The 2023 edition of the Indian Premier League is just days away as the top cricketers from all over the world gear up to entertain the fans. The IPL 2023 will witness 10 teams, including Mumbai Indians, compete across two virtual groups with 70 matches taking place before the playoffs.
Before the season kicks off, we bring you special series with team-by-team squad analysis and their chances of winning the league. Today we talk about the most successful franchise in Mumbai Indians. The men in blue and gold have won five IPL championships over the years and will look to add to it. But does this current Mumbai Indians squad have what it takes to win the IPL 2023?
Can MI win the IPL 2023?
Now, the main question is, can Mumbai Indians win the IPL 2023? As you can see above, the franchise is plagued with too many problems ahead of the season to be a serious title contender.
For Mumbai Indians to win, they will need several things to change miraculously and a few stars to have the best season of their life.
Mumbai Indians Squad: IPL 2023
Rohit Sharma will continue to lead the side that has reached new heights of success in his tenure. Mumbai Indians have had some changes in the squad from the previous year. Kieron Pollard, who was with the team for over a decade, announced his retirement from the IPL following a couple of bad years due to his age and poor form for the team in the last edition. Pollard has taken up the role of batting coach in his MI family.
MI have a few young overseas stars in Dewald Brevis, Tristan Stubbs and Tim David. David, who is renowned for being one of the best hitters in T20 cricket, is the frontrunner to take up Pollard's role as the finisher.
Mumbai's biggest signing before IPL 2022, Jofra Archer did not play the previous season due to an injury. But the England fast bowler has recovered and looked in pretty good form since his return. Archer will be their biggest hope in IPL 2023 with Jasprit Bumrah set to miss the entire season.
Why is Jasprit Bumrah missing? Well, the Indian pacer has been out of action due to a back injury since September last year. Bumrah's absence is a massive blow for Mumbai Indians as the fast bowler has been their MVP with the ball over the years. This will be their first season without Bumrah since the pacer became a mainstay in 2016.
Apart from Bumrah, MI have also lost Australian pacer Jhye Richardson to injury. Richardson was supposed to partner with Jofra. But with his unavailability, left-arm seamer Jason Behrendorff will likely be the second overseas pacer.
Mumbai Indians have a habit of going after hot properties and Cameron Green was one around the time the 2023 player auction took place. MI went all out for the Australian all-rounder and bagged him for a whopping ₹17.5 crore. They are banking on Green's potential as the youngster is still not a proven T20 player. Green had played a couple of quick-fire knocks at the top of the order for Australia in the T20I series against India prior to the auction.
Full MI Team Player List
Rohit Sharma (c), Jofra Archer, Tim David, Ramandeep Singh, Shams Mulani, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Tristan Stubbs, Dewald Brevis, Arjun Tendulkar, Arshad Khan, Kumar Kartikeya, Hrithik Shokeen, Jason Behrendorff, Akash Madhwal, Cameron Green, Piyush Chawla, Duan Jansen, Vishnu Vinod, Nehal Wadhera, Raghav Goyal
Probable Playing XI:
Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Cameron Green, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Tim David, Hritik Shokeen, Jofra Archer, Arshad Khan, Jason Behrendorff, Kumar Kartikeya
IPL Auction: Cameron Green bought for INR 17.5 crore
Mumbai Indians' biggest signing of the season was Cameron Green. The Australia all-rounder became the second-most expensive player in the history of the Indian Premier League when he was picked up by the five-time winning champions for a whopping sum of INR 17.5 crore.
The team did not splurge on the other players, with their second-most expensive player in the 2023 IPL auction being Jhye Richardson, who was signed for INR 1.5 crore. Duan Jansen was the only other overseas player they purchased.
Piyush Chawla, Vishnu Vinod, Shams Mulani, Nehal Wadhera and Raghav Goyal were the other cricketers that Mumbai Indians bought.
Mumbai Indians Squad: Strengths and Weaknesses
Not often in the last decade have we found it hard to list out the strengths of Mumbai Indians. That's how bad of a state they are in after having pretty average auctions in the last few years.
So what are their strengths? We can think of a couple.
The overseas pace unit is Mumbai's biggest strength this year. Jofra Archer has recovered from his long injury troubles and seems to be back to a good rhythm. He recently played in the SA20 for MI Cape Town and picked 10 wickets in six games at an economy of 7.78. He then played a few international matches for England and looked potent. Archer will be leading the attack in the absence of Bumrah.
Alongside Jofra, MI are likely to field Jason Behrendorff. The left-armer is one of the best new ball pacers in the world and will be crucial for MI up front. Cameron Green is expected to chip in with a few overs and he could get some assistance at the home venue of Wankhede. However, he remains unproven.
The middle order is another strength for Mumbai Indians. The trio of Tilak Verma, Suryakumar Yadav and Tim David are likely to form 4-6 middle order. Tilak Verma had a fantastic season last year but will face a bigger challenge this year as teams look to figure him out. Suryakumar Yadav has been one of the best T20 batters in the past couple of years and a lot will depend on how he goes. Tim David, one of the best hitters of the ball, averages 32 while striking at 163 in overall T20 cricket. Last year he played eight matches for MI and smashed 186 runs at an average of 37 and a strike rate of 216. David will be key for them in death overs.
This Mumbai Indians squad has a long list of weaknesses. The biggest concern for them is the absence of Bumrah. They have relied on the ace pacer so heavily that the management hasn't even bothered to find him a decent backup all these years. And now they are left with young inexperienced Indian pacers to fill in Bumrah's big shoes. Arshad Khan seems to be the frontrunner.
Their spin department has been non-existent for a few years now. It's an area that has plagued them over and over again and they have done nothing in the auctions to address it. As a result, they'll be banking on inexperienced Hrithik Shokeen and Kumar Kartikeya to do the job.
Mumbai Indians' overall batting unit doesn't look anywhere near as explosive as their past editions. Rohit Sharma has been mediocre in the league for half a decade while Ishan Kishan is not only inconsistent but has looked in awful T20 form for a while.
Cameron Green's position remains unclear but since his exploits versus India came at the top of the order, he's likely to slot in the top three. Green hasn't played much T20 cricket and he'll be in his debut season.
Mumbai Indians History
Mumbai Indians' early years weren't great, which included a defeat in the 2010 final. It took them six seasons to win their first title and they added four more in the next seven years, becoming the benchmark in the league.
Rohit Sharma took over the reins midway into the 2013 season and went on to win the title, defeating Chennai Super Kings in the final. Two years later, they defeated CSK in the final yet again to clinch their second IPL trophy. In IPL 2017, they edged past Rising Pune Supergiant by just one run to win their third title. By this time the ‘odd years MI' jokes had become quite mainstream.
In IPL 2019, Mumbai Indians smashed Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1 and then beat the same rivals by one run in the final. IPL 2020 was their most dominant season, where they topped the group and hammered Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 1 and the final comfortably to win the fifth title.
Last couple of seasons, however, they have looked like the shell of the champion side they were. MI finished fifth on the table in IPL 2021 and were even worse in the following edition. Mumbai Indians won only four out of 14 matches in IPL 2022 and finished at the bottom of the 10-team tournament.
|IPL 2008||5th place|
|IPL 2009||7th place|
|IPL 2011||Qualifier 2|
|IPL 2016||5th place|
|IPL 2018||5th place|
|IPL 2021||5th place|
|IPL 2022||10th place|
Mumbai Indians IPL 2023 Schedule
Mumbai Indians are placed into Group A alongside Kolkata Knight Riders, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants. What it means is they will play two matches each against the five teams from Group B while facing the four teams in their group once. Home and away format means Mumbai Indians will play seven matches at their home venue Wankhede stadium.
They begin their season with a clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore at M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru on April 2.