For last 6 seasons, it was one man whose shoulders were found to have been strong enough to carry the expectations of the team that has been left orphaned with his retirement, Mumbai Indians. With retirement of Tendulkar, the team has now finally slipped down to stand in the same category where all the other IPL teams reside. It was Tendulkar whose presence inside the dressing always managed to rub in a different level of confidence and calmness. The defending champions though have an able leadership under Rohit Sharma. His brilliant form in IPL may ensure another great journey for MI this season.
Mumbai Indians Squad: Rohit Sharma(Captain), Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard, Mike Hussey, CJ Anderson, Josh Hazlewood, Marchant De Lange, Krismar Santokie, Ben Dunk, Aditya Tare, Jasprit Bumrah, CM Gautam, Sushant Marathe, Shreyas Gopal, Jalaj Saxena, Apoorv Wankhade, Pawan Suyal.
Led by Sharma, Mumbai Indians are studded by some star performers who possess the quality to change the game on their own. Some key performers from Mumbai Indians perspective in this season could possibly be: Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard, Mike Hussey, Zaheer Khan and Pragyan Ojha. After winning World Cup under his captaincy for Sri Lanka Lasith Malinga would be the happiest player at the moment. His bowling during the death overs of the final reminded us of the vintage Malinga whom many of the world’s best batsmen have struggled to negate in the past. He would be desperately hoping to continue with the same vein of form that he recently displayed at the just concluded World T20 championships.
Harbhajan’s hands must be itching to showcase his skills with the spin bowling which he has been known for in the past . Having found himself to have fallen out of favour with the Indian national squad, Bhajji would be desperate to prove a point or two to his detractors.
The best buy this season for MI would undoubtedly be Mike Hussey. His performances for Chennai Super Kings in the years prior to this would always make him a player to worry about for the opposition. MI’s opening problem too can get solved with Mike Hussey’s presence since has been doing the job regularly for CsK in the past. It will always be difficult for him to replace the man who had given MI some beautiful start with his willow (read Sachin) but there are not many as good as Hussey at this job anyway.
Despite the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, MI still possess a strong team which may become tough to handle for most of the other teams this season. They possess a quality batting line up with an amazing all-rounder in the form of Corey Anderson while the bowling department possesses great depth with Lasith Malinga, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh’s experience in having spin bowled against the best in the shortest format of the game would serve as a major motivating factor for the MUmbai outfit. Fielding has always been an X-factor for MI with Rohit and Pollard’s presence and Hussey would complement them well this season.
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS SEASON?
For MI fans it may become difficult to feel the same emotions as the biggest reason for their association with MI is no more there to display the heroics over the 22 yard strip. With Tendulkar came the great fan following and crowd support that MI has enjoyed over the yearsand now it would be a test for the sport itself to outgrow from Sachin’s shadows.
Overall, Mumbai Indians are a quality team who would are once again going to be one of the contenders to lift the seventh season of the greatest cricketing extravaganza. A team that would be missing the maestro but would be determined to pay a rich tribute to his contribution with some amazingness at display. A team that wears the color which all the Indians have been bleeding for some while, blue. Let the game begin, into the realm of victory, MI may stand out with authority.