2013 Champions League T20 team preview: Mumbai Indians

Blog by: Vignesh

Can the Mumbai Indians win the CLT20?

Can the Mumbai Indians win the CLT20?

When it comes to fans support across the world, none of the teams can overtake Mumbai Indians. The main reason for this is the presence of Master Blaster, Sachin Tendulkar.

Along with Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians has been the most stable team in Champions League T20. In 2011, Mumbai was crowned as the CLT20 Champions sans some big names in their ranks and now in 2013, they have qualified for the tournament on the virtue of being the champions of IPL-6.

They won the IPL courtesy some brilliant performances throughout the league stage and an exceptional show in the finals against CSK. Their Caribbean star, Keiron Pollard, scored a swashbuckling fifty and Lasith Malinga opened the floodgates with 2 wickets in the very first over of CSK’s innings as Mumbai defeated Chennai by 23 runs.

Here is the complete analysis of Mumbai Indians as they look to continue their domination in CLT20 as they look to give their star player Sachin Tendulkar a fitting farewell from all forms of T20 Cricket.

Squad:

Captain: Rohit Sharma

Coach: John Wright.

Batsmen: Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu.

All Rounders: Keiron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Rishi Dhawan.

Bowlers: Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Abu Nechim, Akshar Patel, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell Johnson.

Wicket Keeper: Dinesh Karthik, Aditya Tare.

Strengths:

  • Right mix of youth and experience
  • Solid middle order comprising of Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthick, Kieron Pollard, Glenn Maxwell and Ambati Rayudu
  • Can chase up huge totals at will
  • Perfect balance in their squad
  • Have some world’s best fielders like Rohit, Pollard, Smith and Rayudu
  • Presence of quality Indian spinners in their ranks.

Weakness:

  • Absence of Lasith Malinga
  • Choking at crucial stages of the tournament
  • Players in their team tend to be complacent
  • Form of Harbhajan Singh is a worry
  • Sachin Tendulkar is back to the field after 5 months so, he might be short of match practice.

X-Factor: Keiron Pollard

In the 2009 edition of CLT20, a night before Diwali, Keiron Pollard showcased his hard hitting skills to the cricket world. He provided the spectators with some breath-taking fireworks from his bat as he smashed the hapless New South Wales Blues bowlers to all parts of the ground en route to a flamboyant 18 ball 54 that helped his team to an unlikely win.

Since then, Pollard has become the most sought after cricketer in T20 circuit. He has been an important member of the Mumbai Indians squad since he was bought by the Mukesh Ambani owned IPL franchise in 2010. He add a lot of value to the team and brings a number of skills to the table. He is a power-hitter who can hit the ball miles into the crowd with ease and also is capable of chipping in with the ball.

However, the biggest plus is his fielding. Keiron Pollard is an acrobatic fielder and takes some impossible catches with extreme ease. In simple words, he is a complete package needed for T20 cricket. He is the guy who can turn the match on its head and Mumbai will expect Pollard to come good in CLT20.

Players to watch out for:

Lasith Malinga has been Mumbai’s go to man for the past 5 years. He has provided them with crucial wickets early on in the innings as well as in the slog overs. He was also the leading wicket taker in the history of the IPL. Mumbai’s bowling lineup revolves around the pacemen  but the IPL champions are set to miss the service of the Sri Lankan, who ruled himself out of the CLT20 due to an injury.

Mitchell Johnson:

In his absence, Mumbai’s bowling workload would be heavily dependent on the Australian  left-armer Mitchell Johnson. Johnson, who has been in and out of the Australian team for the past three years, had a terrific IPL this season. He has worked on his bowling action, got his swing back and is raring to go. His is determined to perform well in the CLT20 as he has a point to prove to the Australian selectors who ignored him for the 2013 Ashes.

Sachin Tendulkar

Will Sachin Tendulkar be at his best in the CLT20?

Will Sachin Tendulkar be at his best in the CLT20?

At the moment, the entire cricket fraternity in India is busy contemplating the venue that will be chosen for the Master’s landmark Test. He has been out of action after suffering an injury in the recent IPL. Since then, the entire world has been waiting to see him back in action.

After a gap of 5 months, Sachin Tendulkar is all set to step on the cricket field to represent Mumbai Indians in the 2013 CLT20. Tendulkar, who announced his retirement from IPL after Mumbai’s victorious campaign in 2013, will don the Mumbai colours for one last time in this edition of the CLT20. So the stakes are high for the master and he would love to perform well in this tournament.

However, he is short of match practice and needs to spend some time in the crease to get his rhythm back. He, along with Dwayne Smith, are crucial for the team as they are capable of giving solid starts to Mumbai’s innings. The fans will expect Tendulkar to finish it off with a flourish.

Can Mumbai Indians make the 2013 CLT20 a memorable farewell tournament for Sachin Tendulkar?

Possible Playing XI: Sachin Tendulkar, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Keiron Pollard, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha, Abu Nechim.

Mumbai Indians Schedule:

Saturday 21 September v Royals in Jaipur

Monday 25 September v Qualifier in Ahmedabad

Friday 27 September v Lions in Ahmedabad

Wednesday 02 October v Perth in Delhi

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