With five Indian Premier League (IPL) titles under their belt, Mumbai Indians will be looking for another milestone in IPL 2021. Having won the 12th and 13th editions of IPL, Mumbai Indians will be eyeing their third consecutive title. The Rohit Sharma-led team lifted their fifth trophy in 2020, a season that was held in the United Arab Emirates amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, with no home advantage and some injury-prone players in the squad, Sharma & Co. might find the task relatively tougher this year. Having said that, let’s have a thorough look at the squad, its strengths, weaknesses, the threats that loom over, and players who have the opportunity to make their mark at the grand stage this year.
Star batsmen like Rohit Sharma, Chris Lynn, and Quinton de Kock bolster the batting department at Mumbai Indians. Moreover, with the likes of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav firing more often than not, the franchise has a potent batting lineup that can dismiss any bowling unit on their day.
The bowling unit at the Mumbai-based franchise features some big names in Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, and Nathan Coulter Nile. As for the all-rounders, Rohit Sharma has got some proven and world-class individuals, including Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, and James Neesham. Lastly, fans will have their eyes set on whether or not Arjun Tendulkar will make his IPL debut this year.
There is little doubt that the Mumbai Indians are a formidable side. However, do they have an arsenal potent enough to go through the sides and lift the title, again? Let’s find out.
As we mentioned earlier, Mumbai Indians boast a solid core group involving match-winning batsmen, all-rounders, and bowlers. Regular internationals like Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Quinton De Kock, Chris Lynn, Hardik Pandya, James Neesham, Trent Boult, and Jasprit Bumrah have good supporting characters in Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, and others.
Then there are Krunal Pandya, Aditya Tare, Dhawal Kulkarni, Saurabh Tiwary, and others who should assist the core in having a good run in the tournament. The five-time IPL-winners will also expect to benefit from the services of new additions in Piyush Chawla and Adam Milne.
Barring Jasprit Bumrah, Mumbai Indians don’t have any other reliable Indian fast bowler who can shoulder the responsibility if he misses a few games. Though the squad includes an experienced campaigner in Dhawal Kulkarni, the medium-pacer hasn’t been in good form lately.
Mohsin Khan and Arjun Tendulkar, on the other hand, lack the experience to make up for Bumrah’s absence. With that said, overseas pacers Trent Boult, Adam Milne, and Nathan Coulter-Nile will have to bowl their hearts out and support Bumrah.
Both Indian youngsters and overseas all-rounders have an opportunity at their hand to make their mark at the IPL 2021. Given Arjun Tendulkar makes his IPL debut this season, the 21-year-old all-rounder will have the chance to make his performance do the talking and silence all the critics.
Coming from New Zealand and South Africa, respectively, James Neesham and Marco Jansen, would want to make most of the opportunities they get at the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League. At six feet and eight inches tall, Jansen could very well turn out to be the X-factor for Mumbai Indians this year.
An explosive batsman who can derail any bowler’s confidence, Australian opening batsman Chris Lynn has been struggling with a shoulder injury. The hard-hitting batter has found himself warming the bench regularly due to injuries. Mumbai Indians would be hoping to, for once, have his services available for the entire tournament.
The troubles don’t end at Lynn, though, as overseas pacers Adam Milne and Nathan Coulter-Nile have also suffered injuries regularly. New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham has also missed entire IPL seasons due to injuries. With an inexperienced backup on the bench, the franchise wouldn’t want these players to face any fitness issues this season.
IPL is back in India for 20201. Nonetheless, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India to conduct the entire tournament at just six venues. Furthermore, while Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium is one of the six venues for the tournament, Mumbai Indians won’t be stepping on the field in their home city this season.
Will the lack of home advantage affect Mumbai Indians’ run in the competition? Only time will tell. IPL 2021 is set to kickstart on 9 April 2021, and the five-time champions will take on India skipper Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening fixture in Chennai. Let’s just hope for an action-packed IPL as the league comes back to its homeland. Keep reading AlShorts for all the updates, match reports, and much more during IPL 2021.