The Mumbai Indians got out to a rough start in the IPL, but once they figured out what it takes to win, they went on to become the league’s most successful team. Over the past 14 years, MI’s backroom team has painstakingly planned retentions, auction plans, and player development, but they must have had heartburn when they were forced to release all but four of their squad members ahead of the blockbuster auction in February of this year.
But, because of their obsession with Ishan Kishan, MI’s think-tank couldn’t come up with a good buy until the middle of Day 2 of the auction. MI had run out of good choices by the midpoint of day two, as all of the other teams had capitalised. MI needed to buy more filler players in the end.
However, getting the services of Jofra Archer for INR 8 crore was a brilliant move by the Mumbai Indians. While Jofra may not be able to participate this season owing to injury worries, they can rest assured that they are planning for the future, and their strategy will be implemented in 2023. They might also hope for miracles and hire Jofra in 2022.
MI has made it plain that they intend to create their new lineup around skipper Rohit Sharma, fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, batter Suryakumar Yadav, and allrounder Kieron Pollard. How did they fare in the end?
Experience. Rohit, Pollard, Surya, and Bumrah’s quadrant has a lot of experience. They’ve done and seen everything. They’ve been in high-pressure positions, whether international or franchised. And they’ve won matches in similar situations on a regular basis. When you combine that with Ishan Kishan’s youthful energy and the emerging Dewald Brevis, MI looks like a formidable combination.
In terms of bowling, they have world-class Bumrah as the spearhead of their attack, with Tymal Mills (death-overs specialist), Jaydev Unadkat (new ball striking) and allrounder Daniel Sams providing support.
And don’t forget about Rohit, the skipper. He has five MI titles to his name. He is also the country’s leader in all formats. That’s all there is to it. His leadership undoubtedly adds a player to their starting lineup.
The quality of their spin section appears to be lacking. In recent years, they have been afflicted with this illness. The spin assault will be led by Murugan Ashwin, with Mayank Markande and Fabian Allen providing backup.
None of these, however, can compare to the spin departments of a select few other IPL franchises. These three will have to stand up and close this huge gap. A poor middle order is another source of concern.
For Mumbai Indians, the middle and lower orders are where things become fascinating. While Suryakumar Yadav will continue to play at 3 and Kieron Pollard will play at 5, the Mumbai Indians lack a good number 4 batter. As a result, it’s possible that young Tilak Verma will play at number four.
Tilak is young and has promise, but he’ll need to get his act together if he wants to contribute to the club. When compared to their 2021 and 2022 lineups, this one appears to be very thin. They would certainly miss Hardik’s skills, as he served a dual function for the squad in addition to being a fantastic fielder.