On paper, the Mumbai Indians (MI) have the most stacked roster among all Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises. And amazingly, they've been able to translate the potential of the players at their disposal into a period of consistent success.
With five IPL titles and two in the last two seasons, Rohit Sharma's men have solidified their standing as the greatest franchise in the history of the league. Their stellar run in the IPL is set to continue this year, which will be the last season before the mega-auction.
MI have a roster brimming with talent and experience, and a few great T20 players are invariably going to find themselves on the bench.
MI's squad for IPL 2021: Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Mohsin Khan, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, Marco Jansen, Yudhvir Singh, James Neesham, Arjun Tendulkar
Here are 3 quality MI players who might not get a game in IPL 2021.
#3 Piyush Chawla
Although his stock in the IPL has been falling steadily over the last few years, Piyush Chawla is one of the most successful bowlers the league has ever seen. Boasting of immense experience and skill, the leg-spinner is on the back of a poor campaign with the Chennai Super Kings.
But it's important to realise that most spinners struggled in the UAE last year, and barring a few bad deliveries here and there, Chawla showed he has a lot left in the tank. MI snapped him up in the IPL 2021 auction, and the purchase was extremely smart even if they only intend to use him as a backup option.
After all, Rahul Chahar has been the team's lead spinner for two seasons now. The youngster even played a couple of T20Is in the recently concluded series against England, and is the future of not only MI but the Indian team as well.
With Jayant Yadav and Krunal Pandya also in the mix, it's unlikely that Chawla gets a game in IPL 2021.
#2 Jimmy Neesham
Another smart signing by MI in the IPL 2021 auction, Jimmy Neesham may not be needed simply because of the wealth of all-rounders at the team's disposal. Apart from the Pandya brothers, Kieron Pollard and Nathan Coulter-Nile are ready to contribute in both departments.
MI have an extremely deep batting lineup, and they can afford to play two overseas pacers. One of them will be Trent Boult, while the other candidates are Neesham, Coulter-Nile and Milne. Milne adds an extra dimension to the bowling attack with his express pace, while Coulter-Nile played a few games for MI last year and has a keen understanding of the team's plans and strategies.
As a result, we could see Neesham relegated to the bench for the entirety of IPL 2021.
#1 Chris Lynn
A player who carried the drinks throughout IPL 2020, Chris Lynn is set for another spell on the sidelines this year. The aggressive opener seemed like he'd get a run in the playing XI when Quinton de Kock encountered a rough patch, but the MI management placed their trust in the South African and he delivered.
De Kock and captain Rohit Sharma are one of the best opening pairs in IPL history, while young Ishan Kishan was splendid at the top of the order for the 5-time champions in the previous season.
Lynn is one of the most destructive batsmen in the world on his day, but it's tough to see him figure in the MI playing XI during IPL 2021.