Mumbai Indians have solidified their position as the greatest team in the history of the Indian Premier League. Rohit Sharma-led side has lifted not just one but five elusive IPL titles – highest by any team in the cash-lucrative league.
After having a memorable season last year, MI have made some smart acquisitions in the IPL 2021 auction and strengthened their squad by bringing in some quality backup options.
As the IPL 2021 is just a few weeks away from now, here is the ideal playing XI for the defending champions.
1. Quinton de Kock
Former South Africa skipper, Quinton de Kock has been a mainstay of the Mumbai-based franchise over the last few years in the Indian Premier League. He enjoyed a prolific run in IPL 2020 as he finished the tournament with 503 runs in 16 games, including four fifties.
The 28-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman made his IPL debut in 2013. Since then, he has played 66 matches in the cash-rich league and notched up 1959 runs at an average of 31.59 and a strike rate of 133.53.
2. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is the most successful captain in the history of IPL. Under his leadership, MI have won five titles so far (in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020).
Hitman, as they call him, is one of the finest batsmen in the world cricket when it comes to the shorter formats.
During his illustrious IPL career so far, Rohit has scored 5230 runs in 200 matches at an average of 31.31 and a strike rate of 130.61.
3. Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav has become a household name in the Indian Premier League. He was one of the best performers for Mumbai Indians in the 13th edition of IPL. He played an important role in MI’s record-extending fifth title win at the Dubai International Stadium.
The 30-year-old batsman racked up 480 runs last year from 16 games, including four fifties.
Overall, SKY has played 101 IPL matches so far, scoring 2024 runs at an average of more than 30 and a strike rate of 134.57.
4. Ishan Kishan
The young wicketkeeper-batsman was a proven match-winner for Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2020 in UAE. He emerged as the leading run-scorer for Rohit Sharma-led side last year with 516 runs in 16 games.
The left-handed batsman also smashed 30 sixes in IPL 2020 – most by any batsman in the tournament.
Keeping his big-hitting abilities and fearless batting approach in mind, Ishan will be a great option to strengthen MI’s middle-order.
5. Kieron Pollard
There is no doubt in saying that Kieron Pollard is the backbone of the MI squad. He has been with Mumbai Indians since his debut in 2010.
As we speak of his ability, the West Indian stalwart has scored 3023 runs in 164 IPL games so far at an impressive strike rate of 149.87, including 15 half-centuries.
With the ball, the 33-year-old all-rounder has scalped 60 wickets at an economy rate of 8.87.
6. Hardik Pandya
The star India all-rounder Hardik Pandya has played an instrumental role in MI’s success over the years. Be it showing his batting intent under pressure, or bowling economical spells, the 27-year-old has always contributed to the team’s cause.
In 80 IPL games so far, Hardik has accumulated 1349 runs at an unbelievable strike rate of 159.26, including four fifties.
As far as the bowling department is concerned, the Surat-born cricketer has picked up 42 wickets at an economy rate of 9.06.
7. Krunal Pandya
Hardik’s brother Krunal Pandya has also made a name for himself in the world-renowned T20 competition with his consistent performances. Since 2016, Krunal has been a regular member of the MI squad
He has amassed 1000 runs in his glorious IPL career so far. Krunal’s strike rate of 142.45 runs in 71 games is enough to showcase his talent.
Talking about his bowling, he has taken 46 wickets at an economy rate of 7.26.
8. Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahal has been a go-to-spinner for Rohit Sharma’s men in the Indian Premier League. There is no dearth of talent in him as he knows how to make full use of the pitch conditions in important games. Last year, when the IPL was shifted to UAE due to rising cases of COVID-19 in India, Rahul had picked up 15 wickets in 15 games.
In his short yet impressive IPL career so far, the 21-year-old youngster has scalped 30 wickets at an economy rate of 7.46.
9. Jasprit Bumrah
Without any doubt, Mumbai Indians are armed with one of the best bowling units among all the franchises and Jasprit Bumrah is the biggest backbone of this bowling attack.
In IPL 2020, Bumrah was the second-highest wicket-taker with 27 dismissals in 15 games.
Overall, the 27-year-old pacer has played 92 IPL games so far, scalping 109 wickets at an economy rate of 7.41.
10. Trent Boult
The Mumbai-based franchise had their share of luck when Trent Boult joined the franchise from Delhi Capitals ahead of the IPL 2020 auction.
The inclusion of Boult in the bowling line-up turned out to be a masterstroke for the five-time champions as the Kiwi star emerged as the third-highest wicket-taker last season with 25 scalps from 15 games.
Overall, Boult has played 48 IPL games, picking up 63 wickets at an economy rate of 8.53.
11. Jimmy Neesham
The New Zealand all-rounder was roped in by Mumbai Indians in the players’ auction for the 14th edition of IPL in Chennai. The franchise bought him at his base price of Rs 50 lakh.
Neesham was released by the Kings XI Punjab after he scored just 19 runs in 5 games and leaked runs at an economy rate of more than 9.5.
Overall, the 30-year-old has played 9 IPL games so far, scoring just 61 runs at a mediocre average of 12.20. With the ball, Neesham has managed to scalp just 3 wickets.