Written byParth Dhall
The Indian Premier League's defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super Kings in the tournament opener on September 19 in Abu Dhabi.
They clinched a record fourth title last year, having defeated CSK by a solitary run.
Now, the Rohit Sharma-led side will be vying for a fifth IPL title.
Let us analyze their squad ahead of the impending season.
Players bought by Mumbai Indians at the auction: Chris Lynn (Rs. 2 crore), Nathan Coulter-Nile (Rs. 8 crore), Saurabh Tiwary (Rs. 50 lakh), Mohsin Khan (Rs. 20 lakh), Digvijay Deshmukh (Rs. 20 lakh), Prince Balwant Rai Singh (Rs. 20 lakh).
Mumbai Indians already boast a sturdy batting order, which is studded with skipper Rohit and wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock.
They have further added Australia's Chris Lynn, who is known for his big hits in the T20 format.
Indian batsman Suryakumar Yadav could perfectly own the number three spot, while the Pandya brothers and Kieron Pollard brace the middle-order.
The likes of Hardik, Krunal, and Pollard have helped Mumbai Indians win several matches with their all-round credentials, over the years.
Moreover, the MI team management will be delighted with Pollard's impressive run in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League.
Although there are a number of uncapped Indian all-rounders in the squad, there is a little possibility they will be considered.
Recently, Australian pacer James Pattinson replaced Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga, who ruled himself out of the IPL for personal reasons.
In Malinga's absence, the baton of fast bowling lies with Indian seamer Jasprit Bumrah.
Besides, Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile could be useful options.
Among spinners, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar will once again be crucial, more so on the sluggish tracks of UAE.
Here's a look at the complete squad of MI: Rohit Sharma (C), Sherfane Rutherford, Suryakumar Yadav, Anmolpreet Singh, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jasprit Bumrah, James Pattinson, Mitchell McClenaghan, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Mohsin Khan, Prince Balwant Rai Singh, Digvijay Deshmukh, Hardik Pandya, Jayant Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ishan Kishan, Quinton de Kock, Aditya Tare.
The most successful franchise Mumbai appear strong on paper this year as well.
In Rohit Sharma, they have a tactful skipper who knows how the unite the team.
However, their biggest weakness is the lack of quality spinners, who can prove useful in UAE.
Probable XI for the first match: Rohit (captain), de Kock (wicket-keeper), Suryakumar, Krunal, Hardik, Pollard, Anukul, Chahar, Boult, Bumrah, McClenaghan.
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