IPL 2018
IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians Will Dearly Miss Harbhajan Singh
By CricShots - Mar 27, 2018 1:48 pm
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The most successful team in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the only team to lift the coveted IPL trophy for three times is the Mumbai Indians (MI). After a poor start in the initial few seasons, MI stormed back into the competition and packed their trophy cabinet with lots of silverware. In the first five years, they had no IPL trophy, but in the next five, they had three.  The defending champions of IPL 2017 are roaring to take the challenge and reign supreme again. They will be looking forward to becoming the second team after Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to defend their title. This time the IPL 2018 opener will be played between MI and CSK on April 7.

jos butler of Mubai Indians
Jos Butler

However, it will surely not be a walk in the park for the Mumbai based franchise to defend their title as there are some cricketers in their squad of previous year who will be dearly missed this year as they have played some crucial role for the team in last year’s winning campaign. Some of the crucial cogs of MI in the winning campaign of 2017 were Jos Butler, Lendl Simmons, Ambati Rayudu, Nitish Rana and Harbhajan Singh.

Also read: IPL 2018 – Mumbai Indians – The Defending Champions

In 2017, Butler and Simmons played the role of openers, who were known to give flashing start to the team in the powerplay and give some momentum to the team. But, this year Butler will be playing for Rajasthan Royals (RR), while Simmons was shockingly gone unsold. The momentum given by Simmons and Butler was generally carried forward by the young Nitish Rana and Ambati Rayudu, who played a crucial role in the middle overs for MI, but this year they will be doing that job for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), while Rayudu will don the yellow jersey for CSK in IPL 2018.

Harbhajan Singh

In the first decade of IPL, it was the premier spinner, Harbhajan Singh who played in all the 10 seasons of the IPL for MI and apart from that he was one of the most economical bowlers in the history of IPL. Bhajji’s spells have always helped the MI skipper Rohit Sharma to have a check on the excessive run-rate of the oppositions. But this year, he will be playing under the watchful eyes of MS Dhoni in CSK.

Also read: Rohit Sharma’s Funny Twitter Banter With Mumbai Indians 

Now, the questions arise is whether the MI team management has been successful in finding apt replacements of these missing cogs from the team and the answer to that will be, yes up to some extent they have found the replacements. Let’s have a look at it:

Jos Butler – Ishan Kishan

Lendl Simmons – Evin Lewis

Ambati Rayudu – Suryakumar Yadav

Nitish Rana – JP Duminy

Harbhajan Singh – No replacement found for Bhajji!!!

The biggest weakness Mumbai will have in the absence of Harbhajan is lack of a quality Indian spinner. The best they have is Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar. On spinning tracks, they will feel handicapped. With so many foreign options available, Mumbai Indian may have the problem of plenty. While that is not a bad problem to have, the MI team management is historically known to struggle with putting out a good combination together.

Mumbai Indians IPL 2018 Squad:

Rohit Sharma (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Mustafizur Rehman, Pat Cummins, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar, Evin Lewis, Saurabh Tiwary, Ben Cutting, Pradeep Sangwan, JP Duminy, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tajinder Singh Dhillon, Sharad Lumba, Siddesh Lad, Tare, Mayank Markande, Akila Dhananjaya, Anukul Roy, Mohsin Khan, Nidheesh