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Mumbai Indians: Under Rohit Sharma, defending champs eye crown in IPL 2018

Apart from Rohit, all-rounder Hardik Pandya, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, West Indies star Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya have been retained from last year

BS Web Team 

Rohit Sharma, IPL, Mumbai Indians
File photo: Mumbai Indians batsman Rohit Sharma plays a shot during the IPL match against Royal Challengers Bangalore at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

TEAM AT A GLANCE Support Staff: Sachin Tendulkar (Icon), Mahela Jayawardene (Head Coach), Robin Singh (Batting Coach), Shane Bond (Bowling Coach), Lasith Malinga (Bowling Mentor), James Pamment (Fielding Coach), Nitin Patel (Physiotherapist), Paul Chapman (Strength & Conditioning coach), Amit Shah (Sports Massage Therapist), Rahul Sanghvi (Team manager), Shyam Sundar Jayapalan (Assistant Physiotherapist), L Varun (Video analyst), Prateek Kadam (Assistant Strength & Conditioning coach)

Captain: Rohit Sharma

Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Sharad Lumba, Saurabh Tiwary, Surya Kumar Yadav

All-rounders: Ben Cutting, Jean-Paul Duminy, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Anukul Roy, Tajinder Dhillon

Wicket-keepers: Ishan Kishan, Aditya Tare

Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Rahul Chahar, Pat Cummins, Akila Dhananjaya, Mohsin Khan, Mayank Markande, MD Nidheesh, Mustafizur Rahman, Pradeep Sangwan, Mitchell McClenaghan

*** With a fairly new-look side under the leadership of Rohit Sharma for this year's Indian Premier League (IPL), Mumbai Indians will be determined to defend the crown they won last season. Apart from Rohit, all-rounder Hardik Pandya, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, West Indies star Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya have been retained from last year. Pandya and Bumrah were retained in the first-ever player retention event in January. The defending champions later used the Right to Match (RTM) card to keep Pollard and Krunal in the squad. However, some players who played key roles in Mumbai's success last season like Nitish Rana, Harbhajan Singh and Mitchell McClenaghan have not been retained. For this season, Mumbai have embellished their squad with left-handed West Indies opener Evin Lewis, young wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan and promising uncapped Indian batsman Suryakumar Yadav. While Rohit has not been consistent in the five-day format, he has proved himself in limited-overs cricket and will be expected to lead Mumbai's batting effort from the front along with the Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal. With South African star Jean-Paul Duminy also a part of the mix, the Mumbai batting line-up has the power and flair to create problems for any bowling attack in the IPL. The Mumbai pace bowling department is also promising this year with the likes of Bumrah, Pat Cummins and Mustafizur Rahman. Cummins has been in good form during Australia's ongoing tour of South Africa while Bumrah -- known for his excellent death overs bowling -- has played a key role for the Indian team recently in all formats. The duo are expected to be among the pillars of the Mumbai pace bowling attack along with Hardik while Pradeep Sangwan, Jason Behrendroff and Rahman have the ability to play an effective supporting role. Veteran Sri Lankan star Lasith Malinga, a death over specialist known for his accurate yorkers, also has the experience and skills to be a match winner on his day. The spin bowling department however, is something of a weakness.

Left-arm slow orthodox Krunal is one of the most experienced spinners in the squad while fellow left-arm Anukul Roy -- one of the stars of the U-19 World Cup winning squad -- is expected to play a key role along with young leg-spinner Rahul Chahar.

First Published: Thu, April 05 2018. 19:50 IST