The Mumbai Indians, owned by the richest man in India, Mukesh Ambani, is known for its big bucks but lost two dependable players in Dinesh Karthik and Dwayne Bravo this year but was able to induct Corey Anderson, Josh Hazlewood, Ben Dunk and Mike Hussey, in all retaining 11 players from the last year’s squad,.
Highly dependent upon its winning combination, Mumbai Indians is set for another impressive performance this year with the coach John Wright and mentor Anil Kumble keen to get Kieron Pollard back onboard, after the Jamaican suffered a knee injury while playing a charity football match and kept himself off cricket for six months.
Other players like Corey Anderson, the New Zealander with an injured finger might be a worry for at tleast the first leg in UAE. Skipper Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga, Pollard, Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu will show off their bowling skills while the team is dependent on batting skills of Mike Hussey, Aditya Tare, Rohit and Pollard. Spinner Bhajan and Prgyan Ojha are the key to the team’s spinning strategy this year.
Being champions of last year IPL Champions, Mumbai Indians foray into the 2014 tournament minus Sachin Tendulkar compensates with the players like Hussey, Rohit Sharma, Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga.
The IPL 2014 first match will be played between the defending champions Mumbai Indians and the 2012 IPL winners, Kolkata Knight Riders, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, April 16 at 8 pm IST.
Strength: The Mumbai Indians have massive guidance from veterans like Michael Hussey, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh and all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Corey Anderson should return any attack under any circumstances.
Weakness: Missing in action will be stars like Sachin Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith, but Mumbai Indians should compensate with good batsmen. The form of Aditya Tare and Mike Hussey will be put to test to cover their weakness this year but depends how far they manage it in the first leg at UAE.
Prediction: The team may emerge among the top two but this year’s win may not be as certain as it was in 2013.
Indian players: Rohit Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Ambati Rayudu, Aditya Tare, Pawan Suyal, Jalaj Saxena, Sushant Marathe, Shreyas Gopal, Chidhambaram Gautam, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Overseas players: Michael Hussey, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Corey Anderson, Marchant de Lange, Ben Dunk, Josh Hazlewood, and Krishkumar Santokie.
Probable Team: Aditya Tare, Rohit Sharma, Michael Hussey, Ambati Rayudu, Corey Anderson, Kieron Pollard, Apoorv Wankhede, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, and Lasith Malinga.