Mumbai Indians (MI) are undoubtedly the most dominant team in the Indian Premier League (IPL) since its inception.
The only team to win the tournament three times in 2013, 2015 and 2017, MI have ensured that their legacy as the greatest IPL team is secured in tournament history.
This year, however, MI will be looking to do something that they haven’t done before and that is defending their IPL title. Mumbai Indians might want to emulate Chennai Super Kings, who are the only IPL team to win the title back to back so far.
In the 2018 IPL auctions, Mumbai Indians went in with only three players retained before the process- Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah. They said goodbye to Harbhajan Singh, who had played for them for a decade.
In the auctions, MI bought back Kieron Pollard using the RTM card and got hold of the most exciting T20 opener in Evin Lewis. They also poached Pat Cummins from DD and Ben Cutting from SRH. They invested in young players like Ishan Kishan, Siddhesh Lad, Anukul Roy and Rahul Chahar as well. Saurabh Tiwary and Suryakumar Yadav came back home to Mumbai Indians.
In all, Mumbai Indians has tried their best chosen the best players in order to retain their title in IPL 2018.
Here are the 5 players who Mumbai Indians will look to help them win the IPL 11:
Pat Cummins is back in international cricket and roaring to go. He had a brilliant IPL 2017 for Delhi Daredevils, picking up 15 wickets in 12 matches. He not only picked wickets but picked them up with such intensity that was rarely seen before.
Pat Cummins made his comeback to Test cricket on the Australia tour of India and looked like he had never gone away. Cummins is a genuine fast bowler who regularly clocks over 145 kmph on the speed gun. He is also a handy lower order batsman capable of holding his own and hitting some lusty blows.
Mumbai Indians bought Cummins in place of their foreign star Lasith Malinga, whom they hired as a bowling mentor to the side. Cummins will provide them with speed, necessary to win matches on the placid pitches in India.
Hardik Pandya was retained by Mumbai Indians before the auction for Rs 11 cr. Bought by Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2015 auctions, Pandya has become a permanent member of the MI squad after playing some scintillating innings for them, notably the 61 off 31 balls against KKR in that season.
Pandya has also worked hard on his bowling and currently has made 406 runs in 36 matches and picked up 10 wickets so far in the IPL. But the most important thing for MI is his strike rate of 142.45 and that he is someone who will take the game away from the opposition in a matter of overs.
Mumbai will be hoping that Pandya continues his brilliant form in IPL 2018 as well.
Kieron Pollard has been part of Mumbai Indians since 2010 IPL and provided them with more than just return on investment. The big Trinidadian was retained using the RTM card in the IPL 2018 auctions by Mumbai Indians.
Pollard has 2343 runs in 123 matches with a strike rate of 146.52. He has hit 147 sixes for MI and has the highest score of 78. Pollard comes into bat criminally low in the batting order, but whenever he comes to the bat, MI usually needs quick runs or are in trouble in a chase.
Pollard’s hitting abilities have only got stronger and now he as the part of the core of MI and with a new squad, Pollard will also don a leader’s cap in the MI contingent.
Jasprit Bumrah was retained by Mumbai Indians in the pre-auction player retention. He was bought in the IPL 2013 auction and so far has picked up 46 wickets in 47 matches for MI.
Bumrah learned death overs bowling from the best mentor ever in Lasith Malinga and in 2-3 seasons, became the best death overs bowler in IPL and world. So much in fact that, Lasith Malinga was not retained, nor bid for by MI during the IPL 2018 auctions.
Bumrah bowls both in power plays and in the death overs. His has the ability to bowl pinpoint yorkers, and since he bowls at speeds over 145 kmph, it makes him extra special.
Bumrah will be the main strike bowler for MI in IPL 2018.
It was well expected that Rohit Sharma would be retained by MI before the IPL 2018 auction. Rohit Sharma has won the IPL most times- 4 times as a player and three times as MI captain.
One of the highest scorers in IPL, he has 4207 runs in 159 matches with the highest score of 109*. He has hit 172 sixes and 354 fours with a strike rate of 130.89.
Rohit has opened the innings for MI but usually bats one down for the team. Rohit Sharma has influenced the MI team a lot, as they have come back from losing a string of matches initially to ultimately qualify for the playoffs more than once in an IPL season.
Rohit with the bat has been both brutal and has rebuilt innings for MI numerous times and his leadership has earned him huge laurels. MI will hope for Rohit Sharma to do a repeat of last season and defend his title in IPL 11.