Mumbai Indians look a high quality team. Not so much for the aura of a certain Sachin Tendulkar, but for having the ammunition to combat various unprecedented questions that the T20 game throws up.
The process of finding the accurate ammunition, as in all walks of life, has been through a process of trial, error and rectification. The resilience of the process is perceptible and the players seem to radiate that belief.
The retention of key players, barring Zaheer Khan, will always help. While other teams will be maneuvering their best combinations, the IPL will be at the half-way stage and that is where I believe the team that have a secure core group will be ahead in the tournament.
Settling into a role allocated by the captain and coach is crucial for a player. The MI role allocation seems well delegated at this stage. The 20-over format can throw up unknown challenges from time to time.
The proven gladiators Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Andrew Symonds et al will contribute at some stage or the other collectively or individually, but the cricketing public needs to see an Indian uncapped 'game changer'.
The platform is set for stardom. Many have flattered to deceive, some have only flattered, albeit the podium is still waiting for the 'uncapped star' to unfold.
MI take on RCB today. This is historically a big game, from the domestic and franchisee perspective. The Mallyas take their wins with much euphoria and that will make RCB a tough bottle to uncork. AB de Villiers is the key and Zaheer may want to express his disappointment at not being retained as much as showcasing his skills as India's best bowler.
The Ambanis have left no stone unturned with this team in their pursuit for excellence. Their retention of players is indicative of their belief in team before individual.
Though MI look favourites and bleeding blue, this format can never create a Nostradamus because the best team on view last year lost one match and it was the final and that's what matters!