IPL 2021 preview: Can Mumbai Indians justify its tag of 'Undisputed Champion'?
Mumbai Indians is the record five-time defending champion of the Indian Premier League. It is only the second IPL side after Chennai Super Kings to successfully defend the title. Furthermore, owing to its unusual tendency to win the title every odd year, it is again a favourite for 2021.
When it comes to the most incredible team in the Indian Premier League, Mumbai Indians is undoubtedly the first name that would come to one's mind. And, rightfully so, since the team has won record five championships to date.
Barring its unusual tendency to win the title every odd year, MI is the only second team after Chennai Super Kings to successfully defend the title, thus cementing its legacy as the tournament's undisputed champion. With the upcoming season just days away, Rohit Sharma and co would be looking to script history as we present the side's preview for 2021.
As for its squad, MI is tide heavy on its bowling. With 16 bowlers and 15 batsmen, MI has over the years made an even average total look like a monstrous one, thanks to its prolific bowling. However, its batting is not as weak as it looks like, as it is its bowling that outshines the department. All it takes is a good day for the batsmen, and it would be unparallel in every department.
As for its uncapped talents, there are seven stars. While it is tough to tell who is the best, it is evenly balanced in all departments.
Team strengths and weaknesses
As said above, it is bowling that is its strength. Comprising the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, the Pandya brothers, and Rahul Chahar, these bowlers are sure to give the batsmen a tough time.
Considering its batting, it has a star-studded line-up comprising skipper Rohit, Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Pollard, the Pandyas, along with Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan. While it might not be as heavy as its bowling, examining the big names, all it takes for a couple of them to get going.
Players to watch out
Suryakumar: The batsman made a thumping start to his international career, slamming a half-century on debut in the Twenty20 International against England. As he eyes future success with Team India, he would aim to keep the momentum going with MI.
Kishan: The wicketkeeper-batsman, too, made a similar start to his international career in the format as Suryakumar. Although he got limited chances last season, Rohit is likely to hand even more this season, as he would aim to assert further his case for continuing his stint with Team India.
Chahar: The leg-spinner, too, made his debut against England, and guess what, he made an impact as well. It has undoubtedly proved that MI is best when it comes to producing and grooming the best talents. Nonetheless, he would look to continue his case this season as well.
Bumrah: India's best pacer did not have the best of outings in the format of late. He would be under a stern watch from the management as he eyes to get back to his cruel ways, eyeing success in the 2021 ICC World T20.
Records in the reckoning
- MI can become the first IPL side to win three consecutive titles.
- Rohit can become the second-most successful IPL skipper in terms of matches won, as he needs just four more wins to surpass Gautam Gambhir (71).
- Suryakumar needs 84 runs to score 1,500 runs for MI, thus becoming the fifth player from the side to do so.
- Bumrah needs 19 more wickets to become MI's second-highest wicket-taker, going past Harbhajan Singh's (127).
IPL 2021 prediction
Assessing by the trend, MI is the favourite to win the title again this year since it wins it every odd year. However, keeping the hypothetical judgement aside, MI is still the favourite, owing to its properly managed side and having the right players. They can deliver, even if a department or a player fails to fire. Furthermore, Rohit's captaincy in the competition is unmatched and would play another vital role in the side's success.
MI squad for IPL 2021
Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Saurabh Tiwary, Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav and Anmolpreet Singh.
All-rounders: Kieron Pollard, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Anukul Roy, Arjun Tendulkar and Marco Jansen.
Wicketkeepers: Aditya Tare, Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan.
Spinners: Jayant Yadav and Rahul Chahar.
Pacers: Nathan Coulter-Nile, Dhawal Kulkarni, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Jasprit Bumrah, Yudhvir Charak and Mohsin Khan.