Defending champions Mumbai Indians have cemented the top spot in the league after a dominating win against the Delhi Capitals.
They have been the best team in the league stage by far and have also won with healthy margins to keep their net-run-rate very high.
Mumbai Indian’s are one of the most consistent sides in the history of the league and are known to back their players very well.
There are many players like Kieron Pollard and Lasith Malinga who have only been a part of Mumbai Indians, while the Pandya brothers and Rahul Chahar experienced growth after joining Mumbai.
The Mumbai Indians may have finished first in the league, but their journey was not free of obstacles.
Their leading wicket-taker, Lasith Malinga, opted out of the tournament due to personal issues.
Nathan Coulter Nile was injured and couldn’t play the first few games.
Mumbai’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya played as a batsman as he is now unable to sustain the bowling workload. The loss of Pandya the bowler is a big one as it affects the team composition badly.
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In Pandya, they lost a bowler who could give three to four overs at a good pace each game.
Mumbai then went on to lose the opening game and as the tournament went on they suffered a bigger loss.
Rohit Sharma injured his hamstring and his condition is still not known leaving Mumbai’s skipper in doubt this season.
Despite all the troubles, the Mumbai Indians have gone through this season, they managed to pull themselves up very nicely.
Despite injuries, the Mumbai Indians still look like they possess the most complete side in the league.
The openers, Rohit Sharma and Quinton De Kock have formed a good pair with Quinton De Kock consistently getting the side of too good starts.
Last season, Quinton De Kock did not convert his starts to big scores, which was a small issue for Mumbai.
Rohit Sharma has hit two fifties this season while also providing his side good starts.
His injury may have left a hole in the lineup but it was covered very nicely by Ishan Kishan.
Opening the batting, Ishan Kishan has done a formidable job with Quinton De Kock in getting the side off to good starts.
This leaves the side with three powerful opening options while there is still Chris Lynn on the bench.
At number three, the Mumbai Indians have Suryakumar Yadav who is a versatile player.
Yadav has shown his ability to both steady the innings and counter-attack when required.
He has all the shots in the book and is one of those rare players who can play unorthodox shots with ease.
Saurabh Tiwary and Hardik Pandya have come in the middle overs and end overs and played some good knocks as well.
Hardik Pandya’s 60 against Rajasthan Royals is a notable innings and a crucial one for Pandya as he no longer bowls and has more responsibilities with the bat.
Kieron Pollard has had a few quiet seasons in the past and his finishing skills have been overshadowed by the Pandya brothers off late.
This season, Pollard has shown his ability to finish games, batting with a strike rate of 200 and being dismissed only twice in the tournament.
With Pollard firing in the middle-order, the top-order can bat with more freedom while Hardik Pandya also has some more support during the end.
Kieron Pollard’s ball-striking is not the only thing that has fired this season.
Having not bowled in the last two seasons, Pollard finally got his chance to bowl as well.
In Hardik Pandya’s absence, Kieron Pollard has done well to chip in with a few overs and has also picked up crucial wickets.
Kieron Pollard came into the IPL after leading his side to a victory in the CPL.
He did not lose a single game in the CPL and was handed the captaincy after Rohit was injured.
Along with Kieron Pollard, Krunal Pandya has done a decent job as an all-rounder.
He hasn’t been among the wickets but is doing his job by bowling some tight overs in the middle, putting pressure on the batsmen.
Though the batting is pretty strong, the Mumbai Indians’ success has largely been due to the bowling.
The side invests a lot in its bowlers and this time it was no different.
They purchased Trent Boult and James Pattinson in the auction while they already have Bumrah, Malinga, Coulter Nile, and Mitchell McClenaghan.
The extra pace options however turned out to be useful as Malinga opted out of the tournament and Mumbai needed a replacement for their most experienced bowler.
Trent Boult and James Pattinson got their chances and the two of them have done very well with the new ball.
They have picked up early wickets on regular occasions and are the root cause behind Mumbai’s success in the powerplay.
The success of the two bowlers has also allowed the captains to save Bumrah’s overs for the death, where he can be impossible to play.
At the start of the season, people may have felt Mumbai’s spin attack lacked options and experience.
Young Rahul Chahar however, has been very consistent with the ball this season, picking up 15 wickets.
His wickets in the middle-overs are crucial as he along with Krunal Pandya tie the batsmen down completely.
Rahul Chahar’s success has ensured Mumbai Indians do not feel like they are lacking with their spin attack.
To summarize, the Mumbai Indians bowling attack consists:
Trent Boult: Who bowls well in both ends of the innings.
James Pattinson: Who is also a good new-ball bowler and has a good pace.
Jasprit Bumrah: Who is used well in the death following the success of the new-ball bowlers.
Rahul Chahar: Who is regularly among the wickets in the middle-overs.
Krunal Pandya: Bowls tight spells and creates pressure.
With a strong balance in both departments, the Mumbai Indians have shown that they can maintain a strong team composition despite the loss of players.
The Mumbai Indians have played the least number of players in this edition and have been very consistent with their selection.
They have looked to retain the same group of players unless a player is injured or conditions demand changes.
They have shown a lot of character to not break despite the struggles they faced this season and are now strong competitors for their fifth title.
The Mumbai Indians still have powerful bench strength with players like Chris Lynn and Dhawal Kulkarni waiting for their chances.
They may look to test their bench in the last league game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, as they have already cemented the top spot.
With a good batting line-up and probably the best bowling line-up this season, the Mumbai Indians are probably the closest to a complete team in the IPL and the points table is enough to show how dominant the Mumbai Indians have been this season.