Defending Champions Mumbai Indians acquired seven backup players on the auction day, with one of them being Arjun Tendulkar. Arjun is a pacer and can also hit it big with the bat. He is the son of Indian legend, Sachin Tendulkar.
The five-time IPL Champions also successfully acquired Adam Milne, Yudhvir Singh, James Neesham, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Marco Jansen, and Piyush Chawla. However, only a few of them will feature in the playing XI, considering that MI typically favours regulars.
A couple of days before the commencement of IPL 2021, here are the predicted playing XI for Mumbai Indians and whether Arjun Tendulkar will make his IPL debut in this season –
Considering that the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock has turned tables in favour of Mumbai Indians for the past two years, they will kick off the tournaments.
The team management also backed De Kock, despite his struggles in a couple of matches the last year. The backing worked, and he ended the season with a whopping 503 runs.
The opening pair has done wonders for the team, and since MI does not ‘fix what’s not broken,’ Chris Lynn could be benched for yet another season.
With Suryakumar Yadav being MI’s go-to batsman since regrouping with the side, he will continue to retain his spot.
The right-handed batsman has hit 512, 480, and 424 runs, respectively, in the last three seasons. His exuberant performance in IPL 2020 earned him a position in the national squad for England T20Is.
Suryakumar will be followed by Ishan Kishan, who enjoyed a breakthrough IPL season last year. Kishan created history by scoring 516 runs and becoming the uncapped batsman with the highest runs in a season.
He scored 30 sixes and played at a strike rate of 145.76. Ishan Kishan will most likely enter IPL 2021 as a capped player.
Next on the list comes Hardik Pandya, who is a no-brainer. Despite him not bowling in the pitch, Pandya played a vital role in the previous season by hitting 281 runs, batting at a strike rate of 178.98.
Despite Kieron Pollard typically staying away from bowling in the IPL, his capabilities are sufficient to place him under the all-rounder’s category. Pollard hit 268 runs, striking at 191.42, and stole four wickets at the IPL 2020.
The second all-rounder choice for MI would be Krunal Pandya. Although he did not achieve a glorious run last year, Pandya’s current form is too good to be overlooked. He has hit 388 runs and scalped five wickets in five matches of the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The emerging ball pair of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult gave batsmen a hard time last year, and thus, the duo will prevail. Bumrah stole a whopping 27 wickets last year. Boult, who got acquired by MI from Delhi Capitals, dismissed 25 batsmen.
This pair will be assisted by either Nathan Coulter-Nile or Adam Mile. Mumbai Indians have invested substantially in both the pacers and the management will most likely agree on one of these two as the tournament commences.
The more senior and capped players’ dominant form can make it challenging for Arjun Tendulkar to enter the playing XI. The previous year, MI rested their key pacers for a single game only. Arjun might stand a chance when the management rests the regulars.
Spinner Piyush Chawla will most likely pip Rahul Chahar for a position in the playing XI. Piyush’s experience on the field gives him an upper edge over Chahar.
With Mumbai Indians performing exceptionally well in the previous seasons, it is unlikely to make pivotal changes in their squad. However, the management rests its crucial players in one or two matches, making way for Arjun Tendulkar to make a name for himself.
The strongest playing XI for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2021 includes –
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Quinton de Kock (WK), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Adam Milne/ Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult, Piyush Chawla.