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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians all-set for yet another title assault

Skipper Rohit Sharma has led the team to three IPL titles and will be eager to add more into the already-bulging trophy cabinet.

cricket Updated: Feb 15, 2019 12:18 IST
Pratik Sagar
Pratik Sagar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File image of Mumbai Indians’ skipper Rohit Sharma celebrating the gall of a wicket with Hardik Pandya.
File image of Mumbai Indians’ skipper Rohit Sharma celebrating the gall of a wicket with Hardik Pandya.(AFP)
         

Retaining the core of the squad has been Mumbai Indians’ strength over the years and once again, they have managed to do so for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). This along with some shrewd buys to tweak the squad further makes MI one of the top contenders for the title.

Skipper Rohit Sharma has led the team to three IPL titles and will be eager to add more into the already-bulging trophy cabinet. Such has been the expectations from them as last season they failed to make it into the knockouts and it was seen as an unsuccessful campaign for the Blues.

Also Read: IPL 2019: Chris Gayle, Ravichandran Ashwin lead Kings XI Punjab’s hopes

In Rohit, Pandya bros, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishan Kishan, Yuvraj Singh and Barinder Sran MI have an enviable talent pool when it comes to Indian stars. While the likes of Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff and Lasith Malinga complete the astonishing squad that the three-time champions have put together for IPL 2019.

FULL SQUAD

Rohit Sharma (C), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Mayank Markande, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy, Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Quinton de Kock, Evin Lewis, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff, Pankaj Jaiswal, Rasikh Dar, Yuvraj Singh, Lasith Malinga, Anmolpreet Singh, Barinder Sran, Jayant Yadav

FIVE INDIAN PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Rohit Sharma – The Indian cricket team vice-captain is regarded as one of the best batsmen in the world when it comes to white-ball cricket. Rohit has led MI to three titles and is one of the top-scorers in the history of the league. Rohit didn’t have a good season last time around — according to his own high standards — and he will look to make amends this time around.

Yuvraj Singh – Few years ago, if any team would have managed to snare all-rounder Yuvraj Singh for just Rs 1 crore, it would have been the steal of the century. But not anymore as Yuvraj’s superhuman powers seem to have deserted him. MI handed Yuvraj a chance to reignite his career and it remains to be seen if he manages pull-off anything spectacular with one of the most illustrious teams in the league.

Also Read: IPL 2019: Young captain, young squad, chance for Delhi Capitals (DC) to break title jinx

Anmolpreet Singh – 20-year-old Anmolpreet Singh set the stage alight in the India U-19 and Punjab teams and that forced MI to shell out Rs 80 Lakhs for him. It remains to be seen if he gets a chance to shine in star-studded batting line-up of Mumbai but if he manages to break into the team, expect some fireworks.

Hardik Pandya – All-rounder Hardik Pandya has had a torrid time off the field recently and will look for a good IPL in order to get back in rhythm ahead of the world cup. Pandya is regarded as one of the best all-rounders in white-ball cricket and he remains as vital as ever for the Mumbai based outfit.

Mayank Markande – Young spinner Mayank Markande took the league by storm last time around when he took wickets for fun. The wily spinner scalped 15 wickets in 14 matches and displayed qualities beyond his age. All eyes will be on Markande to see if he was a one season wonder or if he is the real deal for Mumbai.

FIVE OVERSEAS PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR

Quinton de Kock – South Africa wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock was sold to Mumbai by Royal Challengers Bangalore before the IPL auction and he will look to kick start his campaign with a brand new team. The southpaw hasn’t set the IPL alight in the past editions and that needs to change this time considering the big name player that he is.

Evin Lewis – Explosive top-order batsman Evin Lewis’ place in the side is now threatened by the arrival of de Kock. Lewis performed well last season but consistency was an issue for the star Windies batsmen. It will be interesting to see if Lewis manages to grab his chances well considering the competition for places in the Mumbai batting order.

Also Read: IPL 2019: Ajinkya Rahane leads formidable Rajasthan Royals (RR) squad

Kieron Pollard – Over the years, Windies all-rounder Kieron Pollard has been instrumental in Mumbai reaching the astronomical heights. But the veteran is now on a downward curve and had a rather unfamiliar outing last time around. Pollard will be eager to chance his fortunes for the good this season.

Mitchell McClenaghan – New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan is almost guaranteed of a place in the side considering what he brings to the table. He has 68 wickets in 51 matches in the IPL while he is a very handy batsman as well.

Lasith Malinga – Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga was a last moment buy for Mumbai and that says it all. Malinga is the highest-wicket taker in the league’s history but that was in the past he isn’t the bowler that he once was. It remains to be seen if he manages to conjure some magic and gets back to his best for his only team in the league.

PAST RECORD:

2008 — Fifth

2009 — Seventh

2010 — Runners-up

2011 — Qualifier 2

2012 — Eliminator

2013 — Champions

2014 — Eliminator

2015 — Champions

2016 — Fifth

2017 — Champions

2018 - Fifth

First Published: Feb 15, 2019 11:58 IST

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