IPL 2022 | Can Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians be victorious for the sixth time?

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Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians captain

SportsCafe Graphics Team

IPL 2022 | Can Rohit Sharma's Mumbai Indians be victorious for the sixth time?

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Kunal Joshi


Mumbai Indians have won the IPL title a record five times which no other franchise has managed to achieve making them the most successful team in the history of the tournament. Rohit Sharma's captaincy is a major reason for the team's success as they look to go after their sixth title this year.

Mumbai Indians is the most successful team in the Indian Premier League since its inception. They are the only team to win the IPL title a record 5 times which shows how well they have done over the years in the tournament. Back in 2008 when the league began the team was not considered to be the strongest amongst its competitors. From 2008 till 2012, Mumbai Indians were in the developing stage where they were trying to make sure that they have a strong core around which they could build a strong side. 

Legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Harbhajan Singh captained the Mumbai Indians during the initial years of the IPL. However, all of them were unable to get the trophy home which is when the search for a new leader intensified and they found Rohit Sharma. From 2008 till 2010, Rohit Sharma was a part of the Deccan Chargers and had tasted the success of winning an IPL trophy under Adam Gilchrist's leadership back in 2009. Rohit Sharma had learned how to go about things in the IPL during his tenure with the Deccan Chargers (Hyderabad). 

In 2011, Rohit Sharma moved to Mumbai Indians and for the next two years, he played as a batter in the side. It was in 2013 that things started to change in the Mumbai Indians camp after Ricky Ponting who was the skipper of the side was dropped due to poor form. Rohit Sharma was in good form during that season which is why he was appointed as the captain mid-season. The young skipper with experienced players like Sachin Tendulkar by his side led Mumbai Indians to their first IPL trophy. 

Since then, Rohit Sharma has been the captain of the franchise and the team has dominated in the prestigious league. In a span of 8 years (2013-2021) Mumbai has won the title five times which just shows how brilliant they have been in the tournament. From this year, the dynamics of the tournament are changing. With the IPL now adding two more teams in the form of Gujarat Titans and Lucknow Supergiants which makes it a ten-team affair. This could pose a major challenge to a team as established as Mumbai Indians. 

The other major challenge came in the form of the mega auction that happened last month. Mumbai Indians just like all other teams have had to rebuild their squad and it could mean that they may not be as settled as they used to be in the previous seasons. Winning the trophy this year could be one of the biggest challenges for the Mumbai Indians. 

Let's take a look at the full squad of the Mumbai Indians that they have managed to put together this year.

Mumbai Indians Full Squad for IPL 2022: Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Dewald Brevis, N Tilak Varma, Tim David, Ramandeep Singh, Fabian Allen, Kieron Pollard, Daniel Sams, Hrithik Shokeen, Arjun Tendulkar, Jasprit Bumrah, Basil Thampi, Murugan Ashwin, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Sanjay Yadav, Jofra Archer, Tymal Mills, Riley Meridith, Mohammed Ashraf, Anmolpreet Singh, Rahul Buddhi, Aryan Juyal.

Solid opening pair

Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan can be one of the most destructive opening batters in the IPL this year. Quinton de Kock's departure from Mumbai Indians makes way for Ishan Kishan to open alongside his captain. The left-handed wicket-keeper batter is a like-for-like replacement to de Kock and also answers why he was bought for 15.25 crore. Ishan Kishan's performances in IPL 2021 were average. The left-handed batter played 10 matches and scored 241 runs with an average of 26.77 and a strike rate of 133.88. Ishan's career stats are better than what he did last year and with Rohit Sharma by his side, it could work wonders for him as well as the franchise.

Ishan Kishan's batting records in IPL © SportsCafe Graphics Team

Rohit Sharma is one of the best batters in the shortest format of the game. Since becoming captain of the Indian team, the right-handed batter has reinvented himself in T20 cricket. He looks to attack from ball one and this version of Rohit Sharma could be the most dangerous one that we have ever seen in the IPL. Last year the Mumbai Indians skipper was struggling with injuries during the tournament. He still had a decent outing as per his standards as he featured in 13 matches and scored 381 runs with an average of 29.3 and a strike rate of 127.42.

Middle-order uncertainty

Suryakumar Yadav is one of the best batters at number three in the IPL. The right-handed batter has won games for his franchise almost single-handedly and is the backbone of the Mumbai Indians batting line-up. Suryakumar Yadav's excellent performances in the IPL helped him get selected for the national team. He has the ability and maturity to play according to the situation which is a very important quality in a high-pressure tournament like this. The right-handed batter played 14 matches and scored 317 runs with an average of 22.64 and a strike rate of 143.43.

Suryakumar Yadav's batting records in IPL © SportsCafe Graphics Team

The problem is at numbers 4, 5, and 6 for the Mumbai Indians. Till last season, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard were almost a certainty at these positions. All three had the experience of handling pressure and the ability to finish games for their side. However, with Hardik Pandya and his brother Krunal Pandya not being with Mumbai Indians it remains to be seen who will bat at those numbers. Kieron Pollard has also not been at his best for quite some time so the pressure will be huge on him. Tim David and Dewald Brewis might be the answer to Mumbai Indians' problems in the middle order. Although their inexperience can backfire in high-pressure games for the Mumbai-based franchise. 

Strong bowling attack

Mumbai Indians have one of the best bowling line-ups with Jasprit Bumrah as the leader of the pack. The twenty-eight-year-old fast bowler has been on top of his game and has been instrumental in the success of Mumbai Indians. Last year, Jasprit Bumrah played 14 matches and took 21 wickets with an economy rate of 7.45 and a strike rate of 15.71. Jofra Archer alongside the Indian pacer can make for one of the most dangerous bowling attacks in the IPL. Jaydev Unadkat's experience can also be crucial when it comes to bowling in the later stages of the game. Mayank Markande and Murugan Ashwin may also play a vital role as the two spinners for their side. Both spinners might be a bit inexperienced but certainly have the ability to pick wickets and stop the flow of runs when required.

Jasprit Bumrah's bowling records in IPL ©  © SportsCafe Graphics Team

Riley Meredith and Tymal Mills can also be a threat to the opposition with their pace and variations. Kieron Pollard might also chip in with a few overs when the situation demands. 

Mumbai Indians' strongest possible XI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Dewald Brewis, Kieron Pollard, Tim David, Jaydev Unadkat, Jasprit Bumrah, Jofra Archer, Mayank Markande, Murugan Ashwin.

Mumbai Indians will have to face some challenges in IPL 2022 and it might not be tougher than previous seasons. But under the leadership of Rohit Sharma and senior players like Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard, they have the potential to win their sixth title in the upcoming season.

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