IPL 2015 Mumbai Indians : Striving for consistency
Team: Mumbai Indians
Captain: Rohit Sharma
Best Performance: Winners of 2011 and 2013 seasons, playoffs in 2014
Home Ground: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Last year’s performance: Played 14 Won 7 Lost 7
Last year’s position: Fourth on the points table
Overall performance: Played 110 Won 63 Loss 46 NR 1
Mumbai Indians is one of the teams in the Indian Premier League which has the wherewithal to choose a champion team but too often spends mindlessly in the auctions. Without taking into consideration the needs of the team they have bought players in the past who have just warmed the benches for whole season. One prime example is the better known million dollar baby, Glenn Maxwell, who was purchased by Mumbai Indians famously for a million but could utilize him for the season. Ultimately he was released and was snapped by Kings XI Punjab as he played a pivotal role in their journey to Finals.
Having a knack to pick the players who performed breezily like Richard Levi, Kieron Pollard and Corey Anderson they infamously picked Ricky Ponting, who was retired for more than two years and hardly played any competitive cricket, and made the captain for the season 2013. As was expected his performance was below par and had to sit out mid tournament.
If some of the purchases were baffling then some of the releases were mind numbing for the Mumbai fans. They inexplicably released Mitchell Johnson, Dwayne Smith (when they were struggling to find an opener after Tendulkar retired), Dinesh Karthik and Glenn Maxwell.
However, this time round they have made their auction purse of Rs 10 crores count with some smart buys like that of Aaron Finch (an opener they needed), Parthiv Patel and Pragyan Ojha.
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Their performance in the season 2014 was the perfect example of how mercurial this team has been. Having lost their first five matches they looked all but into the tournament. However, they bounced back in the tournament to win seven of their remaining nine matches to make it to the play offs. Those seven wins included one against Rajasthan Royals in their last group match in which they had to chase an improbable 190 off 14.4 overs to get into the play offs.
However, if we look at their team it looks like they have their bases covered in the two departments, batting and bowling. Let us take a look at their squad for the IPL 2015 season.
MI Squad IPL 2015
They bought ten players in the auction while they traded three players in the trade window before the auctions as they spent Rs 5 crores in the auction. Their squad for the season looks like
Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Ambati Rayudu, Corey Anderson, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Josh Hazlewood, Keiron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Marchant de Lange, Pawan Suyal, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Unmukt Chand, R Vinay Kumar, Parthiv Patel, Aaron Finch, Pragyan Ojha, Mitchell McClenaghan, Akshay Wakhare, Aiden Blizzard, Hardik Pandya, Siddhesh Lad, J Suchith, Nitish Rana, Abhimanyu Mithun
The players traded in the trading window were Parthiv Patel, R Vinay Kumar and Unmukt Chand.
The batting and bowling looks formidable for them and the look of the squad is intimidating on the first look with likes of Kieron Pollard, Rohit Sharma, Corey Anderson and Lasith Malinga in the squad.
Talking about their batting they have inducted two openers, the wicket keeper batsman Parthiv Patel and dynamic Australian opening batsman Aaron Finch. With Lendl Simmons already in the squad and having excelled with the bat in the last season berth in one of the foreign quotas looks confirmed for the beginning of the tournament.
Aaron Finch is coming off a season where he has not performed as well he was expected to in the world cup as well as the Big Bash League, the Australia T20 domestic tournament. His last season was with the Sunrisers Hyderabad in which he played 13 matches garnering 309 runs at an average of 28.09 and Strike Rate of 117.
With the induction of R Vinay Kumar in their squad they have am Indian pacer on whom they can rely as Jasprit Bhumrah was not very impressive last season and could not support Lasith Malinga. Also they have a strong spin department boasting Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha. Former had a decent 2014 outing as he scalped 14 wickets in as many matches played with an economy rate of 6.47 per over.
However, there will be a problem of too many yet again for the team management as they will have a difficult decision of choosing four foreign players from Lasith Malinga, Corey Anderson, Kieron Pollard, Lendl Simmons and Aaron Finch.
What to Expect in IPL 2015
The team has a nice blend of indigenous and foreign players for the season with Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel, Ambati Raydu, Aditya Tare and R Vinay Kumar proven performers in IPL. While the foreign players like Malinga, Corey Anderson and Pollard expected to be match changers they can almost be guaranteed for one of the play off berths.
With Ricky Ponting appointed as the head coach and Shane Bond as the bowling coach they sure have greats of the game behind the scenes. What they do on the screen will be greatly influenced by their head coach, Ricky Ponting, as his aggressive demeanor should rub on the team and Rohit Sharma’s captaincy.
They are 13/2 to win this season and given their all-round strength and availability of players throughout the tournament we are backing to lay Mumbai Indians till the play offs.