Feb 17, 2017
By MI Media
The buzz about the 2017 season of the Indian Premier League is gathering steam with the auction set for Monday, February 20, 2017. We have retained the maximum number of players, with a view of keeping the core intact. Here’s a look at the players who caught the eye in the last edition and will be expected to do more this time: -
The skipper of the Mumbai Indians side has been a consistent performer over the years and was, once again, the top scorer for his side in the last season. 489 runs at 44.45, at a handsome strike rate of 133 was an excellent showing. The rest of the line-up performed well in patches and struggled to give further impetus to the innings after his departure. A vital cog in our batting wheel, the classy Sharma is returning from a knee surgery for the 2017 season and will look to get into his stride quickly.
Eyebrows were raised when Krunal Pandya, elder brother of our own all-rounder Hardik, was picked up from relative obscurity for a whopping INR 2 crore. A tall left-arm spinner with big-hitting capabilities, Krunal gave an ample demonstration of his talent with six wickets and 237 runs in the tournament. His 190+ batting strike rate meant that he could have a major impact within a short span of time, a huge asset in the T20 format.
With the outstanding Lasith Malinga missing due to injury, the Kiwi quick stepped up in his absence to become the leading wicket-taker for Mumbai Indians with 17 scalps to his name. McClenaghan’s clever changes of pace and effective use of the short ball proved to be more than a handful against opposition batsmen. Another one making a comeback after a long injury lay-off, the left-arm pacer provides a different dimension to our bowling attack.
An evergreen presence in the Mumbai side, Rayudu has been the quintessential team man whose contributions may not have always grabbed the headlines but, have been crucial in the team’s success. A solid presence in the middle order, Rayudu notched up 334 runs in the last edition, batting at different positions and will be expected to carry on in similar vein in the upcoming edition too.
Jasprit’s death-bowling exploits have made him invaluable in limited overs cricket. Nowhere was this more evident than during last year’s IPL when he was the second highest wicket-taker for Mumbai with 15 wickets. His ability to bowl toe-crushing yorkers and clever variations in pace allied to an awkward action makes him a completely different proposition for opposition batsmen. It will be a treat to watch him bowl this season with Malinga in tandem.
Another omnipresent member of our side, Pollard’s season was largely hit-and-miss despite smashing 16 sixes in the tournament. The burly West Indian was unable to make a consistent impact throughout with an unbeaten 17-ball 51 being the standout. More will be expected this time from the darling of the Mumbai crowd.
The 2016/17 Ranji-winning captain of Gujarat provided stability at the top in the last edition with Mumbai trying out different combinations. Of late, he has been in great form in all formats which was marked by an impressive return to the Indian Test team. Parthiv will look to play more like he did against Kings XI Punjab last year when he scored a superb, match-winning 81 off just 58 balls.
Given his reputation, a lot was expected of the explosive English middle order batsman who managed to show flashes of brilliance in 2016. A highest score of 41 in a total of 255 runs in the tournament does injustice to his enormous talent and will be better prepared this time around, having only recently been a part of England’s tour of India.
The Turbanator has been a part of the Mumbai Indians setup, since the beginning of the IPL! The number of contributions he has had for us can’t be counted using two hands. He is undoubtedly the most experienced player in the squad and his ability to stay calm as well as deliver in pressure situations makes him the back bone of our side. Bhajji has led the side in the past and has a Champions League title under his stint too. He is expected to bring a lot to the table yet again, in the 2017 season.
The 23-year-old southpaw gave a glimpse of his swashbuckling batting during a brilliant 36-ball 70 against Gujarat Lions. It made a lasting impact despite featuring in only four games and seems to be a great find. That knock would have done his confidence a world of good and will be hoping for more opportunities to come his way.
The Mumbai Indians squad looks well balanced, and this time around our boys will look to get off to a great start. The retained lot have all the experience and expertise to go the distance for a third time. We will also look forward to filling the remained of the squad with the galaxy of talent on show during the IPL Auction, which is around the corner. Back your favourite team this season and block your dates for all of Mumbai Indians’ match days.