A well-balanced team, the focus as we look at the predicted playing 11 of Mumbai Indians (MI) for IPL 2021.
Talk about Mumbai Indians, and you are talking about a team that is way ahead of all the other teams in the competition. They have the most successful captain going around in IPL, a most complete team from all angles, and a bunch of match-winners that can single-handedly change the complexion or the game.
Mumbai Indians have 5 trophies to their name including the last two editions, where they have won back to back trophies. The team would be eying hat-trick of trophies in 2021, and guess what, they have only strengthened the squad after the recently concluded IPL 2021 Auction; a perfect one for MI.
While Mumbai Indians had a solid starting playing 11 before the IPL 2021 Auction, they had a few gaps overall in the spin bowling and pace bowling department. To address the spin issues, the team added the experienced Piyush Chawla to the spin department.
Whereas in the pace department, Team added four solid options in the form of Marco Jensen, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and Adam Milne. In addition, they bought young guns like Arjun Tendulkar and Yudhvir Charak.
So, now that the team looks perfect from all angles, what could be the strongest playing 11 for Mumbai Indians (MI) for IPL 2021 if all players are available without any injury issues. Let’s find out in this article. Before that, let’s quickly slim through the MI squad for IPL 2021.
Mumbai Indians’ Squad for IPL 2021:
Batsmen: Aditya Tare (WK), Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Ishan Kishan (WK), Quinton de Kock (WK), Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav & Saurabh Tiwary.
All-rounders: Anukul Roy, Arjun Tendulkar, Hardik Pandya, James Neesham, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Marco Jensen & Yudhvir Charak.
Bowlers: Adam Milne, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohsin Khan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, Rahul Chahar & Trent Boult.
The Solid Core
Among all teams, Mumbai Indians is the only team that is sure to have at least 9 players that are confirmed to play most of the matches, if not all. They have been building the core since the mega Auction in 2019, and they were successfully able to achieve that same year in 2019 and 2020 edition.
At the top, Quinton de Kock and captain Rohit Sharma are confirmed to open for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021. The dynamic pair of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, who were also a part of the IPL 2020 Team of the Tournament would play at number 3 and number 4 respectively.
While Krunal hasn’t been his best in the last couple of years in IPL, he was in stunning form in the recent Vijay Hazare Trophy. So, at number 5, 6, and 7, you should definitely see the likes of Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, and Krunal Pandya. They have been true match-winners for MI, and their lower-order contribution is invaluable.
The addition of Piyush Chawla does make things interesting when it comes to choosing the primary spinner. While Chahar hasn’t been bad, Piyush Chawla’s ability to bowl in the power-plays is an asset to have. Moreover, his IPL experience is invaluable. However, looking at the current situation, MI might play Rahul Chahar initially.
The duo of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult has to be the leading two pacers. The duo was superb in IPL 2020, and they should continue to lead the bowling attack in 2021 too. So, this leaves us with only 1 spot for an overseas player.
Looking at the options, Mumbai Indians can look to play one of the 4 options in the form of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Adam Milne, Marco Jensen, or James Neesham. All 4 bring unique strengths to the table, but of all 4, Nathan Coulter-Nile seems the best bet given his variations, and his ability to provide useful contributions down the order.
Strongest Predicted 11 for Mumbai Indians (MI) for IPL 2021:
Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton De Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jasprit Bumrah & Trent Boult.
Option 1: James Neesham for Nathan Coulter-Nile
James Neesham seems to be in terrific form at the moment with the bat. His valuable contributions with the bat, and his free stroke ability has been quite encouraging. If Hardik is fit to bowl, James Neesham at 7 with 2-3 overs from him would be useful. So, this is one combination, which Mumbai Indians can definitely explore to add more meat to their already strong batting.
Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton De Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, James Neesham, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah & Trent Boult.
Option 2: A Spin dominant Attack
The IPL 2020 pitches favoured pacers more than spinners, and that was one of the reasons why MI did well. The team had some really solid names in the pace bowling department, and most of them were performing well. However, the 2021 edition would be conducted in India, and the pitches of Chennai, Delhi, and even Jaipur, if matches are played there would see spin a major factor in the match.
If MI face this scenario, they are more than prepared for it. The addition of Piyush Chawla has given them the ability to play 3-4 qualify spinners in the line-up. Chawla can be brought in for an overseas pacer, which would give MI, 3 solid spin options.
Rohit Sharma (C), Quinton De Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Jasprit Bumrah & Trent Boult.
The Role of Backups
MI have constructed their team in such a beautiful way that they have appropriate and good backups for all positions. Starting with Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwari, and Aditya Tare in the batting department. They have Anukul Roy and Jayant Yadav in the all-rounder and spin department. In the bowling department, they have Dhawal Kulkarni and Mohsin Khan in addition to overseas pacers.
So, that completes the strongest predicted playing 11 combinations for MI for IPL 2021. Barring 1 or maybe 2 spots, MI have a confirmed playing 11 for the initial few matches at least.
Thanks for reading! What’s your predicted playing 11 for MI for IPL 2021? Please email your thoughts to email@example.com
Adesh Kothari is the founder of AK4Tsay1 Cricalytics with over 20 years of experience following Cricket.
Cricket to him is like what Football is to Lionel Messi, Singing is to Lata Mangeshkar, Dancing is to Michael Jackson, and Acting is to Clint Eastwood.
Besides his effervescent love for Cricket, Adesh is an MBA by qualification.