IPL Preview 2021: Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Captain Rohit Sharma is serious about winning the IPL14 title. Photo: @mipaltan on Twitter.


IPL Wins: 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020 (five total)

Coach: Mahela Jayawardene

Captain: Rohit Sharma

2020 Lookback

Mumbai is on a seriously dominant roll. The defending champions have now won five titles in the last eight tournaments and have established themselves as the marquee team of the tournament.

The Mumbai Indians pride themselves on being the smartest and most skilled team in the competition. In 2020, MI finished top of the table, winning 9 of 14 matches and dismantling the Delhi Capitals in the final.

If there was one area lacking in 2020, it was overseas bowling. The Indians have now brought in the NZ duo of Jimmy Neesham and Adam Milne to bolster those stocks.

Mumbai is yet again the favourite for the 2021 tournament, and it is hard to disagree with the oddsmakers.


Key Players

Nathan Coulter-Nile

It was an emotional roller coaster for the Aussie allrounder after the 2020 IPL season.. Having played for Mumbai in 2020, he was then released only to be repurchased by them in the Auction. 2020 was Coulter-Nile’s first time back in the tournament since 2017, and he plays to IPL standard.

The tall West Australian possesses highly desirable skills, extreme pace, good bounce, and tricky slower balls. On top of his bowling, Coulter Nile possesses the ability to hit the ball big.

Coulter-Nile only managed seven games in the 2020 season, taking five wickets at 41. These numbers are not his best and will no doubt improve if given the opportunity. Over the 33 matches played in the IPL, he only goes for 7.71 an over and strikes every 17 balls.

With the ability to score vital runs lower down the order and bowling crucial death overs, Coulter-Nile’s skills add to the Indians boasting depth.

Keiron Pollard

Arguably one of the best T20 players of all time, Keiron Pollard brings a little bit of everything to the Mumbai side. Huge hitting, skilled bowling, and an incredible cricketing brain.

Having now played 534 professional T20 matches, Pollard is the undisputed king of the format. The West Indian captain will be wanting to be part of another title-winning side before taking the West Indies into the World Cup. If Mumbai is to win another title, Pollard will play a significant role.

In 2020 Pollard had a great campaign with the bat, albeit with limited middle-order opportunities. 268 runs at 53 with the bat are elite numbers, but perhaps the most important is the strike rate of 191. Pollard has the ability and temperament to hit sixes at will.

Recently against Sri Lanka he became just the third player to hit six sixes in an international over. Pollard’s overall record is mammoth, 10629 runs at 31 and 293 wickets to add to that. Pollard is by far the most decorated T20 player in the world and will want to add to it in 2021.

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Player to Watch

Chris Lynn

When he is on, there is no more exciting player in the world to watch. No player seems to hit the ball as consistently far as Chris Lynn.

While he never managed to crack international cricket, he dominates leagues worldwide, whether in India, Australia or the Caribbean. Lynn will likely start the season in the team with De Kock out due to international duties. Given this opportunity, Lynn will want to enforce himself and show he can’t be dropped.

Having not played in the 2020 IPL, Lynn will want to continue his excellent competition stats. He has played 41 matches for 1280 runs at 33 in his IPL career, good numbers from a high-risk, high reward player. The BBL was Lynn’s most recent competition in which he led from the front for the Heat, 458 runs from only 13 matches.

The Mumbai squad is solid, and Lynn won’t be afforded the luxury of playing every game, but is certainly one to watch.

Australians

Nathan Coulter-Nile – When in form there is no more dangerous player. Coulter-Nile offers the Indians quick powerplay and death bowling as well as important lower order hitting.

Chris Lynn – Perhaps the most consistent T20 six hitter of all time. Chris Lynn offers Mumbai an exciting opening option, his ball striking skills are a big plus for the Mumbai franchise.


Predicted XI

C. Lynn, R. Sharma, S. Yadav, I. Kishan, K. Pollard, H. Pandya, K. Pandya, N. Coulter-Nile, R. Charar, T. Boult, J. Bumrah


Full Squad

Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard (West Indies), Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock (South Africa), Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn (Australia), Mohsin Khan, Saurabh Tiwary, Trent Boult (New Zealand), Adam Milne (New Zealand), Nathan Coulter-Nile (Australia), Piyush Chawla, James Neesham (New Zealand), Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen (South Africa), Arjun Tendulkar.

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