Perhaps, franchise cricket in the longest format of the game is something that is unprecedented. Given the amount of time that is required for playing a Test match, this might not be a really viable idea. Yet, if there is a situation where different T20 franchisees get to play Test cricket, it will surely be great fun to watch. Usually, all these teams build their squads keeping the 20-over format requirements in mind and so is the case with Mumbai Indians (MI).
They are packed with limited-overs specialists and full of match-winners. However, if these same squads are to play red-ball cricket as well, Mumbai Indians (MI) is one team that could possibly stand out. The Rohit Sharma-led side has got some really high quality four-day or five-day cricket players. If the Mumbai Indians actually play the longest format of the game, they will surely give any team in a world a good run for their money.
Here is how the Playing XI of Mumbai Indians would look like had they played Test cricket:
1. Siddhesh Lad
Siddhesh Lad. (Photo Source: Twitter)
In the last few seasons of the IPL, Siddhesh Lad has been an integral part of the Mumbai Indians’ (MI) set-up. He is a heavy scorer in domestic cricket and has proved his potential time and again. However, this lad had to wait for ages altogether to make his IPL debut.
After being with the team for five years, he finally got his opportunity in IPL 2019 where he played one game. While he might not fit into MI’s T20 scheme of things, he will surely do if it was Test cricket. He is often Mumbai’s crisis man and is excellent under pressure.
While he plays in the lower middle-order for his Ranji team, he has got good technique and can open the innings as well. He is known for his temperament and steady head. In 52 first-class matches thus far, he scored 3758 runs at an average of 43.7 and also hit 8 centuries.
2. Anmolpreet Singh
Anmolpreet Singh. (Photo by Pal Pillai/Getty Images for Nissan)
At just 21 years of age, Anmolpreet Singh has already made rapid strides in domestic cricket. In a short span of time, he has evolved into being an important player for the Punjab team. While he is yet to make his IPL debut, he promises to be a shining star for the future.
Given that he has been scoring runs heavily in the domestic circuit, he has already got the opportunity to represent India-A. If he continues to maintain the same level of consistency, it wouldn’t be too long before he represents India at the highest level. He has looked good in List-A and First-class cricket and is in the process of establishing himself in the shortest format of the game.
Anmolpreet has featured in 20 first-class games thus far. He scored 1571 runs at an average which is slightly over 58. Furthermore, he has already got 5 centuries and 7 half-centuries. In the 19 List-A games that he played, he scored 800 runs at an impressive strike rate.
3. Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo: IANS)
Just after playing one first-class game, Suryakumar Yadav looked so impressive that the Mumbai Indians (MI) bought him in 2011. Since then, he has only gone from strength to strength and has established himself as an important player for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) earlier and Mumbai Indians now. While his aggressive style of play might make you think that he is suited for the shorter formats, he is equally good in red-ball cricket as well.
Suryakumar is quite innovative and is a very important member in the Mumbai Ranji set-up. However, consistency has been his biggest nemesis in the last few years. Time and again, he has blown hot and cold resulting in great disappointment.
However, he is now at an important juncture in his career and could even break into the Indian team if he can work on the consistency factor. Yadav is a fairly experienced first-class cricketer. He has played 72 games thus far and scored 4818 runs at an average of 43. He also hit 12 centuries.
4. Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: IANS)
At number four in this line-up, it will be Krunal Pandya. For any Test team, this is quite a vital position. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli have batted for India at his position in recent times. And more so for a side like this where the top-three batsmen are aggressive, it becomes that much more crucial.
Of the resources that the Mumbai Indians have got, Krunal Pandya seems to be the best fit. He is technically sound and has got the temperament to bat for long hours. The southpaw has got a good defensive technique and can adapt to different situations well. Moreover, he doubles up as a handy bowler who bats in the top-order – someone like Shakib Al Hasan for Bangladesh.
In his career so far, Krunal hasn’t played a great deal of first-class cricket. But in the opportunities that he’s got, he proved his potential both with the bat as well as the ball. In three games, he scored 294 runs at an average of 59 and with a good strike rate as well. Moreover, he has got two centuries to his name. With the ball, he picked up 8 wickets.
5. Rohit Sharma (c)
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)
One has got to feel bad for Rohit Sharma that he hasn’t got enough opportunities to prove his potential in Test cricket. After making his international debut in 2007, he had to wait for over six years to feature in the Test team. And in the last six years, he only played 27 Tests despite averaging close to 40 in the format.
Every time Rohit looked settled and showed that he could make a potential difference to the team, he was deprived of opportunities. Yet, he is a heavy scorer for Mumbai in first-class cricket and has got a terrific record. He represented the team in 87 games thus far and made quite an impact.
He scored 6562 runs with the highest score of 309* and at an average of 54.23. The Indian limited-overs vice-captain has scored 20 centuries and 30 half-centuries and has even got 3 Test centuries to his name. He will be leading this team just like he does in the shortest format.
6. Quinton de Kock (wk)
Quinton de Kock. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
For keeping the wickets, Mumbai Indians need not look beyond Quinton de Kock. The South African is the best option they’ve got. He is an all-format player and adapts to different situations and conditions really quickly. De Kock usually bats lower down the other for South Africa.
He will have a similar role in this line-up as well. Ideally, it would be great if he is one of the batsmen who will face the second new ball as he has got a good amount of experience opening the innings in white-ball cricket. Depending on the scenario of the match, he can mould his style of play.
So far, the 26-year-old has played 40 Tests and has got a pretty good record. He scored 2398 runs at an average of 39.31. Quinton de Kock has hit four Test centuries in his career and there are surely many more to come. He has a good amount of experience in first-class cricket as well.
7. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Hardik Pandya will bat at number seven in this line-up. Given that he is a naturally aggressive batsman, he can play go after the bowlers to put pressure on the opposition. There is a decent amount of batting to come after him and thus he will have the freedom to play his shots.
While Pandya is yet to establish himself as a Test cricketer, he has done a good job on quite a few occasions. Moreover, his contribution as the third pacer in the line-up will be invaluable. If he can counter the swinging conditions and get his eye in while batting, he will be a great asset to this team.
He represented India in 11 Test matches where he scored 532 runs at a decent average of 31. He also picked up 17 wickets which include a five-wicket haul. His presence will change the dynamics of the playing eleven and will add a great amount of balance to the side.
8. Jayant Yadav
Jayant Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Jayant Yadav will be next in this Mumbai Indians’ Test line-up. His presence makes the side stronger and adds a great variety as well. Jayant is more than capable with the bat and has proved his potential on multiple occasions. He can add some important runs down the order with the bat.
Also, he can provide the top-order batsmen with enough assistance. The bowling all-rounder has scored over 2000 runs in first-class cricket. He also has got three first-class hundreds to his name. In the few games where he represented India at the highest level, he did a fair job.
He has not only scored a century but also picked up crucial wickets. The 29-year-old has got 11 Test scalps so far and bowls quite accurately. He can build up the pressure from one end with his tight bowling and force the batsmen to take chances against him.
9. Rahul Chahar
Rahul Chahar. (Photo Source: Twitter)
This MI Test line-up has got two finger spinners in the form of Krunal Pandya and Jayant Yadav. With one being a slow left-arm bowler and the other being an off-spinner, there is already enough variety in the attack. The presence of Rahul Chahar will make it that much more lethal.
At a very young age, he has caught the attention of one and all with his crafty leg-spin bowling. The younger Chahar is quite deceptive in the air as well as off the pitch. This makes life extremely difficult for the batsmen. While he is yet to make his Test debut, Rahul has looked very impressive in List-A cricket.
In 15 matches, he picked up 63 wickets which also includes six five-wicket hauls and five four-wicket hauls. He is just 20 years old at the moment and has got a long way to go. Moreover, he is decent enough with the bat and can assist the top-order batsmen.
10. Alzarri Joseph
Alzarri Joseph. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
It was a dream debut for Alzarri Joseph in IPL 2019. In the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), he was lethal and blew the opposition apart. In the process, he also registered the best figures in the league breaking a 12-year-old record of Sohail Tanvir.
However, it was quite disappointing to see him not play many games in the tournament as he was ruled out due to an injury. Even though the Mumbai Indians roped in Beuran Hendricks in place of him, they didn’t release Alzarri Joseph from the squad. Thus, he is highly likely to find a place in the team for IPL 2020 as well.
Alzarri is quick and bowls great lines and lengths. He is a fast learner and has impressed in red-ball cricket so far. The 22-year-old played 9 Test for the West Indies where he picked up 25 wickets. Also, in the 31 first-class matches that he played, he accounted for 101 scalps.
11. Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)
What better than having the best bowler in the world spearheading the bowling line-up of the eleven. Jasprit Bumrah would not have been the beast that he is today without the contribution of Mumbai Indians. They identified the talent that he possesses at quite an early stage. Despite the unusual bowling action, he was given plenty of opportunities and the result is quite evident today.
In the last few years, he has been the main strike bowler for the franchise in T20 cricket. However, things shouldn’t change much in red-ball cricket either and he’ll be the same dominating force. Bumrah is always one step ahead of the batsmen and that is what makes him so successful.
Backing his smart cricketing brain are the highly deceptive weapons in his armoury. Bumrah bowls the slower balls, yorkers, in-swingers, out-swingers, bouncers and many other types of deliveries with utmost perfection. Undoubtedly, he will be the most important part of this bowling attack.
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