IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians - MI SWOT Analysis - Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat
Mumbai Indians have been one of the foremost franchise in IPL history and are the joint most successful team of the league with three title wins.
It was after Rohit Sharma took over the captaincy in 2013 that things began to change for Mumbai. Under his captaincy, the team has won three titles from 2013 onwards and their squad inspires confidence for another solid performance this season as well.
The franchise had a disappointing season last year as they were not able to qualify for the playoffs. One of the main complaints of the fans with the team was that captain Rohit Sharma, for some unexplained reason, was inclined to bat at No 4. Most analysts were of the belief that it is at the top of the order where he is most suited as he can then dictate the tempo of the game and make a bigger contribution for the team.
Mentor Zaheer Khan has now said that with experienced Indian middle order batsman Yuvraj Singh joining the team, Rohit Sharma will indeed bat at the top of the order, much to the joy of the fans.
Mumbai Indians have a gun batting lineup with the resources they have been able to rope in. Rohit Sharma will, in all likelihood, start the proceedings for the team along with South African keeper-batsman Quinton de Kock. However, Ishan Kishan is expected to don the gloves and bat at one drop. Suryakumar Yadav will follow him at number four.
The team can go with either Ben Cutting or Kieron Pollard at number five and then they have the Pandya brothers to finish off things. This is a formidable combination for any opposition team. Even if two or three of these players click, the team is likely to cross 200 more often than not.
Jasprit Bumrah is arguably the best limited-overs bowler of our time. He can bowl well at the top of the order and is capable of knocking down one or two wickets in the Powerplay and then come back at the death.
The opposition batsmen struggle to score against him, particularly under the pressure of the required run rate. If they try to go too hard, there is always a possibility of them losing a few wickets quickly.
However, being the first choice Indian pacer, the Indian team management would want to manage his workload leading up to the World Cup because of which he is expected to miss a few matches, especially towards latter half of the tournament. The team does not have any backup Indian pacer other than Barinder Sran in Bumrah's absence. MI would have to play an extra overseas quick in someone like Mitchell McClenaghan or Jason Behrendorff and drop an overseas batsman which will affect the balance of the team.
Mumbai Indians are fortunate enough to have two brilliant Indian all-rounders in Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya who impart a lot of balance to the team. The Pandya brothers can give them six-seven overs between them and also score some handy runs in the lower-middle order.
Hardik Pandya has not had the best of times in the last few months and has been in and out of the Indian team, either due to some controversy or because of fitness. The Indian Premier League will give him a great opportunity to play consistently and contribute to the team's success. This will also give him the much-required game time ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
Ben Cutting also provides them with lot of flexibility as he is not only a capable bowler but can bat at any place.
Mumbai Indians have two colossal limited-over names in Yuvraj Singh and Kieron Pollard. While there is no doubt that both were class players during their peak and are capable enough to still make a mark, their powers have certainly declined. If the two do not perform well in the first few matches, the team can face a dilemma of whether or not they should bench the legends.
Another major problem with Mumbai over the years has been that they are generally very slow starters. It has almost become a given with Mumbai that they take four-five matches to come to their own. In the meanwhile, the competition becomes so tough that they put a lot of pressure on themselves.
However, it has also been seen that in must-win scenarios Mumbai generally end on the right side of the line. But, it will only benefit the franchise if they start well and don't put excessive pressure on themselves.
Retained players: Rohit Sharma (C), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff.
Traded in: Quinton de Kock from RCB
Purchased players in IPL Auction (Dec 18): Lasith Malinga (Rs 2 crore), Anmolpreet Singh (Rs 80 lakh), Barinder Sran (Rs 3.40 crore), Pankaj Jaiswal (Rs Rs 20 lakh), Rasikh Salam (Rs 20 lakh), Yuvraj Singh (Rs 1 crore)
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