Mumbai Indians have won the previous two IPL’s and come into IPL 2021 as the frontrunners to lift the crown and complete their three-peat. Mumbai are the most complete side in this competition and arguably the greatest franchise team in the history of the sport. After a successful trip to the UAE, they have strengthened their squad nicely this season with the additions of Piyush Chawla and Adam Milne and it’s going to be incredibly difficult to knock them off their perch this year.
The five-time champions are an incredibly well-balanced team but their biggest strength is their batting firepower. They had the best run rate in IPL 2020 (9.1) and their team is stacked with players that can clear the rope from ball one.
Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have developed immensely in the Mumbai set-up over the years and have even impressed recently for the national team against England. Both of them scored over 450 runs in IPL 2020 at a strike rate of 145 and are important cogs in Mumbai’s top order.
The other core strength of this Mumbai team is the middle order axis of Pollard and the Pandya brothers at Number 5, 6 and 7. The three of them are incredibly dangerous finishers with the bat and are a big reason why Mumbai scored a monstrous 12.4 runs per over in the last 5 overs in IPL 2020. Pollard and the Pandya’s also provide that perfect balance to Rohit Sharma as they can each give between 2-4 overs a game to their captain.
You will be clutching at straws trying to find many weaknesses in this Mumbai Indians line-up as the defending champions are pretty much an incredibly settled unit. That being said, the one area of concern for them is their spin department. While Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya have performed well for them in the past, they aren’t match-winners and could be expensive on their day. Mumbai also signed Piyush Chawla as a backup option which is a curious decision considering he went at 9 runs an over in IPL 2020.
Other than that, the only real concern is that they are thin in terms of backup for key players such as Bumrah or Pandya and will be hoping to get through the tournament without any injury concerns.
Player to watch out for: Chris Lynn
It’s crazy to think that Mumbai won the 2020 IPL at a canter while Chris Lynn simply sat on the bench for the entire tournament and didn’t play a single game. However, Lynn will finally get a chance to play this season as De Kock is likely to miss the first few games while being away on international duty. Lynn is one of the hardest strikers of a cricket ball and is extremely dangerous against the quicker bowlers and could be the perfect foil to Rohit Sharma at the top of the order.
Quinton De Kock, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah