Mumbai Indians boast of some of the best cricketers in the world in Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Quinton de Kock. They have also had legends of the game like Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya turn out for them in the blue and gold.
Mumbai Indians' underrated IPL stars
However, various lesser-known players have also made a significant impact at the Wankhede Stadium.
Cricketers like Mayank Markande, Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar have shot into the limelight due to their performances for the Mumbai Indians. The contributions of these cricketers have been absolutely crucial to the Maharashtra franchise's dominance in the lucrative league.
In this article, we take a look at the three most underrated players in Mumbai Indians history.
#1 Lendl Simmons
Lendl Simmons perhaps isn't as flashy as his West Indian countrymen, but he didn't get anywhere near the recognition he deserved when he played for the Mumbai Indians. The opener amassed over 1000 runs for the team at a superb average of 39.96.
Over the course of his four seasons at the franchise, the right-hander's runs came at a strike rate of 126.64 and he scored 11 fifties and 1 hundred. Simmons was not as technically gifted as the other prominent Mumbai Indians batsmen, but made up for it with excellent hand-eye coordination and the unmistakable Caribbean flair.
In the final of IPL 2015 against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), he scored a vital 68 off 45 balls to help his team post an imposing total of 202. The score proved to be too much for CSK, who succumbed to a 41-run defeat.
Simmons played many valuable innings for MI, but was surprisingly not retained after a victorious IPL 2017 campaign.
#2 Suryakumar Yadav
India have tried Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Vijay Shankar, Ambati Rayudu and many more players at the infamous number four spot and the fact that Suryakumar Yadav hasn't been given a go is baffling to say the least.
He has all the makings of a solid middle order batsman. Yadav is an excellent player of spin, is adept at rotating strike, and has the ability to shift gears when required. Moreover, he has excelled for the Mumbai Indians in the world's most prestigious franchise tournament.
Signed by the Mumbai Indians after a breathtaking innings against them in IPL 2015, Yadav has exceeded expectations at the 4-time IPL champions.
He is just shy of a 1000 runs for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, and has an average of 33.43 at a healthy strike rate of 131.46. The right-hander has also scored 6 fifties, which is impressive considering that he is very often used as a floater in the middle order.
Suryakumar Yadav is 29 years old and time is fast running out for him to stake a claim for a place in the Indian team. He has frequently stated that he would like to bat higher up the order and after his consistency in the IPL, he should certainly be given an opportunity.
#3 Mitchell McClenaghan
Mitchell McClenaghan was bought for just 30 lakhs in the IPL Auction in 2015 and has set the league on fire ever since. He has played 56 games for the Mumbai Indians, and has taken a staggering 71 wickets at an average of 25.39.
After he went unsold in the 2018 season, it seemed like his IPL career was over. But the quick was brought back into the Mumbai Indians' fold as a replacement for the injured Jason Behrendorff and has played vital roles in their title-winning campaigns.
The Kiwi does go for runs occasionally but picks up crucial wickets at regular intervals. Being a left-armer, he also adds some much-needed variety to a Mumbai Indians bowling attack that comprises of Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga.
McClenaghan has excelled on the international stage as well and has picked up 82 wickets in the 48 ODIs he has been part of. However, the stacked Blackcaps pace attack, that has fellow southpaw Trent Boult, has kept him out of the national ODI setup since 2016.
McClenaghan is underrated not only for the Mumbai Indians but for his national team as well.