Indian Cricket and Mumbai go hand-in-hand. Mumbai is the city that holds prominence in the India, a country which is amongst the most influential and powerful cricket playing countries.
Mumbai is the city where cricket lifted off from and to this very day is the spiritual home of the game. Some of India’s best cricketers have come from Mumbai, like Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Vijay Merchant, and Sunil Gavaskar just to name a few.
In India’s First Class tournament, Ranji Trophy, Mumbai dominance is so huge, it won’t be wrong to say that it is their competition. Mumbai have won the title 41 times since its inception whereas Karnataka has the second highest titles wins with 8 titles.
Ranji Trophy has been conducted 85 times and as said Mumbai won it 41 times, but the Mumbai team have also been the 1st runner-up for 5 times, even in the Vijay Hazare Trophy they have had an exceptional run. Mumbai team is always the favourites in any domestic cricket tournament, and IPL (Indian Premier League) is not exception.
Mumbai Indian has been the most successful side in IPL since it was started in 2008, winning the title 4 times in 12 editions. However, it was not such an easy tread for the Mumbai side, in the first five edition of the IPL, Mumbai Indians did not win the title even once, it was in the 6th edition, in 2013, that Mumbai Indians became the title holders of IPL. It was also the year when Rohit Sharma was given the captaincy of Mumbai Indians.
In the next 6 years, Mumbai Indians proved once again why they are the feared side, they won 4 titles in total, and 3 titles between 2014 and 2019. In 2017 and 2019, they won the title just by 1 run… talk about a nail-biter match.
In last year’s IPL (2019), Mumbai Indian lost 2 out of their first 3 matches, but then picked up pace by wining matches along the way in the tournament and finally winning the title for a fourth time in the competition, most by any team. Chennai Super Kings, the second most successful side in the competition with 3 wins, were defeated by Mumbai Indians in 2013, 2015, and 2019 in the finals clinching the title away from them.
Led by skipper Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians’ key players for the 2019 season were Jasprit Bumrah, Keoron Pollard, Hardik and Krunal Pandya, Lasith Malinga, and Suryakumar Yadav.
Currently, Suryakumar Yadav is the jewel in the Mumbai’s Ranji cricket team and has been chosen to lead the team in 2019-20 Ranji Trophy Tournament. His form in the White-Ball format in the past 2 years has been phenomenal.
Coming back to IPL, in 2018’s edition he scored the most runs for Mumbai Indians (512 runs) and then was promoted, in 2019, to the top of the order. In 2019 he came out strong after skipper Rohit and Coach Mahela Jayawardene put him to top order as he scored 424 runs in the competition with an average on 32.61. Even in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament that concluded recently, Yadav scored 392 runs in just 11 matches, with a strike rate of 169 and average of 56.
Mumbai India’s top 3 batsman can give nightmares to the best of the bowlers in the world, with opening batsman Rohit Sharma, Yadav, and Quinton de Kock which are usually followed by players like Hardik Pandya, Pollard, and Krunal. This not only give Mumbai Indians the batting power but many of these batsman are good bowlers as well. Mumbai Indians, no doubt, have a very good line up, but management would be worried over the facts that both Hardik and Jasprit are coming back after long break due to injuries. The management would be looking forward to bid for players to build strong backups that can be rotated when needed.
During the IPL trade window in November, Mumbai Indians released 12 players, mostly seamers like Rasikh Salam, Barinder Sran, Beuran Hendricks, and even Ben Cutting. However, Mumbai side also brought in Shrefane Rutherford and Trent Boult from Delhi Capitals and Rajasthan Royals’ Dhawal Kilkarni into the team.
Mumbai retained majority of their key players and will now look forward to bid for players for backups in the coming IPL 2020 Auction on the 19th December 2019.
As Mumbai Indians retained most of their existing players in IPL 2020 Auction they will have the lowest spending scope compared to all the other teams in the competition. Mumbai Indians have a spending scope of Rs. 13.05 crore. As the Mumbai side have already brought in Ritherford, Kulkarni, and Boult, their squad size has reached 18 already, which means they can only buy 9 more players, including 2 overseas players.
Mumbai Indians have their bases covered and on papers have a very strong team to begin with, they have 5 fast bowlers, excluding Hardik and Rutherford, and 4 spinners. However it is the middle batting order where Mumbai Indians’ management would be keep to spend on. Though they have Ishan Kishan and many other all-rounders that they can use, they would be looking to bring in a Number 4 position specialist, to steer the team if and when the top order fails to convert.
Amongst Indian players, Mumbai Indians have options like Hanuma Vihari, Rahul Triphati, and Dhruv Shorey who are all experienced but however might put less pressure on the bowlers than overseas players like Shimron Hetmeyer, Colin Minro, or even Colin Ingram.
Shimron Hetmeyer scored 139 run in 106 deliveries in the 1st ODI played against Indian on 15th December 2019, smashing 11 sixes and 7 boundaries.
However, it would be better if Mumbai Indians would choose Indian players as it is mandatory that no more than 4 overseas players can be on the field at a time, and Mumbai Indians would wont Qunton de Kock, Pollard, and a couple of overseas bowlers to be played in each of their games.
Following the major protests in West Bengal against CAA 2019 (Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019), a BCCI official said IPL Auction 2020 will move forward as scheduled and will take place on 19th December 2019 in Kolkata.