In the UAE, the rain of fours and sixes will start from 19 September. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s team Chennai Super Kings and Rohit Sharma’s team Mumbai Indians are to be played the first match. But before the first match, hitman Rohit Sharma is in a lot of trouble.
The presence of batsmen who hit long shots makes Mumbai Indians a strong team, but the lack of experienced fast bowler Lasith Malinga and good spinners could weaken the chances of the team owning the title of Indian Premier League (IPL).
The team will play most of its (eight) matches on the slow pitches of Abu Dhabi and adjusting to these conditions will be necessary for its success. Mumbai Indians will have the strength to bat for the solid opening pair of skipper Rohit Sharma and South Africa’s Quinton de Kock, besides Australian Chris Lynn will also be a better option if needed.
The winning team of the last time, Mumbai Indians, will take on the ground for the first match of the tournament on 19 September against Chennai Super Kings. Batsmen like Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, injury returning Hardik Pandya and Kunal Pandya will strengthen the team’s middle order. Compared to other teams, Mumbai will have a bit of an edge here because they all specialize in playing big shots.
Their main problem will be in making the right bowling combination, especially in the spin department. Talking about fast bowling, Malinga withdrew from the tournament citing personal reasons. In his absence, pressure will be high on Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah, who took the highest 19 wickets for the team last season, has stayed away from cricket for a long time due to injury.
Among the foreign fast bowlers, Mitchell McCLenaghan and Trent Boult offer the option of bowling with left hand while Nathan Coulter Neil will be bowling all-rounder. Australia’s James Pattinson has added options. There will be a tough competition between all these for selection in the team. Although one of the strongest contenders for the title, this team may miss the lack of good spinners. They have Kunal, which is like a stop-gap option.
Mumbai IndiansTeam: Rohit Sharma, Aditya Tare, Anmolpreet Singh, Anukul Roy, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, James Pattinson, Jaspreet Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mohsin Khan, Mohsin Khan, Neil, Prince Balwant Rai, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwari, Sherfen Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult.