Mumbai Indians are widely known as one of the strongest T20 teams ever. Their bench strength is capable enough to form another franchise and make it to the playoffs. Well, as we look forward to another interesting season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the franchise might be trying out every possible combination for the team. Even this year, it is almost certain that they will make it to the playoffs.
With Rohit Sharma leading from the front, the middle-order batsmen are complimenting their captain to the full extent. Apart from that, they have the strongest bowling attack with Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult leading from the front. They had no trouble reaching the playoffs and lifting the trophy.
For them, it was a cakewalk as Bumrah and Boult troubled quality top-order batsmen. However, they might look forward to some changes in their squad. Talking about their batting, they look well set and there is no reason to make any sort of changes in their playing eleven.
To be honest, they are just trying to strengthen their bench. If you don’t have an idea about how strong Mumbai is, well you will be surprised to know that Chris Lynn had to warm their benches. Just before the 2021 auction, they released a few players.
Let us have a look at 5 players Mumbai Indians can target to fill their overseas slots in IPL 2021 Auction:
1. Tom Curran
During mid-2010, Mitchell McClenaghan was a part of the core in the Mumbai Indians squad. With Malinga bowling from one end, Mitchell managed to pick up wickets from the other end. He was a good opening bowler too. With an economy rate of 8.49, he was able to draw two overs in the powerplay and two during the death overs.
In his IPL career, he took 71 wickets with the best bowling figure of 4/21. This speaks about his ability to bowl in a batsman-friendly pitch in Mumbai. The Kiwi left-hander was, however, left unused by the management as a fiery Boult was always the first choice for the franchise. As a result, he had to warm the benches.
Mitchell had this ability to swing the bat properly, but this was not enough to get him into the playing eleven. One bowler who could tick the charts is Tom Curran. Recently released by the Rajasthan Royals, the English allrounder can bat as he scored a half-century last season and is an experienced bowler. With an ageing Pollard in their squad, the Mumbai-based franchise can look forward to including Tom Curran in their playing eleven.
2. Dawid Malan
Well, very few people might have heard Sherfane Rutherford’s name. For those who don’t know, he is a hard-hitting 20-year old southpaw and he made his name in the Global T20 Canada league. During his tenure with the Windies B team, he scored 230 runs in just eight matches, and this included a swashbuckling century.
This impressive performance enabled him to grab a CPL contract too! However, he was unable to get a chance against the Patriots but his opportunity enabled him to bat for the Guyana Amazon Warriors. His good striking power in the shortest format of the game meant that there was an IPL call-up for the youngster.
But, he was drafted into a jam-packed Mumbai Indians squad. This meant that he could not get any opportunity. However, it was wise enough on the part of the Mumbai management to release him to enable other teams to explore his potential. If we look at the replacement options, the best player available is Dawid Malan.
The top-order English batsman has been in stellar form and is looking forward to grabbing an IPL contract. No doubt, this Englishman will make it to the playing eleven as he is a highly rated T20 specialist. With an average of 53 in T20Is, he will be the best pick for any team this auction!
3. Marnus Labuschagne
During the 2019 ICC World Cup, Australia’s Nathan Coulter-Nile shocked everyone by smashing the West Indies bowlers all around the park. At the end of the inning, he scored 92 off 60 balls. Well, we presented this stat before you to give an insight into how valuable this all-rounder is. In the 2020 season, he represented the strongest team on paper and field, the Mumbai Indians!
It was very difficult as a bench player to get into the Mumbai Indians squad last season. However, by the virtue of his performances, Coulter Nile made it to the playing eleven. During his tenure at the Mumbai-based franchise, he had a good economy rate of 7.92 runs per over. Well, he had a poor season in terms of wickets, as he claimed only five, but he never performed so poorly that would have affected Mumbai’s chances.
But, as the team comprises several match-winners, the management has decided to let the bowling all-rounder go. If they are looking for his replacement, they can opt for the rising Australian batting all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne. Marnus was very beneficial for the Brisbane Heat as he could bowl leg-spinners and claim crucial wickets during the match. Therefore, Marnus could be a great pick for the Indians.
4. Sheldon Cottrell
James Pattinson belongs to that list of bowlers who had a bright future but were severely affected because of injuries. Let us get this straight, he made his debut way back in 2011 and has played in only 21 Test matches. This shows how much an injury can affect a bowler. Even though he had an off-career because of injuries, he has performed significantly well.
In his T20I career, he has an economy rate of 8.0 in four matches only. Talking about the ODIs, he has played in 15 matches and has the best bowling figures of 4/51. He has not played to his full potential. Last year, James made his debut in the most lucrative T20 league in the world. During the 10 matches, he was a bit costly with an economy rate of 9.01.
Well, as the franchise is looking for his replacements, the best option available for them is Sheldon Shane Cottrell. The West Indian fast bowler had a relatively poor IPL season as he had an economy rate of 8.80 in six matches. But, he is well known for his “hitting the deck hard” attitude and could be a valuable addition to the Mumbai squad.
5. Liam Plunkett
‘Lasith Malinga’ is a name that will remain in the history of the sport forever. The Sri-Lankan legend was a vital member of the limited-overs squad for over a decade. His toe-crushing yorkers gave the batsmen the nightmares they would never forget. Every cricket fan remembers his 4 balls 4 wickets achievement and his presence in the Mumbai Indians squad helped Jasprit Bumrah to gain some insights into this cricketing field.
During his IPL career, Malinga made Mumbai his home. He took 170 wickets since his IPL debut in 2009 and was every Mumbai Indian captain’s go-to man during critical phases of the games. He had the best bowling figure of 5/13 and was able to choke from one end even when he had a bad day in the office. Apart from that, he had a stellar IPL economy rate of 7.14 during his career.
Currently, the perfect replacement for Malinga is Liam Plunkett. The English bowler has been sensational for his national side. In the T20Is, he has a brilliant economy rate of 7.9. Apart from that, he can hit some heavy blows down the order. Therefore, Liam Plunkett is the perfect replacement for Lasith Malinga.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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