IPL 2021 Preview: Mumbai Indians (MI)
Mumbai Indians are the IPL’s most successful side, bar none. By winning the 2020 edition of the IPL out in the UAE, they made it five IPL titles, To put that into perspective, Chennai Super Kings have won it three times and the Super Kings aside, no one else has won it more than once except the Kolkata Knight Riders, with two titles.
The secrets to Mumbai’s IPL success? They’ve always had great captains and the current captain Rohit Sharma has brought the franchisee a great deal of success. They have a good management structure and always employ top coaches, with former Sri Lanka star batsman Mahela Jayawardene currently in charge.
The team always appears to be incredibly professional, from high fitness levels among the players to good use of data by the background staff and impressive levels of discipline, both on and off the field. MI are always one of the favorites when it comes to the IPL betting market for the outright winner.
But the biggest thing of all is that they buy and keep the right players. Theirs is always a side specifically packed with T20 specialists, in specific roles, who always perform.
And they don’t fix problems that don’t need to be fixed. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Hardik, Krunal Pandya, and Kieron Pollard have been at the Mumbai Indians for years. Rather than let them go and take a gamble on other players they don’t know, they stick with the tried and trusted champion players they know they can count on.
Mumbai Indians at IPL 2021: The story so far
The Indians have been slow starters in the past before eventually finding their feet and hitting their straps when it most matters at the business end of the tournament. That’s been the story in the past and this year has been a bit like that so far.
With four wins from seven matches, they’re still very much in it and are currently in fourth place.
The problem they have is that over the last two years they finished in the Top 2, which gave them a much easier route to getting to the final. This time round they may have to do it the hard way by winning three in a row, including the final, in order to defend their title.
With the bat, skipper Rohit Sharma has been by far the most consistent batsman with 250 runs so far, though curiously, he only has one fifty to his name. A sign that he’s made starts but not really kicked on.
Suryakumar Yadav has been his usual self in being solid rather than spectacular and Kieron Pollard reminded us all what he’s all about with a brilliant 87 not out in one game.
With the ball, spinner Rahul Chahar has taken 11 wickets and been one of the standout bowlers in the whole tournament.
Trent Boult has been good too with eight wickets but has been a bit expensive. Bumrah has been the opposite: he only has six wickets but has been extremely economical.
Mumbai Indians at IPL 2021: What might happen next
As hinted already, it’s been very much in the Mumbai DNA to peak when it really matters. An exception was last year when they were just extremely consistent all the way through, including in the final, where they won pretty easily in the end.
The good news for them is that it was in the UAE that they put in that superb performance last year, so Sharma and co won’t actually mind returning there again this year as they have good memories of the place.
But the first thing they need to sort out is who is their regular fourth overseas player. Kieron Pollard, Trent Boult, and Quinton de Kock will always play, but who should the fourth one be?
Aussie opener Chris Lynn often fails to replicate his Big Bash form, Marco Jansen is still a bit raw for the IPL, while James Neesham often doesn’t bowl enough and bats too low to justify his inclusion.
It might be better if they played one of Adam Milne or Nathan Coulter-Nile as the fourth. Milne has genuine pace, while Coulter-Nile is an experienced bowler who also contributes with the bat.
In the past, brothers Krunal and Hardik Pandya have been important cogs in the Mumbai wheel so the management will be hoping they find their form when it matters.
The return to the UAE may just be exactly what Mumbai needed. But now is the time for the big-name players to step up.
Verdict: Should really make the playoffs but actually winning it again will be tough.
WHAT ARE THE ODDS FOR MUMBAI INDIANS TO WIN IPL 2021?
After going into the tournament as favourites, Mumbai have drifted a bit in the winner market on the back of a slightly slow start to the 2021 IPL. Their current odds on Betway are 3.75, making them third-favourites behind CSK and DC.
Best IPL Betting Sites 2021
How did the Mumbai Indians do in IPL 2020?
In a strange IPL held in the UAE because of the Coronavirus with no fans and other pandemic-related restrictions, it was business as usual for Mumbai.
They topped the table in the Group Stages, winning nine out of 14, and then beat the Delhi Capitals in the Qualifier 1 to book their place in the final at the first time of asking.
Delhi then joined them in the final and Mumbai beat them soundly yet again. Trent Boult took three wickets to restrict Delhi to 156/7 and a sensible 68 off 51 from skipper Sharma was enough to see them home in the chase.
Boult was the man of the match in the final. He and Jasprit Bumrah ended the tournament as the third and second highest wicket-taker of the IPL respectively.
WHO ARE THE BEST MUMBAI INDIANS PLAYERS TO BET ON?
Rohit Sharma is the best bet for the bookmakers and bettors in IPL 2021 odds after leading the team to four titles as skipper. Sharma took over Mumbai’s captaincy in 2013 and turned it into the most successful franchise in the tournament. Known for his cool attitude and smart decisions as a skipper, Rohit scored 405 runs in 15 matches last season. He is a versatile player who can open the bat or play in the middle order, with equal effectiveness.
Mumbai Indians have one of the most explosive openers in the tournament. Quinton de Kock took bowlers by storm last year, aggregating 529 runs in 16 matches. Openers Suryakumar Yadav (424 runs in 16) and hard-hitter Chris Lynn (405 runs in 13 matches) can also impress with their batting skills.
Hardik Pandya has installed himself as one of the best all-rounders in the IPL. His 402 runs and 16 wickets in as many matches last season speak volumes about his prowess with the bat and the ball. Hard-hitting Kieron Pollard can also be a valuable asset in both areas.
Pacer Jasprit Bumrah will be Mumbai’s best bet in the bowling department. He is India’s best bowler in death overs and the highest wicket-taker for Mumbai last season with 19 scalps in 16 matches. He will be joined by talented New Zealander bowler Trent Boult and left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya whose all-rounder game can come in handy for Mumbai.
MUMBAI INDIANS’ HIGHEST-PAID PLAYERS
Compared with other IPL teams, Mumbai pays some big wages. Rohit Sharma tops the chart with a $2.1 million price tag, followed by Hardik Pandya with $1.5 million. That figure puts him ahead of his brother, Krunal, another valuable player at $1.2 million.
Among foreign players, who have signed for Mumbai this year, Nathan Counter-Nile is the costliest cricketer. The Mumbai outfit has signed the Australian pace bowler for $1.1 million.
Two Indian players drop just below the seven-figure mark. Namely, Jasprit Bumrah at $974,000, followed by Ishan Kishan at $862,000. Salaries for incoming players aren’t widely disclosed. However, it’s clear that Mumbai are big payers.
MUMBAI INDIANS: TEAM HISTORY
The Mumbai Indians have been in the Indian Premier League since it began in 2008. They have won a record four titles so far and are currently a powerhouse in Indian cricket.
Since the inception of the IPL tournament, Mumbai Indians have had some of the best players in the world. The presence of Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Shaun Pollock, and Lasith Malinga over the years bears testimony to that.
MI was one of the strongest teams in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008. However, it failed to live up to its reputation and didn’t qualify for the semifinals. In 2009, they slipped further to finish seventh.
MI’s rise to prominence in IPL betting started in 2010 when it reached the finals. The team lost to Chennai Super Kings in the title clash and drew criticism for making tactical errors. But Mumbai’s purple patch had started and the team made playoffs each of the next two years. Their best was yet to come.
It came under Rohit’s captaincy in 2013 when the team emerged triumphant not only in IPL, but also in the Champions League T20, an international club championship.
Mumbai won its second title in 2015, losing four early matches before winning nine of the final 10 to win the IPL Cup and please cricket bettors who supported them. The Mumbai outfit beat Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs in the title clash. Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, and Ambati Rayudu, were instrumental in Mumbai’s victorious campaign.
Mumbai finished fifth in the points table in 2016, but they again rose to prominence in 2017. Playing in a low-score final, MI beat the Pune Supergiant by one run in a last-ball nail-biter finish.
Mumbai entered the 2018 tournament as one of the favorites in the IPL betting markets but finished with a lackluster showing. Uncharacteristic for this successful franchise, MI finished in fifth place, and thus missed the playoffs.
In 2019, Mumbai Indians proceeded to win the championship for a record fourth time, beating their arch-rivals and defending champions Chennai Super Kings. It was the second time in three years that the final saw the victor decided by a one-run margin.
Here are the Mumbai Indians’ results in the Indian Premier League since the tournament began in 2008:
MI NOTABLE PLAYER MOVEMENT SINCE IPL 2020
As we’ve stated already, Mumbai don’t like doing too much business in the auction and who can blame them? Why mess with a winning team?
But they did make a few changes. Sadly, it was the end of the road for one of their greatest servants, Lasith Malinga. The Sri Lankan has just had too many injury problems over the years, and it was time to call it a day. They also released Australian fast bowler James Pattinson; despite the fact he had a decent season last time out.
In came Aussie and Kiwi all-rounders Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Neesham, veteran Indian spinner Piyush Chawla and New Zealand pace bowler Adam Milne.
But most intriguing of all was the signing of Arjun Tendulkar, a young fast bowler and son of…former Mumbai legend Sachin Tendulkar. He signed for the minimum price allowed in the IPL and it will be fascinating to see if he gets a chance to impress in his first season.
PROJECTED MUMBAI INDIANS PLAYING XI IN IPL 2021
Looking at this squad, 2021 would hopefully give us the following Mumbai starting XI.
- Quinton De Kock
- Chris Lynn
- Rohit Sharma
- Ishan Kishan
- Suryakumar Yadav
- Kieron Pollard
- Hardik Pandya
- Krunal Pandya
- Rahul Chahar
- Trent Boult
- Jasprit Bumrah
Mumbai Indians Full Squad 2021
Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Lynn, Mohsin Khan, Saurabh Tiwary, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, James Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar.
MI: TEAM STRENGTHS
Mumbai Indians have had the best batting line-up in the tournament for a few years now.
Sharma is nothing short of a batting genius, Quinton De Kock is one of the most feared batsmen in limited-overs cricket, and Indian pair Kishan and Yadav are excellent players in their own right who are unlucky not to play more for India.
Then there’s Pollard and Hardik Pandya, two of cricket’s biggest hitters, so you can see the challenge opposition teams have.
The other thing they do so well is to have clear, defined roles for each player. Everyone knows what’s expected of them and whether it’s bowling economic overs in the middle of trying to hit 30 off 15 balls, each player knows their job.
MI: TEAM WEAKNESS
Mumbai have Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar as their two main spinners and there’s nothing wrong with either of them, both good players. But they’re not the superstar spinners that the likes of Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan, or Ravi Ashwin are so in terms of spin bowling, they’re slightly behind other sides.
WHO ARE THE OWNERS OF MUMBAI INDIANS?
Reliance Industries, the biggest conglomerate in India, owns the Mumbai Indians. This makes them one of the richest clubs at the IPL.
Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani are the familiar faces of Reliance. Nita, in particular, is a vocal supporter of her team.
WHICH IS THE HOME GROUND OF MUMBAI INDIANS?
Mumbai Indians have played most of their home games at the Wankhede Stadium in the city. This famous ground has hosted many international matches. It will therefore be very familiar to cricket fans both inside and outside of India.
Built in 1974, the Wankhede has a small capacity of just over 33,000. But that sees the ground packed with noisy Mumbai fans, making it an intimidating place for visiting teams. So the Indians are a sound option in online cricket betting markets when playing at home.
When they have to move away from their first choice, Mumbai Indians have a second venue in the city. Namely, the 25,000 capacity Brabourne Stadium.