Mumbai Indians are placed fourth in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 standings after the halfway stage mark. The IPL 2021 season was earlier held in India before being suspended by the BCCI owing to players contracting the coronavirus. Now the second half of the season is set to start in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19 onwards. MI have won four and lost three matches so far this season. They have 8 points and a NRR of +0.062.
Notably, MI won the IPL title in 2020, which was held in the UAE. They were ruthless and demolished sides. MI have won five IPL honours and are seeking a sixth title which would be a hat-trick. They have always managed to come out from sticky situations and if MI qualify for the playoffs, they will be the outright favourites to win the IPL crown.
Here we analyse the factors which could work in MI’s favour.
Rohit Sharma’s captaincy
Rohit has been a sensational leader in the IPL, being the only skipper with five title wins. He has also won a total of six IPL titles (one with Deccan Chargers). An assured and calm personality, Rohit knows the game well and reads every situation. In 123 IPL matches as captain, Rohit has managed to win 72 matches.
He has lost 47 with four games being tied. He has a win percentage of 60.16. Rohit has been an exception in managing a settled unit so well. His style of captaincy, mixed with a blend of well-thought decisions and trust have helped him to showcase his authority as a leader. Rohit has the second-most wins as captain in the IPL after MS Dhoni.
Powerful match-winners with the bat
The likes of Kieran Pollard, Hardik Pandya, and Krunal Pandya are excellent in the pivotal lower middle-order. Notably, Pollard had the best strike rate in IPL 2020 (191.42). With small stadiums on offer in the UAE, Pollard will once again fancy his chances. This year against CSK, he had smashed a 34-ball 87* and helped his side chase down a 219-run target. Pollard will be buzzing with confidence after having played a lot of T20 cricket recently, including the CPL.
The Pandya brothers will also fancy their chances. MI have the chance to put up big scores or chase down tricky totals. These players have been doing a job for the side for a long time now and the trophies are an example of sheer work.
MI’s bowling possesses variety
Another factor that will help MI come out stronger is the dream bowling unit. Rahul Chahar has been excellent in phase 1, picking up 11 wickets. He will be a major positive in the middle overs. MI’s leaders in pace attack – Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult have seven and eight scalps respectively.
Last season, they claimed 27 and 25 wickets in the UAE and they will know everything about how to apply themselves. Boult can be a master in the powerplay overs and Bumrah boasts of a terrific record in the death overs. Nathan Coulter-Nile adds quality to the side. MI have always backed themselves as a bowling unit and the remainder in of 2021 season could just see the pack coming out hunting down the opposite numbers.
The impact of SKY
Suryakumar Yadav is a powerful asset in this MI side. He is highly consistent and has been amongst the runs of late in the IPL. He was terrific in the 2020 season as well. With the T20 World Cup next, SKY knows he has a chance of nailing down a spot in the squad. His shot-making decisions and productive nature could aid MI’s top-order immensely. Alongside Rohit and Quinton de Kock, MI have an amazing top-order and high can set the tone for the big-hitters to join the party.