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Their skipper’s commanding presence remains MI’s biggest strength. While Rohit Sharma didn’t have a great IPL as a batsman in 2019, he led his team really well, and after having the kind of year he’s had in international cricket, Rohit Sharma is at the top of the order for a major IPL season. With the hard-hitting Chris Lynn acquired by the MI franchise, it will be fascinating to see who will become Sharma’s partner among Quinton de Kock and Lynn.
Suryakumar Yadav will play a key role for MI as far as the middle-order is concerned. In the 2019-2020 domestic season, he was in fantastic form across all formats. Along with him, Hardik and Krunal’s ever-present Kieron Pollard and Pandya pair provide good solidity and energy to help MI achieve strong finishes. Jasprit Bumrah is the main man with the ball for Mumbai Indians and the inclusion of Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile added excellent depth to the fast bowling department in with the experienced Lasith Malinga already in the mix.
While MI has a very strong squad it is the spin department where they are a bit thin inexperienced. Since its debut in 2016 Krunal Pandya has been a fantastic utility player for MI, contributing with both bat and ball. He’s not trying to spin the ball anymore, though, and this is what sometimes goes against him.
Rahul Chahar was a very good find for MI but he’s just 20 years old. MI has failed to land Piyush Chawla as they lost over the 30-year-old leggie in a bidding war with CSK. Anukul Roy is another spinner who contributed to India’s 2018 U19 World Cup win but he is also inexperienced.
Overall, therefore, MI will hope that Chahar and Krunal live up to their expectations as they don’t have a lot of quality in that department.
MI has always been a breeding ground for the development of young talents into world-class players. There is no need to look beyond the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya, who have developed into key players for India across all formats, adding quality and depth to the ranks of MI.
Suryakumar Yadav had two outstanding seasons with MI and joined national accounts. Another good season will surely put him in pole position to be picked in India’s T20 squad and who knows if he is doing good might get a look at India’s T20 World Cup squad. Youngsters like Ishan Kishan and Anmolpreet Singh also have a big opportunity to impress and become future stars on their side.
Since 2010 Kieron Pollard has been with the MI franchise and a reliable performer to them. Like Lasith Malinga, in the last season, even Pollard’s form was questionable for Mumbai and barring a few games here and there, including the finals, Pollard could not overpower the bowlers.
MI will have to take hard decisions this time around with the likes of Sherfaine Rutherford in the squad if Pollard starts poorly. In the pace department, there is enough back-up in the form of Boult and Coulter-Nile for Malinga in case of any injuries or poor performance. In the spin department, however, there is no such consistency back-up.
Therefore their weakness could become one of the threats if they are not able to perform at the required level. If they can hold their composure and play to their ability, there is no excuse why Rohit Sharma should not be able to lead MI to the IPL trophy in 2020 and become five-time champions