Today we assess the strengths (or weaknesses) of IPL title defense of Mumbai Indians. The most successful team in the tournament’s history, Mumbai Indians have carved out a niche for themselves as the finest and most well-balanced team in this tournament. Their mix of youth and experienced international players has paid them rich dividends over the years with the team emerging as champions in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.
The defending champions this time have roped in premier Australian fast bowler James Pattinson and Limited Overs specialist All-rounder Nathan Coulter-Nile.
IPL title defense of Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians have a fair chance of defending their IPL title this time around and become the first team in the history of the franchise T20 cricket to win a tournament for a record five times and establish their dominance. IPL title defense of Mumbai Indians is tricky and subject to performance or non-performance of those in ranks.
The following are a few reasons why Mumbai Indians hold themselves in good stead against their competitors. The reasons are subjective and are based completely on the viewpoints and opinions of the writer.
Balanced Opening Partnership
In the explosive Quinton De Kock and the Indian limited-overs maestro Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians have one of the strongest opening partnerships in the tournament comparable only to the pair of Jonny Bairstow and David Warner in terms of experience in international cricket and current form.
De Kock is a beautiful time of the cricket ball and is very potent at playing both pace and using his feet against the spinners, something that holds him in good stead in the slow pitches of UAE. Rohit Sharma’s ability to lead from the front exemplifies the kind of captain he is- a leader in the dressing room.
With the vast international experience that he possesses and the innate ability to change the course of a match within a space of a few overs. There’s nobody that can dismantle a bowling attack as elegantly as Rohit, something we have all seen a countless number of times in IPL as well as in international cricket. Thus if this opening left-hand right-hand combination for MI fires in unison, no team could stop their march to the title win. IPL title defense of Mumbai Indians will rely a lot on these two.
Explosive All Rounders
If it comes to pure cricketing talent and brute strength Mumbai Indians possess some of the very best in the business. In Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard, they have two of the biggest and cleanest strikers of the cricket ball. With the kind of form Pollard displayed in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League, it goes to show that the T20 legend is hungry for success.
Hardik has been out of the Indian scheme of things for a considerable time now. However, the unmatched hitting ability and the wicket-taking knack that he possesses would make him one of the players to watch out for in the tournament. They also have the option of Krunal Pandya who has emerged as a fine spinner who can restrict the flow of runs with his accurate line and length and is a more than handy batsman down the order. The inclusion of Nathan Coulter-Nile just bolsters the lower middle order even more. As seen in the few matches of IPL 2020, the all-rounders have a role to play in the IPL title defense of Mumbai Indians.
World Class Bowlers
When you have two bowlers of the caliber of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult in your ranks, it is a frightening proposition for the opposition batsman. Bumrah with his variety and death bowling prowess has emerged as one of the finest fast bowlers in the world today. Whenever Rohit needs wickets, he hands over the ball to Bumrah, and more often than not he delivers.
Boult’s swing bowling prowess will be something that will be extremely crucial during the opening spell of the MI. The angle that the left-hander creates is at the majority of times very difficult for the batsmen to negotiate and he picks most of his wickets in that manner. In addition to that Mumbai have the likes of James Pattinson in their ranks who is an experienced customer in International cricket. With the talented Rahul Chahar as the lone leg spinner, they have all bases covered so to speak. Bowlers, their performance, will decide the fate of the IPL title defense of Mumbai Indians.
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