Mumbai Indians, the three-time IPL champions will get their campaign up and running on March 24. In their opening encounter, they will host Delhi Capitals at the Wankhede Stadium. For the Men in Blue, it’s a great thing to begin at home which has been their fortress.
Traditionally, the Mumbai-based franchise hasn’t been the best of starters. In the past few years, they have found rhythm slowly after losing the first few matches. But Rohit Sharma and his men would dearly want to correct that this season.
Before the player auction, MI had got rid of 10 players. But they managed to retain the core squad. So, in the auction, they weren’t hunting for big names. Rather, the focus was on roping in some young Indian talents. Now, the squad looks pretty strong and capable of going the distance for the 4th time. Let’s look at the Pre-tournament Best XI for Mumbai Indians.
A new opening combination
Evin Lewis was the regular opener last year. Even though he didn’t present his best game yet he is capable of turning things around. Suryakumar Yadav had accompanied him but MI brought in Quinton de Kock as a trade from Royal Challengers Bangalore. Going by the form de Kock has been in recently, makes him a strong contender for being Lewis’s partner. Also, the worries of keeping the wickets will be sorted with de Kock’s inclusion.
Even though Rohit Sharma opens the innings for the national side, he is best suited in the middle-order for MI. It’s because he can control the innings by batting at No.3 and the other batsmen can play around him. Yuvraj Singh was the late buy from the auction and the franchise would probably give him a chance in the beginning. Although he hasn’t been in the best of forms of late, yet if Yuvraj comes into his own, he can tear apart any bowling line-up.
Suryakumar Yadav can serve as the floater in the line-up. If wickets fall early, he can be sent up the order to play the anchor’s role. Also, he possesses the ability to play the big strokes and can be handy during the death overs. Agility in the field is an added advantage for Yadav.
Depth in batting and formidable bowling line-up
Then, the 3 all-rounders and the essence of the side, walk in. Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers can be lethal during the slog overs. With their prowess with the ball, they provide the cushion as well as give batting depth. With this combination, Mumbai will have a proper batsman walking in even at No.8.
Mayank Markande should start as the spinner. Rahul Chahar is the other option but given the way Markande bowled last year, he will be the preferred one. He had bagged 15 wickets in IPL 2018 and also recently made his debut for India’s T20I side.
Jasprit Bumrah is a certainty as there doesn’t exist a better T20 bowler than him. Lasith Malinga, who had served as the mentor last season, is back as a bowler. His recent form for Sri Lanka has been impressive which might give him his place back in the side. If he bowls close to his best, Bumrah and Malinga would be the most difficult pair to score runs off.
Pre-tournament Best XI for Mumbai Indians