A batting line-up dotted with big-hitters makes Mumbai Indians (MI) a formidable outfit but the absence of quality spinners and pace veteran Lasith Malinga could hurt defending champions’ title defence in 13th edition of Indian Premier league (IPL 2020). The side will take on Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL 2020 opener on September 19.
The team will play most of its matches on the slow tracks of Abu Dhabi (8) and adapting to that challenge would be the key to its fortunes.
Check 2020 IPL latest news and live score updates here
Mumbai Indians playing 11 prediction
MI tentative playing 11: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McLenaghan, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah.
MI batsmen combination
Batting would be MI's strength with skipper Rohit Sharma, South African Quinton de Kock making for a solid opening pair. Additionally, Australian Chris Lynn also gives them an option for the slot if need be.
Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, who is returning from an injury break, and Krunal Pandya make for a formidable middle-order. Given that all of them are big-hitters, Mumbai will have a distinct advantage over others.
The main problems for Mumbai based franchise could lie in figuring out the right bowling combination, especially in the spin department.
On the pace front, with no Malinga, who has pulled out citing personal reasons, Jasprit Bumrah will be under pressure, coming back after a lengthy injury layoff. He was MI's leading wicket-taker in IPL 2019 with 19 scalps.
Among foreign pacers, Mitchell McLenaghan and Trent Boult give them left-arm option while Nathan Coulter Nile would be their bowling all-rounder. Australian James Pattinson adds to the options, making selection a tough call.
Check CSK playing 11 prediction here
WEAKNESSES: Lack of spinners could dent MI chances in IPL 2020
But, all in all, it is the lack of quality spinners that is likely to hurt one of the strongest title contenders. The Mumbai-based franchise has Krunal, who is more of a restrictive option, and leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, one of the finds of last edition. Off-spinner Jayant Yadav didn't have a great run in the last domestic season, so, it remains to be seen how many games he gets in IPL 2020.
MI’s key player in IPL 2020
All of this might ensure that Caribbean star Kieron Pollard starts bowling his full quota of overs, which he wasn't doing regularly in the past few seasons. He picked up four wickets for Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League final, changing the complexion of the game.
In his 10-year stint with MI so far, the 33-year-old has scored 2,755 runs at a strike rate of 146.77. Pollard has also smashed 176 sixes in IPL which is the highest by any MI player.
Last year, he even captained the franchise when Rohit was ruled out due to injury. The imposing player smashed magnificent 83 (31) as MI registered its highest successful run chase at home.
MI head coach on Rohit Sharma as a captain
Coach Mahela Jayawardane, in a recent interview, put his faith in Rohit's instinctive leadership. He said the easy-going batsman also likes to accumulate as much information as possible about the opposition.
"...as long as you are prepared and you are instinctively making those calls and being proactive, that's all that you can ask from him and Ro (Rohit) is brilliant in that," the Sri Lankan great had said.
|Player||Team||Retained/bought/traded||Price (Rs cr)|
|Dhawal Kulkarni||MI||Traded in||0.75|
|Digvijay Deshmukh (uncapped)||MI||Bought||0.20|
|James Pattinson||MI||Replaced Malinga||1.00|
|Mohsin Khan (uncapped)||MI||Bought||0.20|
|Prince Balwant Rai Singh (uncapped)||MI||Bought||0.20|
|Quinton de Kock||MI||Retained||2.80|
|Sherfane Rutherford||MI||Traded in||2.00|
|Trent Boult||MI||Traded in||3.20|
Check MI’s new IPL 2020 full schedule here:
|MI FULL SCHEDULE FOR IPL 2020|
|19-Sep-20||SAT||MI vs CSK||7:30PM||6:00PM||ABU DHABI|
|23-Sep-20||WED||KKR vs MI||7:30PM||6:00PM||ABU DHABI|
|28-Sep-20||MON||RCB vs MI||7:30PM||6:00PM||DUBAI|
|1-Oct-20||THU||KXIP vs MI||7:30PM||6:00PM||ABU DHABI|
|4-Oct-20||SUN||MI vs SRH||3:30PM||2:00PM||SHARJAH|
|6-Oct-20||TUE||MI vs RR||7:30PM||6:00PM||ABU DHABI|
|11-Oct-20||SUN||MI vs DC||7:30PM||6:00PM||ABU DHABI|
|16-Oct-20||FRI||MI vs KKR||7:30PM||6:00PM||ABU DHABI|
|18-Oct-20||SUN||MI vs KXIP||7:30PM||6:00PM||DUBAI|
|23-Oct-20||FRI||CSK vs MI||7:30PM||6:00PM||SHARJAH|
|25-Oct-20||SUN||RR vs MI||7:30PM||6:00PM||ABU DHABI|
|28-Oct-20||WED||MI vs RCB||7:30PM||6:00PM||ABU DHABI|
|31-Oct-20||SAT||DC vs MI||3:30PM||2:00PM||DUBAI|
|3-Nov-20||TUE||SRH vs MI||7:30PM||6:00PM||