Ever since the inception of the Indian Premier League (IPL), one team that has stood out from the rest has been the Mumbai Indians (MI). After all, they are the record five-time IPL champions, having lifted the silverware in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and in 2020.
The Mumbai-based franchise has always had some of the best batters in the game in their ranks. From Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya in the early days to the likes of Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav in the last few seasons, MI's powerful batting group has been one of their strengths.
Although Mumbai's bowling group was the key to them winning five titles in the span of eight years, their batting unit has also been a fearsome one for over a decade now. Many MI batters have hunted in cohesion, leading them to notch up big partnerships in the IPL.
On that note, let's take a look at the top three biggest batting partnerships for MI in their IPL history.
#3 140 in 64 balls - Suryakumar Yadav and Nehal Wadhera (for the 3rd wicket) vs RCB, IPL 2023
The latest entrants on the list, Suryakumar Yadav and Nehal Wadhera, were in scintillating touch for their 140-run stand against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). They crafted this mega-partnership in Match 54 of IPL 2023, played on Tuesday, May 9.
In their 200-run chase, MI were in a spot of bother when they lost both Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma in the span of three balls inside the powerplay. After Kishan helped MI reach 50 runs in just four overs, Wanindu Hasaranga brought RCB back into the game by dismissing both the MI openers.
This led Suryakumar and Wadhera to join hands in the middle. With MI still needing 148 runs in the last 15 overs, the two Indian batters kept the momentum of the innings going. The duo added 47 from overs 5 to 10 before going berserk in the second half of the innings.
SKY, in particular, was at his best once again, manoeuvring the ball according to the field and smashing it all around the park. Phenomenally, Surya hit 65 runs in just 20 balls after the 10-over mark.
Wadhera, meanwhile, complemented Suryakumar perfectly and clobbered his second consecutive half-century, in 34 balls.
Their partnership came to an end in the 16th over when Suryakumar (83 off 35) holed out on the boundary. But by then, the match was almost over as MI needed just eight more runs with 4.2 more overs to go.
In the very next over, Wadhera (52* off 34) hit the winning maximum to complete Mumbai's shellacking of RCB at the Wankhede Stadium.
Suryakumar and Wadhera's 140-run stand is now also MI's highest-ever partnership against RCB for any wicket in the IPL.
#2 163* runs in 108 balls - Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith (for the first wicket) vs RR, IPL 2012
The last league fixture of the 2012 season saw Mumbai take on the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Jaipur. After the hosts scored 162/6 in the first innings, Mumbai promoted Dwayne Smith up the order to open with Sachin Tendulkar.
The Caribbean batsman was fantastic in his first outing as an opener as he put the pressure on the Rajasthan bowlers right from the word go. While Smith was at his attacking best, Tendulkar kept finding boundaries and settled into his innings nicely.
Despite the Jaipur surface not being a batting paradise, both Tendulkar and Smith found it easy after buying some time at the crease. Smith was the first one to raise his bat as he reached his half-century in just 34 balls. The Little Master, meanwhile, also scored a vital 58* off 51.
Smith clobbered 10 boundaries and three sixes en route to his IPL career-best 87* runs from 58 balls.
With scores being equal, Shane Watson started the 19th over with a wide ball which completed MI's run-chase of 163 runs with 12 balls remaining. Tendulkar and Smith's partnership still remains the highest opening stand for MI.
#1 167* from 106 balls - Rohit Sharma and Herschelle Gibbs (for the second wicket) vs KKR, IPL 2012
Eight days prior to the Tendulkar-Smith 163-run stand, Rohit Sharma and Herschelle Gibbs scripted history with a massive partnership of their own. The two big strikers of the cricket ball stitched up an unbeaten 167-run stand against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Hosting MI in a day game, KKR asked the visitors to bat first and inflicted an early blow in the form of the prized wicket of Sachin Tendulkar. With MI 15/1 after 2.2 overs, Rohit walked into the middle at No. 3. Alongside Gibbs, he put MI's innings back on track.
The duo of Gibbs and Rohit tormented the KKR bowlers, as none of Brett Lee, Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan, and Jacques Kallis had any answers against them.
The two took MI to 76 at the halfway mark before starting to cut loose in the second half of the innings. Rohit, especially, seemed in an outstanding touch and raced away to his maiden IPL ton in just 52 balls. He switched his gears in no time and smashed five sixes and as many as 12 boundaries during his stay.
Gibbs, who also scored 66* off 58, added 106 runs in the last 10 overs alongside Rohit, which propelled Mumbai's first innings total to 182/1.
Both the right-handers remained not out till the end, with Rohit scoring his career-best 60-ball 109*.
The first-innings score proved to be enough for MI as they restricted KKR to only 155/4 to win the game by 27 runs. Befittingly, Rohit was adjudged the Man of the Match for his marvellous IPL century.