The 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League is now just eight days away and we are as excited about the latest edition of the World’s richest Cricket league as you are! The Indian Premier League conceptualised and started back in 2008, has seen unprecedented success and reached vertigo-inducing heights, often leaving fans and spectators spell bound. The meteoric rise of the IPL has been one of the greatest boons to not just Indian Cricket, but World Cricket in general. With the impending tenth season now around the corner, Cricket Shots previews the eight Teams participating in the IPL 2017 in a bit to battle it out for the silverware, starting from none other than Mumbai Indians, who at the time of the inception of the league were the most expensive Team in the league. Owned by the Mumbai-based businessman Mukesh Ambani and his wife Neeta Ambani, Mumbai Indians have won the league two times, once in 2013 and then again in 2015.
So how do the Mumbai Indians look for the latest edition of the IPL? Well, having retained 20 players and having bought 7 new ones, the squad looks ready to rock the show, with a total of 27 available players. Those of you who closely followed the IPL 2017 auctions will remember how frantically Mumbai Indians chased Ben Stokes, the English all-rounder who shone during the recent India vs England series and impressed everyone with inspiring performances. They raised a bid even before a demand was made. They were briefly involved in a bidding war with the Royal Challengers Bangalore before the Rising Pune Supergiants finally closed the deal for a whopping rupees 14.5 crores, thus making Ben Stokes the costliest international player in the league. After much contemplation, the Mumbai Indians ended up buying Mitchell Johnson, the astute Australian pacer, Karn Sharma, a handy leg-spinner, K Gowtham, Nicholas Pooran, the wicket-keeper batsman from Trinidad, Saurabh Tiwary, the southpaw who has time and again impressed in the IPL, Asela Gunarathna, the aggressive right-handed Sri Lankan batsman and Kulwant Khejroliya, the left-handed batsman from Rajasthan who made his List A debut for Delhi in the 2016-17 Vijay Hazare Trophy.
With almost the perfect mix of experienced and young players, Mumbai Indians will always be in the hunt and remain one of the top contenders to lift the trophy. While the likes of Ambati Rayudu and Parthiv Patel will add to the batting prowess of the Team, the likes of Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, and Kieron Pollard will add a different dimension to the Team, with their fantastic all-round capabilities. The presence of Johnson, Southee, and McClenaghan yields them great options in the bowling department, with Karn Sharma adding value with his handy leg-spin. The only worry for Mumbai Indians is the lack of Cricket for two of its biggest players – Rohit Sharma and Harbhajan Singh. While Sharma has been out of action because of an injury, Harbhajan Singh, having lost his place in the Indian side, hasn’t played too much of domestic Cricket. Lasith Malinga, too, hasn’t been in the best of form lately. Mahela Jayawardene will coach the Mumbai Indians this year, with Sachin Tendulkar present as a mentor along with Jonty Rhodes. Shane Bond and Robin Singh will assist Mahela Jayawardene.
Rohit Sharma (C), Nicholas Pooran, Mitchell Johnson, K Gowtham, Karn Sharma, Saurabh Tiwary, A Gunarathna, Kulwant Khejroliya, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, Lendl Simmons, Vinay Kumar, Parthiv Patel, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, J Suchith, Hardik Pandya, Jos Butler, Tim Southee, Jithesh Sharma, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Punia.