Mumbai Indians have been the most successful IPL franchise in the history of the league. Mukesh Ambani-owned franchise embraces one of the most decorated cabinets with five IPL title wins. Under the leadership of Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians will enter the 14th IPL edition as defending champions after having won the coveted trophy in IPL 2020.
As the 2021 auction unfolded in Chennai, much was at stake for all the team owners. After releasing the experienced likes of Lasith Malinga, Mitch McClenaghan, the MI team management was eyeing players who could bolster the squad with depth and experience, especially in their bowling department. The inclusion of 32-year-old Piyush Chawla would provide more steel to their spin department while a few of their other buys could be a great back-up to the players featuring in the best playing 11 for MI during the IPL.
Mumbai Indians IPL Squad 2021:
Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Chris Lynn, Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar.
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Best Predicted Playing 11 for Mumbai Indians (MI) in IPL 2021
Quinton De Kock, Rohit Sharma (C), Surya Kumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Adam Milne, Trent Boult
1. Openers: Quinton De Kock and Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians have embraced the opening pair of Quinton De Kock and Rohit Sharma with open arms. The South African southpaw has racked up 1959 runs at a strike rate of 133.53 in 66 IPL matches so far. In the 2020 edition, he outsmarted his compatriots with some sensational willow-work allowing his teams with brisk starts at the top of the order. De Kock scored 503 runs in the entire season at an impressive average of 35.
On the other hand, skipper Rohit Sharma can set ablaze the scoreboard from the word go. The right-hander has scored over 5000 IPL runs which speak volumes about the rich success that he witnessed over the years in the IPL. In IPL 2020, Rohit led from the front with 332 runs in 12 matches. The pair of Sharma and De Kock has continuously laid a great foundation for MI in the past, and it is improbable for the franchise to alter their opening combination.
2. Middle order: Surya Kumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya
The middle-order is considered to be the backbone of any cricket team. And Mumbai Indians are no different as they rely a lot on their middle-order to help them cross the finishing line on most days. The likes of Surya Kumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan provide the right balance to the squad. Yadav relies on his consistency and has been a sensational performer in the middle-order. Even in the 2020 season, he did the bulk of the scoring and smashed four fifties in the entire tournament.
Surya was well complemented by Ishan who displayed the propensity of sheer class with the bat on several occasions. He battered the opposition with his onslaught towards the later stages of the innings. The left-hander had a brilliant IPL season as he accumulated 516 runs at an average of 57.33 in 16 matches. The Jharkhand wicket-keeper batsman was also the highest run-scorer for MI in IPL 2020.
At No.5, Mumbai Indians have one of the destructive batters in the IPL. Hardik Panday, who is an automatic selection in the MI playing 11, can tear apart bowling attacks at will. Times and again, Pandya has proven his potential as an apparent match-winner for his franchise.
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3. All-Rounders: Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard
Krunal Pandya has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years in the IPL. The India-capped spinner has been a vital cog in the team's machinery. In 80 matches, the Baroda-based all-rounder boasts 1349 runs with the bat to go along with 42 wickets. Hence, he poses a fine candidature to fill the No.6 slot in the best playing 11 for MI in 2021.
The Caribbean all-rounder Kieron Pollard has been a major hit as an overseas recruit for Mumbai Indians over the years. The last edition of IPL saw him discharge his duties for his franchise in a sublime fashion. The match-winner scored 280 runs and grabbed 4 wickets in 16 matches. He also took the charge of the team in Rohit's absence for a few matches before the knockouts.
4. Bowlers: Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Adam Milne, Trent Boult
Mumbai Indians are armed with one of the finest bowling attacks amongst all IPL teams. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar is apparently going to make it into the playing 11 as he has been a regular feature for MI in the past couple of seasons. With 30 scalps in 31 appearances for MI, Chahar provides great control and wicket-taking ability in the middle-overs.
The fast bowling duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult are yet again likely to share the new ball duties for MI in 2021. While the former never fails to grapple wickets with his yorkers and other variations, the latter is lethal with his inswinging deliveries inside the powerplay. It is well-anticipated that Kiwi pacer Adam Milne will be the third seam option and is likely to take charge during the death overs.