Mumbai did get their core quintet, but did not do a good job of finding ‘other’ cricketers © Getty Images
Mumbai did get their core quintet, but did not do a good job of finding ‘other’ cricketers © Getty Images

Mumbai Indians (MI) retained Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Hardik Pandya. They obviously acquired Kieron Pollard from the auction. And when Krunal Pandya was on the verge of being taken away, Nita Ambani merely grinned and played the RTM MI had saved for that specific purpose. Mumbai Indians have a history of sticking to a nucleus, and they did exactly that, yet again. Unfortunately, this meant that they had to let go of Parthiv Patel and Nitish Rana, two of their top three scorers of 2017, and Mitchell McClenaghan, Lasith Malinga (both of whom went unsold anyway), and Karn Sharma, their top three wicket-takers.

In other words, Mumbai did get their core quintet, but did not do a good job of finding ‘other’ cricketers. They finished significantly short of becoming a formidable outfit.

Depleted batting-order

MI are probably not the worst batting outfit in this tournament, but they will definitely give Kolkata Knight Riders serious run for their money. Rohit is their only batting star, though Evin Lewis, with his fondness for demolishing Indian attacks, may lay a claim to that.

The formidable quartet of all-rounders — the ubiquitous Pollard, the mercurial Ben Cutting, and the loyal Pandya brothers — may make up for that, though Pollard and Cutting will almost certainly not play together.

The rest of the batting consists of JP Duminy, Saurabh Tiwary, Suryakumar Yadav, Siddhesh Lad, and Sharad Lumba. Even the wicketkeepers, Aditya Tare and Ishan Kishan, do not provide much confidence.

Mind you, unless Rohit opens, they will have to do with a makeshift partner for Lewis, which will add to their woes.

Where are the support bowlers?

Mustafizur Rahman and Pat Cummins are as potent a pair of fast bowlers as any. Unfortunately, they are also as injury prone as any. Despite the presence of Bumrah, the bowling line-up will look thin.

Jason Behrendorff may provide a scare or two with extra bounce and Akila Dananjaya may bamboozle a batsman or two, but it is unlikely for either of them to succeed on flat tracks. The back-up spinners consist of Anukul Roy (of Under-19 fame), Rahul Chahar, and Mayank Markande.

Mumbai Indians squad: Rohit Sharma (captain last year), Ishan Kishan (wk), Aditya Tare (wk), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, JP Duminy, Siddhesh Lad, Sharad Lumba, Ben Cutting, Tajinder Singh, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Akila Dananjaya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mustafizur Rahman, Pat Cummins, Pradeep Sangwan, Jason Behrendorff, MD Nidheesh, Mohsin Khan