After struggling in their initial years, despite having legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya and Shaun Pollock, Mumbai Indians regrouped in sensational fashion, and is now the most successful franchise in the Indian Premier League. It is the only side in the history of the T20 tournament to have lifted the trophy on four occasions - 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. They also won the now defunct Champions League T20 twice, in 2011 and 2013.
One of the key reasons behind Mumbai Indians’ stupendous success over the last few years has been the fact that they have identified a core group of players, and have backed their talents to the hilt, even as some other franchises have kept changing their squads frequently. MI’s move has paid dividend as they attained a level of consistency only Chennai Super Kings, among other teams, have managed.
As Mumbai Indians prepare to defend their title in IPL 2020, we have compiled MI’s team of the decade (2010-2019).
Openers: Rohit Sharma (captain) and Lendl Simmons
Rohit Sharma as captain and opener of Mumbai Indians is a straightforward choice. With Rohit at the helm, Mumbai have raised their game to a completely different level, which has translated into an IPL record of four titles. His calm and collected captaincy has won him a lot of admirers over the years.
In MI’s title win in 2013, he amassed 538 runs at a strike rate of 131.54. He was the man-of-the-match in the 2015 IPL final, smashing 50 from 26 balls against CSK. He scored over 400 runs in the 2019 edition as well. Having been part of the team since 2011, he has amassed 4,001 at a strike rate of 130.62, with one hundred and 29 fifties..
Rohit will be partnered by West Indies big-hitter Lendl Simmons at the top of the order. India have seen the best of Simmons in the 2016 World T20 semi-final as well as in the recent T20I series. But, it was with MI that he first made a significant impact. He was the leading run-scorer for Mumbai Indians in the 2015 edition with 540 runs in 13 games, including six fifties. Simmons was the top-scorer in the 2015 final, with 68 from 45 balls.
He smashed a memorable 100 not out off 61 balls against Kings XI Punjab in the 2014 edition. Simmons represented Mumbai Indians from 2014-2017, and scored 1,175 runs at a strike rate of 125.80, with one hundred and 12 fifties.
Middle-order: Suryakumar Yadav, Ambati Rayudu, and Quinton de Kock (wicket-keeper)
The dashing Suryakumar Yadav has been consistency personified for Mumbai, constantly coming up with the goods. Having first played for MI in 2011, he only found his groove in recent years. In 31 matches in the decade, Yadav has 936 runs to his credit at a strike rate of 131.41, with six fifties.
His best of 72 came off 47 balls in a losing cause against Rajasthan Royals in 2018. However, Yadav made a massive impression in the 2018 edition, with 512 runs in 14 games at a strike rate of 133.33. In Mumbai’s 2019 title triumph, he contributed 424 runs at a strike rate of 130.86, including 71 in Qualifier 1 against CSK.
With 2,635 runs from 136 games in the decade, Ambati Rayudu is the among the leading run-getters for Mumbai Indians. Rayudu, who has been controversy’s favourite child over the past few months, has 14 fifties to his credit, with a strike rate of 123.36. He scored 361 runs in the 2014 edition, 333 in 2012, 395 in 2011, and 356 in 2010. While, he was never outstanding, he was a highly consistent performer.
Although Quinton de Kock joined MI only in 2019, he made a massive impression with 529 in 16 games at a strike rate of 132.91. De Kock registered four fifties with a best of 81, and thus gets the wicket-keeper batsman’s slot ahead of Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel, who had played many more matches.
All-rounders: Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, and Krunal Pandya
All-rounders are the backbone of Mumbai Indians, and it is often because of them that the franchise has come out of many a tricky situation. The trio of Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya can be used as floaters in the batting order.
Pollard, the current West Indies skipper, has represented MI from 2010 to present, and has 3,258 runs in 170 matches at a strike rate of 146.49. He has 16 fifties to his name. Pollard smashed an unbeaten 41 from 25 in the 2019 final. He also starred in the 2013 final triumph, scoring an unbeaten 60 from 32. Pollard has 66 wickets to his name at a strike rate of 21.5, and is a brilliant fielder to boot.
As for the Pandya brothers, both can turn games with bat and ball. Having first represented Mumbai in 2015, Hardik has 1,068 runs to his name at a strike rate of 154.78, with three fifties. With the ball, he has claimed 42 wickets at a strike rate of 20.6. Hardik smashed 402 runs at an incredible strike rate of 191.42 in MI’s 2019 title triumph.
With his medium pace, he picked up 14 wickets at a strike rate of 18.21 in the same year. His arrival gave Mumbai the x-factor they were desperately seeking.
Krunal, on the other hand, has 891 runs in 55 games at at strike rate of 146.06, with one solitary fifty (2016-2019). He was the man of the match in the 2017 final for his 47 runs from 38 balls, and economical figures of 0 for 31. Krunal has claimed 40 wickets in IPL at a strike rate of 23.6.
He has contributed over 200 runs with the bat in each edition from 2016-2018, his primary job being that of getting quick runs at the end of an innings. With his left-arm spin, he claimed 12 wickets at a strike rate of 20.08 in 2018 edition, and as many in the 2019 edition.
Bowlers: Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, and Jasprit Bumrah
Mumbai Indians have arguably had the strongest bowling line-up in the T20 league. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has been a key component in the Mumbai bowling line-up. Harbhajan stood out in MI’s maiden 2013 triumph, with 24 wickets at a strike rate of 17.50, and claimed 18 scalps as Mumbai won again in 2015. He was among the leading wicket-takers in 2010 as well, with 17 wickets at a strike rate of 18.88.
His best of 5/18 came against Chennai Super Kings in the 2011 edition. Long after his India days were over, Harbhajan remained a match-winner for MI. In fact, he has a decent record with the bat as well. His best knock of 64 runs from 24 balls came in a losing cause against Kings XI Punjab in 2015.
The name Lasith Malinga is as synonymous with Mumbai Indians, as it is with Sri Lanka. He has been the leader of MI’s attack in the decade and his unplayable yorkers have felled many big names in IPL. Malinga has contributed significantly in most of MI’s title triumphs - 2/22 (2013), 2/25 (2015), 0/21 (2017). Although he was taken for 49 in the 2019 summit clash, it was Malinga who claimed the last wicket of Shardul Thakur as MI won by one run.
The Lankan legend has been among the leading wicket-takers in a number of editions. He won the Purple Cap in 2011, with 28 wickets at a strike rate of 13.5. Further, Malinga claimed 22 wickets in 2012, 20 in 2013, and 24 in 2015.
Much before he plied his trade with amazing success at the international level, Jasprit Bumrah made his name with some fantastic bowling efforts in the IPL. With his inimitable action and excellent accuracy, Bumrah has claimed 85 wickets in 80 games at a strike rate of 21.1 in seven seasons 2013 onwards. He and Malinga have made a formidable pairing for MI over the last five years. His big-match ability saw him winning the man-of-the-match in the 2019 final, with spectacular returns of 2 for 14 in his four overs.
Bumrah picked up 20 wickets at a strike rate of 17.80 in 2017, 17 in 2018, and 19 in 2019, as batsmen continue to struggle against him.