The Mumbai Indians are the most expensive team in IPL history. They managed to beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore in that department. The MI Paltan have clinched the title in 2013 and since then have been winning every alternate year. In other words, if this trend continues, Mumbai could win IPL 2019 after sealing it in 2015 and 2017. However, the other 7 teams will not care about keeping the trend going.

Team Profile

Yet another of the founding teams, the Mumbai Indians are the most successful team aside from CSK. Initially, Mumbai struggled, even though they had the Master Blaster on their side. Their sluggish start continued in 2009 as well and they were even mired in minor controversy.

As it turned out, the then stand-in captain, Harbhajan Singh, slapped Kings XI Punjab player, Sreesanth. The spinner was later handed a suspension for his aggressive action. From 2010 onwards, their fortunes began to turn once West Indian giant, Kieron Pollard was drafted into the side. A year later, with the new rule of teams being allowed to retain 4 players. Mumbai took full advantage and retained Tendulkar, Harbhajan, Pollard and Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga. That year, Rohit Sharma was brought into the side for $2 million.

2012 was a mediocre year for the men in blue, but 2013 was when they really hit it off. Former Australia captain, Ricky Ponting led the side, but was eventually dropped for Sharma. Then Mumbai had a complete turn around and romped to the IPL title.

2014 saw the team go back to a sluggish start by losing several matches in the process. However, they recovered to reach the playoffs before losing to arch-rivals CSK. However, they got their revenge in 2015, this time in the final.

2016 saw the team finish 5th in the standings and back up to champions in 2017. Last year though, they were back down to 5th and out of a playoffs booth.

IPL 2019

Background and History

Back in 2008, Reliance bought MI for an astounding US$111.9 million, the highest ever in IPL history. The Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar was the talisman for the franchise for a long time.

Once Rohit Sharma was drafted in, MI’s fortunes changed for the better. Tendulkar was fortunate enough to be a part of the side’s first IPL title and he was even given a parade of honour.

For IPL 2019, Mumbai have a fairly strong line-up and they look like playoffs material at the very least. With the addition of Jasprit Bumrah and the Pandya brothers, Mumbai have been made even stronger.

The Mumbai Indians will open their IPL 2019 accounts against the Delhi Capitals on Sunday at the Wankhede Stadium at 8PM.

Transfers

With regard to player transfers, Mumbai have acquired the services of Quinton de Kock from Royal Challengers Bangalore. Mumbai themselves have not sold any players at all.

Key Players

The players who will play a massive role for Mumbai will be new recruit Quinton de Kock, skipper Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, Krunal Pandya and Lasith Malinga. However, Malinga may likely be featured less prominently owing to the age factor.

All of the above-mentioned players are excellent in the batting and bowling departments. Their form will be critical to the team’s success and quest for a 4th title, the IPL 2019 title.

Availability

Mumbai will be missing the services of Jason Behrendorff as he is currently with the Australia squad for the ODI series with Pakistan. However, every other foreign player will be available to play for Mumbai. However, Malinga is set to miss the Indians’ first six matches. As it turns out, he will be participating in Sri Lanka’s Super Provincial One Day domestic tournament from April 4th to 11th. The man with the iconic blonde curls is doing so in order to better his standing for a chance in the World Cup squad.

He confirmed to ESPNCricinfo that he asked for a No-Objection Certificate to play in the IPL. Though they agreed, they warned that any player who wish to attend the World Cup will need to play in the provincial tournament.

Malinga, who worked as a bowling mentor last IPL, has been slowly trying to phase himself out of the Mumbai Indians squad. He has even dropped hints that the franchise find a suitable successor for IPL 2019.

Inspite of his age, the ODI skipper has a good chance of being picked for the World Cup. This is because he is currently their best bowler in the last six months.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Mumbai seem to have a fairly well-balanced side with just the right amount of talent in batting, bowling and fielding. Their IPL 2019 bowling line-up seems very strong on paper at least, and the likes of Bumrah and the Pandya brothers can definitely deliver the goods.

However, on the flip side of the coin, though they have a decent batting group, the problem will be deciding the batting order. Quinton de Kock’s addition will slightly complicate matters. Sure, de Kock adds a great option as a wicket keeper, but the problem will be having one of the preferred openers sacrificing their position to accommodate the South African.

Another unknown will be Yuvraj Singh, the southpaw is no spring chicken. The man is 37-years old and Mumbai will want to monitor how much performance he can squeeze out. Another player flirting with the age barrier is Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga. Granted, he is 35, two years younger than Singh, he is set to retire from international cricket after the 2020 T20 World Cup.

Squad and Expected 11

Full Squad: Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma (c), Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Mayank Markande, Adam Milne, Jason Behrendorff, Yuvraj Singh, Anmolpreet Singh, Aditya Tare, Siddhesh Lad, Evin Lewis, Pankaj Jaiswal, Anukul Roy, Kieron Pollard, Rahul Chahar, Lasith Malinga, Barinder Sran, Rasikh Salam, Jayant Yadav.

Expected 11: Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Ben Cutting, Jasprit Bumrah, Aditya Tare, Mitchell McClenaghan.