IPL 2024 – MI Preview – Mumbai Indians gear up for Hardik Pandya’s return

Where Mumbai Indians finished last season

Hardik Pandya (captain), Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan (week), Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Tim David*, Dewald Brevis*, Nehal Wadhera, Vishnu Vinod (week), Romario Shepherd*, Mohammad Nabi*, Shams Mulani, Naman Dhir, Anshul Kamboj, Kumar Kartikeya, Piyush Chawla, Shreyas Gopal, Jasprit Bumrah, Luke Wood*, Gerald Coetzee*, Kwena Maphaka*, Nuwan Ensure*, Akash Madhwal, Arjun Tendulkar, Shivalik Sharma

Player availability – Suryakumar, a doubtful starter

Suryakumar Yadav might not be fit in time for Mumbai’s first match. He has undergone surgeries for an ankle problem and a sports hernia over the past three months and is currently undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
Jason Behrendorff was ruled out of the tournament after breaking his leg in the net. England left-arm seamer Luke Wood has replaced it. Dilshan Madushanka also had to be replaced by a 17-year-old South African fast bowler. You are the cats. Gerald Coetzee has joined the team, but he is still recovering with a groin injury and is unlikely to be available for the first few games.

What’s new at MI this year?

The captain. Hardik Pandya is back in Mumbai and as captain, after taking over from Rohit Sharma. This is the first time that a current Indian T20I captain will play under someone else in the IPL. It will also be interesting to see how Rohit performs without this added responsibility.
There are six new foreign players: Coetzee, Maphaka, Wood, Nuwan Being, Romario Shepherd and Mohammad Nabi. Thurshara, who bowls with a slinging action like Lasith Malinga, recently notched a five-for, including a hat-trick, in a T20I against Bangladesh. Among uncapped Indians, Shreyas Gopal was added replacing Piyush Chawla.

The Good – Batting and Bumrah

A strong Indian core. Once Suryakumar is available, Mumbai can have an all-Indian top five: Rohit, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar, Hardik and Tilak Varma. With Tim David at No. 6, this is a hitting unit that can consistently post or chase totals over 200, as they showed last season. Kishan and Tilak also help with the left-right combination.

Hardik said At the pre-season press conference, he is suitable for bowling, which gives the team great balance. With Shepherd and Nabi, Mumbai have two more quality all-rounders but, as Mark Boucher has hinted, they can only field three overseas players at times.

In Jasprit Bumrah, Mumbai have a fast bowler who can play through the phases. After remarkable performances in the 2023 ODI World Cup and the recent Test series against England, he is expected to lead the way again.

The less good – Injuries and devious actions

Mumbai will be hoping Suryakumar does not miss too many matches, while Kishan has not played top-level cricket since November. Perhaps the biggest blow is the absence of Behrendorff when he was supposed to be the power play specialist. The early unavailability of Coetzee and Madushanka further deprives them of flexibility.

Mumbai also lacks spin resources. Chawla was a point of difference for them last season; his 22 wickets in 16 matches were the fourth highest in the tournament. But his returns in the last Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy were not so good: four wickets in seven matches at an economy of 8.40. At 35, will he be able to lead Mumbai’s rotating attack again?
Kumar Kartikeya has age and form on his side but has not been effective in the IPL. Last season, he took five wickets in eight matches at an economy of 8.73. Shreyas has played only four matches in the last three IPL seasons.
In the schedule published so far (March 22-April 7), Mumbai will play four matches. The first two away, against Gujarat Titans and Sunrisers Hyderabad, and the next two at home, against Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Capitals. After the third match, they have a five-day break.

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