By – Arjun Prasad
Two time champions league winners and one time IPL champions Mumbai Indians are up for review next. The costliest IPL outfit yet, Mumbai never back down from a high profile buy. Whether it was Sachin or Malinga or pollard, the big wigs shelled out all the ammo to make Mumbai the next big team in the IPL. They have been consistent in the recent past and will look to take another bite of the cherry come the 2015 edition.
Strengths – When Ricky Ponting, Shane Bond and Jonty Rhodes form the core of your support system, you know the kind of team you are talking about. Mumbai are known not only for buying high profile players but also for getting in equally good coaches and mentors to aid the side’s quest for the IPL. This has been one of their greatest strengths and this season seems no different. Apart from this, they are perhaps the only side that features a host of dependable Indian talent. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan, Rayudu, Parthiv and Ojha amongst others have all been proven T20 performers. Their understanding of the Indian conditions is far superior when compared to that of their foreign counterparts and hence it will be a huge boost to the men in blue.
Weakness – The Mumbai Indians have depended on one bowler to bail them out of every situation, Lasith Malinga. The Sri Lankan is a match winner no doubt, but he is not the same bowler he once was. Teams are now able to decode the slinging action of the former and hence he has become slightly ineffective. They must find a ‘go to’ man quickly as it is the need of the hour for them. Pollard’s inconsistency with the bat Is also a major issue. He has failed to deliver with the bat on most occasions much to their dismay.
X Factor – The Australian duo of Finch and Hazelwood are terrific buys for the Mumbai Indians. Both the Aussies will be riding high on their world cup exploits and come in at crucial places for the former champions. Finch will be expected to lead the charge with the bat whereas Hazelwood will do the same with the new ball. They form the power pair for Rohit’s team and hence will the deciding factors.
Verdict – One would have to say that a top 4 finish is a must for this high profile team. They boast of an outfit that possesses a mix of youth and experience. They can beat any side on their day and hence a lot will be expected out of them.
Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Aditya Tare, Harbhajan Singh, Corey Anderson, Josh Hazlewood, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Pawan Suyal, Marchant de Lange, Lendl Simmons, Shreyas Gopal, R Vinay Kumar, Unmukt Chand, Aaron Finch, Parthiv Patel, Mitchell McClenaghan, Pragyan Ojha, Aiden Blizzard, Akshay Wakhare, Siddhesh Lad, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, J Suchith, Abhimanyu Mithun.