Four-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will look to amend their fortunes this time around after a disappointing last season left fans feeling disconcerted
Mumbai Indians (Pic Courtesy: wplt20)
Four-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians (MI) will look to amend their fortunes this time around after a disappointing last season left fans feeling disconcerted. It has been, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a campaign to forget for Mumbai, who registered an unwanted record of having lost eight matches in a row last year. One reckons their dismal outing in the mega auction was an initial point of trigger for the impending disaster, the failures of openers Sharma and Ishan only added fuel to the fire. Things have indeed become tougher for the heavyweights, but given their rich experience and ability to identify talent to rise to the occasion, it will be hard for anyone to suppress them. They finished rock-bottom for the first time in the tournament's history and became subject to much scrutiny for their poor bowling display.
Though Mumbai caught hold of Jofra Archer last year, it was obvious that he wouldn't be available for the following season. However, MI found some gems like Tilak Varma, Dewald Brevis, and Tim David, who will look to leave an indelible mark in the squad. Mumbai had to replace Kieron Pollard, who decided to retire from the IPL, and broke the bank for Australia's Cameron Green with a whopping INR 17.5 crore winning bid.
Mumbai Indians: Strengths
With the likes of Ishan Kishan, captain Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav and the aforementioned young stars already retained, Green's addition makes the batting squad look dangerous. Mumbai didn't have a lot of quality in their fast bowling last season, and that is one of their focus areas. Having retained both Jasprit Bumrah and Jofra Archer, MI traded in Jason Behrendorff and also snapped up Jhye Richardson for the base price. This would ensure the side has more bowling options and depth in the pace quality.
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Mumbai Indians: Weaknesses
Ever since Mumbai lost the services of Rahul Chahar in the 2021 mega auction, they have failed to find a wrist spinner emulating his quality. They did have the likes of Murugan Ashwin and Mayank Markande last year, but both failed to create an impact. Mumbai hence signed young leg-spinning prodigy Nehal Wadhere from Punjab, who will find his match in the experience of World Cup winner Piyush Chawla and Mumbai's left-arm spinner Shams Mulani. The spin department, however, is not at all strong if one looks beyond Kumar Kartikeya and Hrithik Shokeen.
Mumbai Indians: Match-winners
With a staggering 5,879 runs across 15 seasons of the IPL, Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma is undoubtedly their biggest match-winner. He has scored this number of runs in 227 matches at a decent average of 30.30.
Young opener Ishan Kishan did have a tough IPL 2022 season after his strike rate was under a bit of scrutiny. However, his recent sensational double hundred in the ODI series against Bangladesh might have suddenly propelled him into the race for the opener's spot in the 2023 World Cup. Expect fireworks when the youngster walks in to bat!
Sure, it must be tough to fill the big shoes of Kieron Pollard. But Cameron Green has proved his critics wrong time and again, and expect the same energy heading into the IPL. If he starts firing in all departments, he could soon become one of the stars of the league for years to come.