IPL 2021 MI Team Preview and Predictions: Packed with impact players, defending champions Mumbai Indians set for encore
Mumbai Indians, under Rohit Sharma, have now won five IPL titles - more than any other franchise and are firm favorites going into this edition of the league as well.
MI steamrolled all oppositions en route to their title victory in the last edition and it did not seem doubtful at any point that they would not win the championship.
Who's in and who's out
Ahead of IPL 2021, the team decided to release James Pattinson, Sherfane Rutherford and Mitchell McClenaghan while Lasith Malinga decided to retire from franchise cricket. Mumbai then bolstered their squad by buying James Neesham, Piyush Chawla, Adam Milne and Marco Jansen in the auctions.
Of all the teams in the mini auctions prior to IPL 2021, Mumbai were the most settled and all they did was to pick back-up players.
Settled batting order
Quinton de Kock is unlikely to make the XI for Mumbai in the opening encounter due to a clash with the ODI series between South Africa and Pakistan. As a result, Ishan Kishan is expected to keep wickets and open the batting alongside Rohit Sharma, with Suryakumar Yadav and Saurabh Tiwary batting at number 3 and 4.
In Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya, Mumbai Indians have a serious trio of finishers, each of whom can also send down a few overs.
Boult and Bumrah to take the new ball
Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah are the leading pacers for MI. Bumrah was on leave from India's duties in the white ball leg of the England series.
The newly-married pace bowler will try to better his performances in IPL 2020 when he finished as the second-highest wicket-taker with 27 scalps from 15 matches at 14.96.
Big season due for Hitman
Rohit Sharma has been in a rich vein of form in the test matches and the limited overs series against England and will look to start on a high note. It has been for a few years now that Sharma has not been able to maximize his abilities as a batsman in the IPL and though it is not a cause for concern till Mumbai Indians keep winning the title, the Indian white-ball vice captain would like to score at least 400 runs in the season in the lead up to the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will be played in India as well.
If Hardik Pandya continues to bowl, as he did in the white ball matches against England, there will be no stopping Mumbai.
Top Batsman - Runs Scored - Rohit Sharma
Top Bowler - Wickets Taken - Jasprit Bumrah
Most Sixes - Hardik Pandya
Predicted starting XI
Mumbai Indians – Rohit Sharma (C), Ishan Kishan (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult & Jasprit Bumrah.
Mumbai Indians (MI) - Rohit Sharma (c), Kieron Pollard, Quinton de Kock (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Anmolpreet Singh, Aditya Tare, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar
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