Mumbai Indians have been hit with concerns ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 season. MI will be without star pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who is expected to be out of action for another six months. And to add to the misery, Aussie pacer Jhye Richardson has also been ruled out of the cash-rich league. A recurrence of hamstring issues has plagued him. Mumbai Indians now need to address these holes. After finishing bottom of the 10-team table in IPL 2022, MI could also face some struggles this time. So Rohit Sharma will have his task cut out.
MI got in the dangerous Cameron Green in the IPL 2023 auction for a whopping 17.5 crore. Green, who cannot bowl until April 13 in the IPL 2023 season, will be utilized only as a batter until then, limiting MI’s options. MI’s season will revolve around Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav for their heroics in batting. With the ball, the presence of Jofra Archer can be menacing for teams. Archer has made a good start for England since returning to action from a string of elbow issues.
MI have a decent outfit though not world-class, with some interesting youngsters in the mix. However, things need to come good if they are to mount a challenge. MI look slightly weakened in departments, which could haunt them. Consistency will be a key factor, and over-dependency on certain established forces could also hurt the cause.
Ahead of the IPL 2023 season, we analyze the squad of MI.
Full squad of MI
Rohit Sharma (c), Tim David, Ramandeep Singh, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Tristan Stubbs, Dewald Brevis, Jofra Archer, Arjun Tendulkar, Arshad Khan, Kumar Kartikeya, Hrithik Shokeen, Jason Behrendorff, Akash Madhwal, Cameron Green, Piyush Chawla, Duan Jansen, Vishnu Vinod, Shams Mulani, Nehal Wadhera, Raghav Goyal
What are the strengths?
By acquiring Green, MI get a destructive batter in their ranks. Green can be used in different positions depending on the circumstances – be it at the top or middle. MI needed someone to turn the game on its heels, and Green could be that prospect. The batting looks sorted at the top, with Ishan Kishan, Rohit, and Suryakumar in their armor. If they get going, MI will be difficult to stop. In Tilak Varma and Dewald Brevis, the middle order gets more dimension. Tristan Stubbs adds decent touch from the bench with the bat as well.
Tim David can be MI’s main finisher, and that’s a blessing. He has the credentials to spice things up in the back end of a match. Also, with Green in the mix, these two can be used in those finishing positions. MI have perhaps one of the sorted finishing duo in the tourney.
Another strength of MI is Archer. He was successful in his previous three seasons with the Royals, claiming 46 scales in 35 games. He managed 20 wickets in IPL 2020. With Archer looking sharp for England since his comeback, he could be well set to enjoy a prolific season with the five-time champions.
What are the weaknesses?
With Bumrah gone, MI suddenly looked distorted, given the impact the Indian pacer had over the years. You suddenly get robbed of a death specialist who makes those subtle differences with his offerings. With a specialist like Richardson ruled out, MI have been hit again. Jason Behrendorff is the other notable foreign pacer in the ranks. MI will also need to wait for some time before Green can bowl, which can hit the balance. Green, David, Brevis, and Archer are MI’s main foreign players in the playing XI, and now with Bumrah’s absence, MI need to look at the bench, and the quality isn’t up to the mark.
The spin department is a worry for MI. Veteran Piyush Chawla is the only notable bowler in this department. Nehal Wader is yet to play the 20-over format, and left-arm orthodox Raghav Goyal is waiting to make his professional debut. Another option is Kumar Kartikeya, who has just 18 matches in the 20-over format under his belt. MI have perhaps the poorest spin unit in the IPL 2023 season.
Rohit Sharma has been poor by his standards in the IPL of late. In the last two seasons combined, he has just one fifty. He averaged below 20 in IPL 2022. Since 2017, only once Rohit has surpassed 400 runs in a season. A sorry number for an opener.
Probable MI XI
Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ramandeep Singh, Tilak Varma, Cameron Green, Tim David, Kumar Kartikeya, Arjun Tendulkar, Jofra Archer, Jason Behrendorff
Unique stats of MI players
As per ESPNcricinfo, Suryakumar has smashed 63 sixes for Mumbai Indians since moving from KKR. Archer has an impressive strike rate of 17.3 in the IPL. Rohit has the joint-top number of ducks in IPL history (14). He also has a 56.64% win rate as a captain in the IPL.
IPL 2023 season Verdict
MI have a weak bowling unit and could struggle to find the desired balance. The spin department is abysmal, and injuries to Bumrah and Richardson weaken the pace battery. We believe MI will struggle this season and finish in the bottom half of the 10-team table.
April 2, 2023 – Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians, Bengaluru (7:30 PM IST)
April 8 – Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai (7:30 PM IST)
April 11 – Delhi Capitals vs Mumbai Indians, Delhi (7:30 PM IST)
April 16 – Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Mumbai (3:30 PM IST)
April 18 – Sunrisers Hyderabad v Mumbai Indians, Hyderabad (7:30 PM IST)
April 22 – Mumbai Indians vs Punjab Kings, Mumbai (7:30 PM IST)
April 25 – Gujarat Titans vs Mumbai Indians, Ahmedabad (7:30 PM IST)
April 30 – Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai (7:30 PM IST)
May 3 – Punjab Kings vs Mumbai Indians, Mohali (7:30 PM IST)
May 6 – Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians, Chennai (3:30 PM IST)
May 9 – Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai (7:30 PM IST)
May 12 – Mumbai Indians vs Gujarat Titans, Mumbai (7:30 PM IST)
May 16 – Lucknow Super Giants vs Mumbai Indians, Lucknow (7:30 PM IST)
May 21 – Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai (3:30 PM IST)