History:

2008: Group Stages [5]

2009: Group Stages [7]

2010: Finalists [1]

2011: Play-Offs [3]

2012: Play-Offs [3]

2013: Winners [2]

2014: Play-Offs [4]

Mumbai Indians started the tournament disastrously losing their first four consecutive matches comprehensively. Their campaign was gravely affected by the injury of icon player Sachin Tendulkar and suspension of Harbhajan Singh for slapping KXIP’s Sreesanth. They then managed to win 6 out of their next 6 under stand-in-captain Shaun Pollock. However, their inconsistency cost them as they failed to make the semi-finals on the back of a brilliant Rhodesque Yuvraj Singh run out on the final ball of the match. The team could not cope with the South African conditions of the second season. They under-performed consistently and finished second-to-last but their fortunes were soon to change.

The Mumbai-based franchise found their stride in 2010. Orange Cap Winner and Skipper Sachin Tendulkar led the team to 10 victories. He had players like Malinga, Bhajji, Rayudu, Tiwary and the buy of the tournament Kieron Pollard to thank for the same. They reached the finals in style beating RCB by 35 runs but despite being favorites to bring the title home, fell short of the CSK’s target by 22 runs. They had no one but themselves to blame as they inexplicably sent Abhishek Nayar and Harbhajan Singh ahead of the experienced Duminy and Pollard.

IPL 2011 saw the introduction of Symonds, Munaf Patel and future Captain Rohit Sharma into the team. They finished on 3rd position with a total of 18 points. They beat Kolkata in the Eliminator with 4 wickets and 4 balls to spare. Their batsmen failed to perform in the 2nd Qualifier, losing by 44 runs to RCB. Lasith Malinga won the Purple Cap that year. They traded Dinesh Karthik from KXIP and got Dwayne Smith as a replacement for Johnson prior to the start of the season. The wicketkeeper-batsman and West Indian opener lent some stability and additional firepower respectively at the top, which helped the team qualify for the play-offs again. They lost in the eliminator itself to their archrivals Chennai Super Kings.

They ended up second on the table in 2013 and subsequently, won the tournament, when they beat Chennai by 23 runs in the final. The high run-scoring Indian duo of Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik greatly contributed to this victory. In 2014, their team came under a lot of criticism for letting go of players like Dinesh Karthik and Glenn Maxwell who earned big bucks in the following auction. They seemed to prove the pundits right, losing their first 4 matches which were played in the UAE. However, an inspired 44-ball 95 from Corey Anderson ensured that they beat Rajasthan and managed to sneak through to the playoffs due to a marginally higher net run rate. Despite losing in the eliminator to Chennai Super Kings, they will be confident for the upcoming season.

Team:

The Mumbai Indians squad is arguably the second-most consistent team throughout the IPL ahead of Chennai Super Kings. After struggling in the first two seasons, the team later found their feet and did not fail to make the play-offs even once since then. Known for poor starts to the tournament, they always deliver at its business end when it matters the most. Anderson, Sharma, Malinga, Harbhajan & Kieron Pollard are all match-winners on their day, as they have shown many a times in the past. They have the greatest support staff in the whole tournament, consisting of legends Tendulkar, Shane Bond, Robin Singh, Alan Wright, Jonty Rhodes and Ricky Ponting among others. Barring Rohit Sharma, their Indian contingent failed to impress last time around and they would be looking to improve on the same. None of their international stars are guaranteed a spot in the team due to the vast squad depth. They would all be playing out of their skins to ensure they get to play each match in the tournament. They have players like Parthiv Patel, Aditya Tare, Hazlewood, McClenagahan and De Lange all eagerly waiting on the sidelines for their chance.

Rohit Sharma and Aaron Finch are perfect for providing a solid opening partnership to get the team going. They give way to Chand and Rayudu and then the explosive all-rounder duo of Corey Anderson and Kieron Pollard. All of whom are equally good at finishing the innings with some big shots at the back-end of the innings. While their bowling department lacks the incisiveness of some of the better teams, Lasith Malinga alone can cause an innings to collapse to a meager total from a winning position. The Indian bowling trio of Bhajji, Ojha and Vinay Kumar would look to support the Sri Lankan in defending a total or setting a lower one. They might not have the strongest of squads for IPL 8 but no opposition would dare to take them lightly. They have shown multiple times throughout the years how lethal they can be when the going gets tough. The team will be desperate to taste IPL glory for a second time and despite its improbability, would hope to pull the coup off for themselves and their fans!

 

Squad for IPL 8:

Rohit Sharma, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Aditya Tare, Jasprit Bumrah, Josh Hazlewood, Marchant De Lange, Pawan Suyal, Shreyas Gopal, Parthiv Patel, R Vinay Kumar, Unmukt Chand, Aaron Finch, Pragyan Ojha*, Mitchell McClenaghan, Akshay Wakhare, Aiden Blizzard, Siddhesh Lad, J Suchith, Nitish Rana and Abhimanyu Mithun.

*MI released Pragyan Ojha for IPL 8 Auction but was subsequently, bought back by the team.

IN: Parthiv Patel (Traded), R Vinay Kumar (Traded), Unmukt Chand (Traded), Aaron Finch (3.2 Cr), Pragyan Ojha (50 L), Mitchell McClenaghan (30 L), Akshay Wakhare (10 L), Aiden Blizzard (30 L), Siddhesh Lad (10 L), J Suchith (10 L), Nitish Rana (10 L) and Abhimanyu Mithun (30 L).

OUT: Michael Hussey (CSK), Praveen Kumar (SRH), Ben Dunk (Unsold), Pragyan Ojha (MI), Jalaj Saxena (RCB), Krishmar Santokie (Unsold), Sushant Marathe (Unsold), Apoorv Wankhade (Unsold), Zaheer Khan (DD) and CM Gautam (DD).

Best Buy: Aaron Finch 

Impact Players:

Rohit Sharma – One of the most successful players in the IPL, he has the unique distinction of having an IPL century as well as a hattrick to his name. He led his side to victory in IPL 2013, and was the team’s highest scorer that year. His enviable technique and skill made him an important part of the Indian team that reached the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup 2015. He will be looking to repeat the heroics of 2013 and win the IPL for a second time!

Aaron Finch – The Australian opener showed his worth through some consistent performances at the top alongside David Warner for his World Cup-winning national side. Known for his ability to hold one end and explode at will, he is a dangerous batsman any team would love to have in their side. The Mumbai franchise shelled out 3.2 Crore for the batsman and would be hoping he repays the team with some match-winning performances too.

Corey Anderson – This New Zealander showed his worth when he almost single-handedly led Mumbai to the play-offs last year when he destructively took the Rajasthan bowlers apart scoring 95 off just 44 balls. He is equally great at handling the ball, as he is also known for his partnership-breaking abilities in the middle of the innings. He also holds the record for scoring the second-fastest ODI century, taking just 36 balls to etch his name in cricketing history.

Lasith Malinga – The statistics speak for themselves. He has three hat-tricks in One Day International Cricket, two of which came in the World Cup and is the highest wicket-taker of all time in the IPL. The strike bowler of the Mumbai Indians is known for his swinging yorkers and his ‘weird’ action, so to speak, which instills fear in opposition batsman. A fan-favourite, a Purple-Cap winner, Lasith Malinga had a disappointing World Cup by his standards and will be looking to get back into form as soon as possible.

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