All-rounders, the key focus as we look at the strongest probable playing 11 of Mumbai Indians (MI) for IPL 2020 matches in UAE.
“Please note, as Lasith Malinga has pulled out of IPL 2020 due to personal reasons, the following article has been modified by playing Trent Boult for him”
The last time Mumbai Indians played in UAE, they didn’t manage to win a single match of the 5 matches they played. It was Rohit Sharma’s second year as Mumbai’s captain after becoming champions in IPL 2013, but things went horribly wrong for the Mumbaikar and his team.
Come to 2020, Mumbai Indians have probably the best squad on paper. But, the kind of Team they have in place with innumerable pacers, they would have been far better off on Mumbai pitches. But, on slow and low pitches of UAE, the ghosts of IPL 2014 might come back to haunt them.
Mumbai Indians (MI) Squad for IPL 2020 UAE:
Batsmen: Aditya Tare (WK), Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Ishan Kishan (WK), Quinton de Kock (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Saurabh Tiwari, and Suryakumar Yadav
All-rounders: Anukul Roy, Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, and Sherfane Rutherford
Bowlers: Dhawal Kulkarni, James Pattinson, Jasprit Bumrah,
Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McCleneghan, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rahul Chahar, and Trent Boult
So, looking at the squad composition and pitches in UAE, what could be the strongest probable playing 11 for Mumbai Indians (MI) for IPL 2020. Let’s have a look in this article.
Rohit Sharma || Quinton de Kock
No surprises here as Mumbai Indians’ captain and Team India’s best opener, Rohit Sharma should undoubtedly walk in the squad as the team’s first-choice opener. Rohit Sharma may not have had a successful IPL 2019 as an opener, but he has been a force to reckon in international cricket, and is far better off playing as an opener in IPL.
Pairing him would be their IPL 2019’s best player, Quinton de Kock. Quinton de Kock’s transfer from RCB to Mumbai Indians in 2019 yielded positive results as he ended as Team’s leading run-scorer. He should continue to open for Mumbai Indians; initially at least.
Chris Lynn || Suryakumar Yadav || Hardik Pandya / Kieron Pollard
Ideally in the Home conditions of India, Mumbai Indians would have looked to strengthen the bowling, and leave out Chris Lynn. However, the conditions in UAE would want them to strengthen their batting more than adding another pacer in the squad. Hence, given his record in UAE, Chris Lynn should get a go directly ahead of Ishan Kishan.
Moreover, the addition of Chris Lynn would make the trio of Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock, and Chris Lynn the most dangerous one unless Sunrisers Hyderabad play David Warner, Jonny Bairstow, and Kane Williamson together, which would be neck and neck with the Mumbai trio.
At number 4, we would see Suryakumar Yadav strengthening the middle-order. While his success for Mumbai Indians has been as a top-order batsman, it is no secret that SKY has been a middle-order batsman throughout his life, and should not have any problem adapting.
Hardik Pandya or Kieron Pollard should complete the rest of the middle-order. While Pollard has been MI’s core over the year, Hardik has proved to be a capable batsman as seen from his 2019 performance. So, anyone can come in at number 5 depending upon the situation.
Hardik Pandya || Krunal Pandya || Kieron Pollard
The Pandya brothers would once again form the core of Mumbai Indians’ all-rounders. The duo has been contributing for Mumbai Indians in all three departments in the last few years. Expect them to be the centre of attraction in UAE too.
Additionally, Pollard has been bowling after being named the West Indies T20I captain. His cutters and slower medium pace would be crucial for Mumbai Indians on slow and low pitches of UAE. With Pollard bowling in, Mumbai Indians would have a total of 7 bowling options.
Rahul Chahar || Dhawal Kulkarni ||
Lasith Malinga (Trent Boult) || Jasprit Bumrah
Rahul Chahar may have given a few glimpses of his form in IPL 2019 on pace-friendly wickets of Mumbai, but it is UAE’s pitches that would make his presence value the most. He would not only be the lead spinner in the UAE, but also one of the most important bowers if MI have to excel.
The lead pacer of the squad would once again be the champion, Jasprit Bumrah. The World No. 1 bowler would love to bowl on UAE pitches. It would be very difficult for any batsman to hit Bumrah unless pitches are hard, which looks a rare possibility. Quite possible Jasprit Bumrah becomes the most valuable bowler of IPL 2020.
Lastly, choosing between the two pacers would be the tricky situation for Mumbai Indians. Ideally, they should have had a spinner, but given they are short of spinners, they would have to settle for an additional pacer. However, choosing the right pacer is the most important thing.
Trent Boult for Lasith Malinga:
Lasith Malinga, who pulled out of IPL 2020 due to personal reasons has created a void for the second leading pacer of the squad. Had he been there, he would have most-likely been in the playing XI. But, now with him not being there, Trent Boult should replace him in the playing XI. the fact still remains that Lasith Malinga’s absence would definitely hurt Mumbai Indians; especially on pitches of USE.
While conditions in UAE may not be perfect for Boult as he relies on the swing, he is still a match-winner, and Kiwi’s number 1 bowler. Him alongside Dhawal Kulkarni should complete the rest of the bowling line-up. Moreover, MI also have Nathan Coulter-Nile, who would find a lot of assistance from Pitches of UAE, and can come in for a few matches.
So, that completes the strongest probable playing 11 for Mumbai Indians (MI) for the IPL 2020 UAE edition. While 8 players are almost fixed to play every match, it would eventually come down to shuffling 2-3 overseas players to get the right combination.
The Strongest Probable Playing 11 for Mumbai Indians (MI) for IPL 2020 UAE:
Quinton de Kock (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Chris Lynn, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Dhawal Kulkarni, and Jasprit Bumrah.
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