IPL 2021 Preview: Mumbai Indians well set to make history

Mumbai Indians is probably the most organised franchise in the Indian Premier League during the last decade. Right from finding gems in auction for feasible prices to successfully building teams for long-term success, Mumbai Indians ticks all boxes for the best team in the tournament. Ahead of IPL 2021, Mumbai is very well set to make history by winning three titles in a row.

After starting with a defeat against Chennai Super Kings last season, Mumbai dominated the majority of games in the league stage. They were deserved at the top of the table after 14 games. Moreover, performances in both knockout games were complete, giving minimal chances to the opposition to control the game. Keeping the majority of last season’s squad intact gives Mumbai the perfect platform to defend their title for the second year in a row.

What did MI do in auction?

Before the auction in February, Mumbai decided to part ways with four senior pacers in Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson, and Mitch McClenaghan. Along with these high-profile departures, Sherfane Rutherford, Prince Balwant Rai, and Digvijay Deshmukh were also released by MI.

Going into the auction, MI needed quality in the pace department. They managed to get back Coulter-Nile for Rs 5 crores, while Adam Milne was bought for Rs 3.2 crores. Piyush Chawla was brought in for Rs 2.40 crores to add depth to the spin department. Mumbai also picked up some bargains by signing James Neesham and Marco Jansen for Rs 50 lakhs and Rs 20 lakhs, respectively. Arjun Tendulkar and Yudhvir Charak were picked up for base prices of Rs 20 lakhs. MI made sure that they have enough quality and depth to the squad during the auction.

Mumbai Indians squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Chris Lynn, Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jimmy Neesham, Marco Jansen, Piyush Chawla, Arjun Tendulkar, Yudhvir Charak.

Player to watch out in IPL 2021

Apart from usual suspects, Rahul Chahar is the player to watch out for Mumbai Indians in 2021. He enjoyed a great campaign last season. With a good chance of making it to the Indian T-20 squad for the World Cup, Chahar will be eager to impress during IPL. He might be expensive in few games, but his wrist spin bowling will always help MI to attack in middle overs and take wickets.

Expectations for IPL 2021

Anything but an IPL title will be a disappointment for Mumbai Indians. With the big auction scheduled to take place next year, this will probably one last opportunity for this group to win another trophy together. The batting lineup is settled with the likes of Surya Kumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan providing impetus in the middle order. Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, and Kieron Pollard form that explosive lower middle order.

The bowling unit also ticks all boxes with a left-arm pace bowler in Trent Boult, death overs specialist Jasprit Bumrah, and wrist spinner Rahul Chahar. The fourth bowling option is likely to be Nathan Coulter-Nile. Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock are two reliable openers. MI is probably the only team in IPL that has complete clarity about starting XI even before the start of the tournament. They start the tournament as favourites, and it will not be surprising if they cruise through the competition to lift the title.

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