Mumbai Indians (MI) are one of the most successful and talked-about team in the Indian Premier League (IPL). They are the first franchise to win the coveted IPL championship thrice in 11 editions. India opener and MI captain Rohit Sharma has captained the side to IPL glory on all the three occasions. Rohit Sharma, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah were retained by the think tank prior to the auctions in 2018. They also retained Trinidadian all-rounder Kieron Pollard and all-rounder Krunal Pandya through Right To Match (RTM) card.
The Mukesh Ambani-owned Mumbai Indians have almost retained their core group of players the way their greatest rivals in IPL Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have retained. However, they parted ways with some of the established names in the Mumbai Indians family in Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu, both of whom play for Chennai Super Kings now. MI also let go off Nitish Rana in the previous edition to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Prior to this edition, they made a smart purchase in veteran Yuvraj Singh at his base price. The 37-year old gives Rohit Sharma's side the perfect balance and is all set to unleash his wealth of experience for IPL's Blue Army in the upcoming season. MI also have South Africa wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock who was traded from Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Rohit's team has some quality all-rounders in Pollard, Ben Cutting, Yuvraj and the Pandya brothers who give a lot of options to choose from.
MI won their maiden IPL title in 2013 when they defeated CSK in the final by 23 runs. Kieron Pollard was adjudged player of the final for his blistering knock of unbeaten 60 runs off just 32 balls that included seven fours and three sixes.
It was a dejà vu for Rohit Sharma and his boys as they won their second IPL title in 2015 against the same opposition and at the same venue i.e. against CSK at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. At one of his most liked venues, MI captain Rohit Sharma made a quick fire 50 off just 26 (six fours and two sixes) balls to take his team's total beyond 200. MI ended 202/5 in 20 overs. Lendl Simmons top scored with 68 runs from 45 balls (eight fours and three sixes).
CSK wilted under pressure and could manage 161/8 in 20 overs giving MI a victory by 41 runs.
Rohit's MI won their third IPL title in 2017 where they defeated neighbours Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) by one run in the final. It was a low scoring final where RPS, courtesy a fine bowling performance by Jaydev Unadkat, Adam Zampa and Dane Christian restricted MI to 129/8. In reply, RPS opener Ajinkya Rahane and captain Steve Smith steered the run-chase but an equally brilliant bowling display by Mitchell Johnson, Jasprit Bumrah and others stumbled RPS' run-chase as they managed to defend a small total.
The perfect mixture of experience and young talent make Mumbai Indians one of the favourites to lift the trophy once more.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (capt), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Quinton de Kock (wk), Ben Cutting, Jayant Yadav, Lasith Malinga, Anmolpreet Singh, Mayank Markande, Mitchell McClenaghan, Ishan Kishan (wk), Aditya Tare, Evin Lewis, Jason Behrendorff, Suryakumar Yadav, Adam Milne, Rahul Chahar, Siddesh Lad, Yuvraj Singh, Barinder Sran, Pankaj Jaswal, Rasikh Salam, Anukul Roy.