IPL 2020: What will defending champions Mumbai Indians offer this year?

IPL 2020: What will defending champions Mumbai Indians offer this year?

The most successful Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Mumbai Indians are also all set to play the opener at IPL 2020. The four-time champions will meet their arch-rivals, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first match of the season which will be played at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on March 29, 2020.

The IPL franchise managed to win the cash-rich tournament last year after pipping Chennai Super Kings, who were also the table-toppers. However, the journey to victory for MI Paltan was not a cakewalk and Mumbai Indians had to fight for asserting victory against formidable opponents.

This season will also be the same with all the teams looking to bag the IPL trophy. Similarly, if Mumbai Indians want to remain the undisputed champions of the Indian Premier League, they will have to encash on their strengths and work on their weaknesses. Therefore, here are some factors that will decide Mumbai Indians' performance this season:

Four All-Rounders

The Paltan has always been known for efficient all-rounders who have shown the ability with the bat as well as the ball. Currently, MI have Hardik Pandya, Sherfane Rutherford, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, and Nathan Coulter-Nile as all-rounders in their squad.

Pinch Hitters

Four-time champion Mumbai Indians roped in Australia's big-hitting opener Chris Lynn for ₹2 crore. Nathan Coulter-Nile, who was signed for ₹8 crore, was among the other notable buys. With the two in their squad, they would be adding to an existing group of pinch-hitters like Kieron Pollard, Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma.

The pinch-hitters have been crucial in Mumbai Indians' victory as they have ensured hitting boundaries at regular intervals in the death overs.

Lack Of A Stable Middle Order

While the MI Paltan boasts of a mighty batting line-up backed by some of the best bowlers in the shortest format, the four-time champions have struggled in finding the firepower and stability from its middle-order batsmen.

Last season, openers, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock were phenomenal in scoring runs and building the platform for its batsmen to hit runs without any pressure. However, the middle order struggled to convert the start to a commendable total, which left all the work on the shoulders of Pollard and Pandya.

However, the reliance on the top-order and finishers have and can cost Mumbai Indians dearly. While this is the only aspect that will concern Mumbai, if the likes of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav encash on their form and bring stability, Mumbai Indians can assure another IPL trophy in their dolly. 

Mumbai Indians squad: Rohit Sharma, Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Aditya Tare

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