A batting line-up dotted with some of the most renowned names of world cricket – defending champions Mumbai Indians appear to be a formidable outfit on paper ahead of start of Indian Premier League 2020. But the absence of quality spinners and legendary paceman Lasith Malinga could hurt their chances of defending the title in the 13th edition of T20 extravaganza. Batting would be MI’s strength with skipper Rohit Sharma, South African Quinton de Kock making for a solid opening pair. Additionally, Australian Chris Lynn also gives them an option for the slot if need be. Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, who is returning from an injury break, and Krunal Pandya make for a formidable middle-order. Given that all of them are big-hitters, Mumbai will have a distinct advantage over others.

Their problems could lie in figuring out the right bowling combination, especially the spin department.

On the pace front, with no Malinga, who has pulled out citing personal reasons, Jasprit Bumrah will be under pressure, coming back after a lengthy injury layoff. He was MI’s leading wicket-taker last season with 19 scalps.

Captain: Rohit Sharma

Hailed as one of the best white-ball cricketers in the modern era – Rohit Sharma is a treat to watch for every cricket connoisseur. His shot-making, ability to pick bowler’s length early, and explosive strokeplay make a nightmare for any opposition. Since taking over the reins of MI camp from Ricky Ponting in 2013 – Rohit has evolved as a player and a leader. His smart tactics, astute decision-making and quick thinking on the field has led some quarters to suggest he should take over the limited-overs captaincy of India from Virat Kohli. In the T20s, Rohit backs his players, executes all the data-crunched plans made behind the scenes expertly while maintaining his composure.

Coach: Mahela Jayawardane

One of the shrewdest and sharpest cricketing minds – Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardane is the perfect foil to maintain a star-studded unit like MI. Jayawardene was appointed as Mumbai’s head coach before the start of the 2017 edition. The Sri Lanka stalwart played for various teams in the IPL before taking up coaching duties. Between 2008 and 2013, he played 80 matches in the IPL and amassed 1802 runs.

Mumbai Indians Squad

Rohit Sharma (C), Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan (wk), James Pattison, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Prince Balwant Rai, Quinton De Kock (wk), Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult.

IPL Past Record

2008 5th

2009 7th

2010 Runners-up

2011 Playoffs (3rd)

2012 Playoffs (4th)

2013 Winner

2014 Playoffs (4th)

2015 Winner

2016 5th

2017 Winner

2018 5th

2019 Winner

IPL 2019 Performance

Mumbai had a terrific outing in the last edition of the Indian Premier League as they claimed the coveted trophy after beating arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings by 1 run at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad. The Blue Brigade topped the league stages as well – MI won nine out of 14 matches they played last season and boast off a top NRR of +0.452.

MI’s New Additions

The signing of explosive Chris Lynn and pace ace Trent Boult have provided more depth to Mumbai Indians setup. Lynn, who is a renowned T20 specialist and an IPL veteran, can prove to be handy for the four-time champs along with skipper Rohit and Quinton de Kock at the top. While MI’s pace battery appear one-hell-of-a-force with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan and James Pattinson in their ranks.

Key Players

Hardik Pandya: Eager for his return to the big stage after a long injury layoff – a lot will once again depend on Mumbai’s superstar all-rounder – Hardik Pandya. A big-hitter and a fast-bowling all-rounder, Hardik ticks all the boxes that a team desires from a player in the limited-overs format. Hardik’s strike rate of close to 155 and his ability to clear ground at will also make him one of the best finishers in T20 format. He was ruled out from the action in September last year following a back injury. However, the Baroda-born all-rounder gave some outstanding performances in the DY Patil T20 Cup to give the world a glimpse of his cricketing prowess.

Jasprit Bumrah: MI’s champion fast bowler – Jasprit Bumrah would also take this opportunity to find his rhythm back ahead of the much-talked-about India tour of Australia 2020. Bumrah, who made a return to the national team following a stress fracture on his lower back, has failed to make a strong impact. It will also be a great learning experience for the 26-year-old and a lot will be expected from him in the absence of his mentor and idol – Lasith Malinga.

IPL 2020 Prediction

Defending champions Mumbai are too good of a side to miss out on playoffs once again. They should finish in the top two comfortably and will likely make it to the final as well. MI vs CSK on November 10?