The past week hasn't been great for the IPL after the news of a few players being tested positive for COVID-19 in the CSK camp broke out in the cricketing circles. But all seems well in the Mumbai Indians (MI) camp as they gear up for the opening match of the much-anticipated IPL season in prospect. With the IPL being shifted to the UAE in 2020, it will force a change of strategies for most teams in their playing XI as per the conditions. Similarly, MI would also want to field their strongest possible playing XI for the season opener in 2020.
The Rohit Sharma-led side will aim to defend their coveted title in the Dream11 IPL 2020. With a considerably strong squad, MI will yet again fancy their chances even in conditions that are different from those experience in India. However, it will be a huge task for the team management to identify their best possible playing XI at the start of the season.
MI Squad 2020 IPL / MI Team Players List 2020
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Aditya Tare
Let's look at the probable playing XI for the Mumbai Indians (MI) for their opening IPL match in 2020:
1. Openers: Rohit Sharma, Quinton De Kock, Chris Lynn
Mumbai Indians already have a stable opening pair in their playing XI in the form of captain Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock. Both the openers have been solid for MI in giving the team flourishing starts at the top of the order. However, at the IPL 2020 auction, MI roped in Chris Lynn at a base price of INR 2 crores as the third opener in the team.
The Mumbai-based franchise will have to make a choice between Lynn and De Kock to partner with Rohit in the opening slot in 2020. It is highly likely that MI will prefer De Kock given his stupendous run for MI in 2019. On the other hand, Lynn's recent form hasn't been too appreciating which might pip De Kock's way into the playing XI for the first IPL game this year.
2. Middle-Order: Ishan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav
The middle-order for Mumbai is expected to feature the likes of Ishan Kishan and Surya Kumar Yadav. The two Indian domestic players have been a par of the MI-setup for more than a couple of years now. Surya Kumar Yadav is an experienced T20 player who can really well adapt to the situations, exactly what is expected of a batter at No.3. Yadav has the ability to play at a healthy strike rate by playing risk-free cricket.
Ishan Kishan, on the other hand, provides the opportunity for MI to attack in the power play. He can really tear apart the oppositions with his flamboyant and destructive ability. He also provides the opportunity with gloves for MI if they decide to play Chris Lynn. The combination for Kishan and Surya Kumar augurs well for MI in keeping the healthy run-rate even through the middle-overs.
3. All-rounders: Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya
Mumbai possesses a really destructive line-up of all-rounders with Pandya brothers and Kieron Pollard. Pollard has been a proven match-winner for MI in all these years at the IPL. His ability to single-handedly win matches in the lower middle-order is second to none. Along with his batting might, Pollard offers a great deal of potency in the field.
There's nothing that the world doesn't know about the relationship between MI and the Pandya brothers. The two of them form a core set of players for the MI franchise. In IPL 2020, Hardik Pandya is coming back after a long injury lay off and will be raring to go. He would be keen to repeat his IPL success form 2019.
His brother Krunal Pandya is handy with the bat too and provides variety to the MI side with his bowling. He can contribute with the bat and ball and is a great asset in the field too. If needed to finish an innings there is none better than these three at the moment. All three players have a guaranteed spot in the playing XI for MI in 2020.
4. Bowlers: Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan
MI suffered a huge blow when Lasith Malinga pulled out of IPL 2020 citing personal reasons. As a result, MI named James Pattinson as Malinga's replacement for the forthcoming edition. Malinga, after all, being the highest wicket-taker in the IPL history will be a greatly missed in Dream11 IPL. However, it is highly likely that Pattinson won't make it to the starting playing XI for MI in their season opener. They do have the services of Dhawal Kulkarni who can bowl with the new ball along with Jasprit Bumrah.
Rohit Sharma and co. might opt to go-in with the Kiwi duo of Mitchell McClenaghan and Trent Boult in their first-choice XI. McCleneghan has been a consistent performer for MI while Boult can take the new ball along with Bumrah. In the spin department, Rahul Chahar will take the lead role along with Krunal as the other spinner.