Mumbai Indians did not make a good start to IPL 2021 as they were based out of Chennai, where the slow and sluggish pitches did not suit their free-stroking batsmen. However, things changed for them when the caravan moved to Delhi and Mumbai Indians slowly began to find their groove.
After an indifferent start to their campaign, the defending champions got their team combination right. When the season got suspended, they were placed in fourth position with four wins and three losses.
While in Chennai, their spinners proved to be the brightest sparks with Rahul Chahar emerging as a match-winner. The leg spinner has been named in India's squad for the T20 World Cup and Mumbai Indians will hope he continues to impress in the second phase.
On that note, here we take a look at the top three bowlers for Mumbai Indians in the first phase:
#1 Rahul Chahar
The leg-spinner has emerged as Mumbai Indians' primary spinner and has repaid the faith of the management in his brief IPL career so far. By the time the season was called off, he had picked up 11 wickets in seven matches at an average of 18.36 and with an economy rate of 7.21.
Chahar was often used in the powerplay overs and, more often than not, he picked up crucial wickets. Now, as the season shifts to the UAE, the Mumbai Indians will hope the young spinner goes on to become one of the leading wicket-takers in the league. His performances here will be closely monitored as it can determine if he plays in India's final XI in their World Cup campaign.
#2 Trent Boult
The Kiwi bowler has been a brilliant addition to the Mumbai Indians ranks. In 2020, he was one of the leading wicket-takers in the powerplay overs and his wickets up front with the new ball set the tone perfectly. Boult combined beautifully with Jasprit Bumrah and they formed perhaps the most potent new-ball attack in the IPL.
In seven innings in the first phase of IPL 2021, Boult picked up eight wickets at an average of 27.87 with an economy rate of 8.46. Although wickets with the new balls were not as frequent, he controlled the pace of scoring that applied a lot of pressure on the opposition.
Rohit Sharma gave the ball to him whenever he needed wickets or wanted to control the flow of runs and he delivered on most occasions. He remains a potent option for Mumbai Indians. How the defending champions fare this season will be hugely dependent on how Boult goes about his business.
Check out the IPL 2021 time table here.
#3 Jasprit Bumrah
Perhaps the most in-form bowler in the world at the moment, Jasprit Bumrah was irresistible in the series against England. After an indifferent match in the World Test Championship final, Bumrah bounced back in the Test series against England.
In the first season of the IPL, Bumrah picked up seven wickets in six matches. Although he was not in the best of forms, he was solid for Mumbai Indians. However, Bumrah will now be a changed bowler after his superb series against England where he picked up 18 wickets in seven matches. He will undoubtedly be one of the key men for Mumbai Indians in the UAE.