We take a look at the Mumbai Indians in the build-up to the new IPL season.While the Mumbai Indians may embody the often kitsch nature of the IPL, they are most certainly a force to be reckoned with on the field. Last year’s performance would have disappointed fans of the franchise after missing out on their first semi-final appearance since the 2009 season.
The Indians did pretty well in the auction. Mitchell Johnson was brought into the squad. He will partner Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga in a three-pronged seam attack with the New Zealand duo of Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan providing cover.
It is this seam attack and its depth that will likely determine how well the Indians do at IPL 10. Johnson and Malinga need no introduction having decimated batting line-ups around the world for the last few years. Bumrah is the one you should be keeping an eye out for. His peculiar action, odd release point and ability to hit the blockhole, almost at will, makes him one of the best in the business in the shortest format of the game.
While all eyes will no doubt be on the quicks, it’s easy to forget that Mahela Jayawardene is also able to call on Harbhajan Singh and Krunal Pandya to slow things down in the middle overs. Both spinners had solid enough seasons last time out picking up 15 wickets between them.
Batting wise, there’s plenty of depth in this side. Rohit Sharma, Partiv Patel, Lendl Simmons, Ambathi Rayudu and Jos Buttler will all have roles to play within the top order throughout the season while Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya come in down the order to accelerate the scoring.
As is always the case, balance is important in the IPL. The Indians are probably as threatening with the bat as they are with the ball and should not be taken lightly. They’ll also be desperate to atone for last year’s fifth-place finish – expect big things from the Mumbai side this year.
One to Watch: Jasprit Bumrah
The young Indian seamer has really started to come into his own over the last few years. His peculiar action combined with his ability to hit the blockhole on command makes him the Indians' biggest asset. Expect a big season out of the 23-year-old whose white ball stock continues to rise substantially.
I really like the look of this side. They’ve purchased well at the auction, strengthening areas that needed work and adding depth as well as quality to areas of the side that already looked good. If their stars stay injury-free, they’ll get themselves a semi-final berth at the very least.