tour of New Zealand. The IPL would present him with a perfect opportunity to test his fitness and polish his death-over skills.
Malinga, although not at his menacing best, is still one of the most feared bowlers in T20 cricket. The Sri Lankan, the highest wicket-taker in the history of the IPL, may have dropped his pace but he still has enough tricks up his sleeve to bamboozle the best of batsmen.
The Mumbai team have strengthened their pace bowling arsenal even further by trading in Trent Boult from the Delhi Capitals. Boult can prove to be the strike bowler for MI in the powerplay overs with his prodigious swing movement and it will also allow Rohit to keep more overs from Bumrah and Malinga at the death. The four-time champions also have excellent pace bowling backups in the form of Mitchell McClenaghan and Nathan Coulter-Nile in case the need arises.
Rahul Chahar will shoulder the spin bowler's responsibilities along with Krunal. The wily leg-spinner will provide the much-needed variety to the MI attack and will be the wicket-taking option in the middle overs. Having played just a single T20I for the Indian team, he would be looking forward to more opportunities if he can come up with a consistent performance in this edition of the IPL.
Published 23 Mar 2020, 11:55 IST