Mumbai Indians IPL 2021 Preview: Can Mumbai make it 3 in a row?

Mumbai Indians embark on the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League as the team to beat. The five-time champions and the winners for the last two seasons are bidding to become the first side to achieve three titles in a row.

The Mahela Jayawardene side won nine of their 14 league games to top the table before beating Delhi Daredevils allowing Rohit Sharma to lift the trophy.

MI’s already strong bowling ranks were bolstered by the purchase of experienced spinner Piyush Chawla at the auction. They also added depth with Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jimmy Neesham were also brought in to add to Mumbai’s impressive bowling unit. Add them to the existing core and the most successful franchise in the history of the competition will be tough to deny another title.

Mumbai Indians IPL Record

08

09

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

5th

7th

2nd

3rd

4th

WON

4th

WON

5th

WON

5th

WON

WON

PLAYING SQUAD

Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Quinton de Kock, Kieron Pollard, Aditya Tare, Krunal Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Saurabh Tiwary, Mohsin Khan, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, Jimmy Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar.

COACHING SETUP

Rohit Sharma (captain), Mahela Jayawarden (head coach), Zaheer Khan (director of cricket operations), Robin Singh (batting coach), Sachin Tendulkar (batting mentor), Shane Bonds (bowling coach), James Pamment (fielding coach).

AUCTION ACTIVITY 2021

INS: Nathan Coulter-Nile (RS 5.00 crore), Adam Milne (RS 3.20 crore), Piyush Chawla (Rs 2.40 crore), James Neesham (Rs 50 lakh), Yudhvir Charak (Rs 20 lakh), Marco Jensen (Rs 20 lakh), Arjun Tendulkar (Rs 20 lakh).

OUTS: Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell McClenaghan, James Pattinson, Sherfane Rutherford, Digvijay Deshmukh, Prince Balwant Rai (all released).

MUMBAI INDIANS’ CHANCES in 2021

This is the fourth season that the nucleus of this MI squad has been together. They know their roles, have been highly successful and are hungry for more.

With captain Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock opening the batting the Indians have two of the most dangerous and established white-ball batsmen in world cricket. In Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, they have two of the new stars of the Indian national team.

With Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Kunal Pandya as the bedrock of a dynamic middle-order and arguably the best bowling attack in the competition it is easy to see why they are favourites to retain their title.

Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult were exceptional with the pace attack as they shared 52 wickets between them and with Hardik Pandya bowling again he will add even more balance to a finely tuned team.

KEY PLAYERS

HARDIK PANDYA played as a batsman last season as his back problem prevented him from bowling. In the recent white-ball series against England, Hardik was bowling again and that is tremendous news for Mumbai Indians. He faced 157 deliveries last season and hit 25 of them for six. With a powerful top order, it is usually Hardik’s job to launch a late assault, and there are few more destructive. With him now providing bowling options for Rohit, Hardik could easily threaten the MVP standings.

SURYAKUMAR YADAV is a late bloomer, but sometimes you must wait for the good things. The 30-year-old has been a key component of MI’s middle-order with his stylish aggression and now a fully-fledged international after debuting against England in the recent T20I series he enters this IPL with confidence high. The man they call SKY made a concerted effort to get fit, eat well and give cricket his best shot and he is a joy to watch. He hit 480 runs in 15 innings last season and flew along at a strike rate of 145.01.

JASPRIT BUMRAH is widely regarded as the best white-ball pace bowler in the game and his 27 wickets at an economy rate of 6.73 were pivotal to Mumbai’s success last season. Boom Boom has a clever change of pace, toe crushing yorkers and, even when batsmen try and play his overs out economically, he still picks up wickets. Freshly married and back to full fitness, Bumrah will link up with Trent Boult as one of the most feared pace attacks at this IPL.

YOUNGSTER TO WATCH: MARCO JANSEN

South African all-rounder Marco Jansen has impressed in the Mzansi Super League in his home country. The 6-foot 8-inch right-handed batsman and left-arm pace bowler was snapped up for a mere Rs 20 lakh at this year’s auction. Yet to be capped by South Africa, Jansen was called up to South Africa’s Test squad in January for the tour of Pakistan, although he did not play.

WHERE WILL MUMBAI INDIANS FINISH?

You’d be a brave man to back against Mumbai Indians this season as they gun for their sixth crown. It would be a major surprise if they failed to reach the playoffs and no surprise at all if they were to win again to make it three titles in a row.

Prediction: 1st

James Buttler is a cricket journalist, broadcaster and host of the Cricket Badger Podcast. You can tune into the IPL Daily editions here: https://podfollow.com/cricket-badger-podcast

See all of our IPL team previews here
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