IPL 2021 team watch: Mumbai Indians wear the eternal favourites’ tag

Vital statistics

Owner: Indiawin Sports Pvt. Ltd.

Coach: Mahela Jayawardene

Captain: Rohit Sharma

Star man: Rohit Sharma

Home Ground: Wankhede Stadium

Best finishes: Winners in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020

Dubai: Multiple winners Mumbai Indians will look to rewrite their own history in Indian Premier League as they prepare to defend a title within a few months of winning it. Barely six months earlier on November 10, Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians won themselves a fifth title as COVID-19 restrictions in India brought the tournament to the shores of UAE.

Of course, that slice of history was made purely on logistical grounds and as things move forward to 2021 edition, Mumbai Indians will look to achieve yet another ‘first’ and win a third straight IPL honour - having secured the 2019 edition as well.

Mumbai Indians have over the years boasted of insanely talented star-studded line-ups that have made the franchise one of the favourites at virtually all of the past tournaments. An alumni of past greats Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga have made way for contemporary hot shots like Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Trent Boult and Kieron Pollard who appear to be carrying the MI brand to even greater heights.

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One of the most high-profile teams in the blink-and-you-miss format worldwide, MI, apart from having the most IPL titles - five - were also the joint most successful team in the now defunct Champions League T20.

With the erstwhile demigod of Indian cricket and local hero Tendulkar their star act in the early years, MI reached their first IPL final in 2010 but on that occasion, the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings proved way too strong. The IPL may have been elusive, but MI did prove themselves on the global stage by winning their first CLT20 title.

However since the captaincy baton passed forward and onto Sharma in 2013, Mumbai appeared to have turned the corner at a national level. In his first year as skipper, Sharma led the side all the way and they have continued to thrive ever since adding further four titles to their repertoire in 2015, 2017 and 2019 and 2020. Known as the team that always enjoyed a good run in odd years - not that anyone ever did mind - Mumbai bucked the trend during last year’s tournament in the UAE when they took home a fifth honour.

Set to begin the 2021 renewal of the tournament against three-time semi-finalists Royal Challengers Bangalore in the season opener on April 9 at Chennai, Sharma & Co will be hoping that the luck of the odd year is still something they can fall back on under challenging circumstances.

SQUAD

Rohit Sharma (Capt.), Aditya Tare, Anukul Roy, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Dhawal Kulkarni, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunyal Pandya, Mohsin Khan, Quinton de Kock, Rahul Chahar, Saurabh Tiwary, Suryakumar Yadav, Trent Boult, Adam Milne, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla, Jimmy Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar.



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