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IPL Carnival Special Trailer: Mumbai Indians

Tuesday, September 8, 2020 • Tamil Sport News Comments
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Will the ‘Mumbai Indians’, led by the ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna' award winner and Team India’s opener in all the three formats (Tests, ODIs as well as T20s) Rohit Gurunath Sharma, be able to win the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a record fifth time in 2020?  On and off the record, experts, as well as cricket-crazy fans, concede that Mumbai Indians is probably the only team that poses a serious challenge to the star-studded Chennai Super Kings (CSK) led by the charismatic MS Dhoni!

Let’s dwell deep into the composition of ‘Mumbai Indians’, well-served by Neeta Ambani, a commerce graduate-turned-entrepreneur and wife of Mukesh Ambani, the richest Asian and the sixth richest individual in the world.

COVID-19 pandemic has pushed IPL, undoubtedly the world’s most-watched first-class cricketing event, from India to the UAE where active corona cases pale in comparison to the ever-growing cases in India.  Sensing the golden opportunity, UAE stepped in to host the 13th edition of IPL which commences on 19th September.

4 IPL Titles

Fans would hardly forget last year's nail-biting finish which saw defending champions CSK lose the finals to MI by just one run in the last over.  It was MI’s fourth title, one more to CSK’s three titles. Though MI has won the IPL more times than any other team, it didn’t exactly enjoy an ideal beginning till 2013 despite the presence of master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar and Sri Lanka’s ‘Matara Mauler’ Sanath Jayasuriya in its ranks; in fact, the first of MI’s four titles came its way only in 2013 during IPL-6 when Rohit Sharma led the team for the first time.  Since then, MI has been winning the title every alternative year.

As always, MI looks very strong this year too with stalwarts such as Rohit Sharma, Keiron Pollard, Lasith Malinga (leading IPL wicket-taker with 150 wickets), the Pandya brothers (Hardik and Krunal), Quinton de Kock, Trent Boult, and Jaspreet Bumrah besides the addition of Aussies Chris Lynn and Nathan Coulter-Nile.  Like CSK, MI is another team that has a huge fan-following almost in all cities across India and elsewhere.

111.9 million USD

Way back in 2008, Reliance Industries formed ‘Mumbai Indians’ at a huge cost of 111.9 million USD, making it the most expensive team in IPL’s inaugural year.  The presence of Sachin Tendulkar (who was still playing for Team India at that time) led many to believe that MI would win the title each year but it didn’t happen till 2013.

Rise of Rohit

In 2010, MI reached the final thanks to a stellar show by Rohit Sharma but it lost to CSK, which won the title for the first time.  Rohit’s captaincy has powered MI to win the title four times since 2013.  MI also holds the record for notching up 109 victories in IPL history besides winning most times (118) in all IPL tourneys.

Win by huge and least margins

MI also holds the record for winning an IPL match by the maximum margin of runs; it won its tie against Delhi Daredevils in 2017 by a huge margin of 146 runs. It also holds the record for winning the maximum number of matches (3) by an irritating margin of 1 run.  It won against Pune Warriors (2012), Rising Pune Supergiants (2017), and CSK (2019) by a solitary run; victories against RPS and CSK fetched it IPL titles in the finals.

Tough challenger

Mercurial Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK has always been MI’s most tough competitor and vice-versa; MI has won 17 times against CSK including thrice in the finals (2013, 2015, and 2019).  A sluggish starter, MI had invariably lost all its inaugural matches in the past seven IPL editions but did better as the tournaments progressed to reach at least the play-off stages.

Though MI has been enjoying a dream-run since 2013, it is not without its own share of controversies.  Experts point out that MI’s logic of keeping Glen Maxwell, a proven match-winning Aussie all-rounder, out of its team on many occasions is quite incomprehensible.  As readers are aware, each IPL team can only have four foreign players in its final XI.

Dynamic Hardik Pandya and the ever-improving Jaspreet Bumrah, who are certain to make the cut in India’s white-ball teams, add to the strength of MI.  So does Pollard, a hugely popular MI player who has proven his big-hitting skills on many occasions.  Not unexpectedly, fans of MI – especially the denizens of Mumbai and Maharashtra – are hoping for a hugely positive outing for their team during this year’s IPL which has been shifted to UAE in the backdrop of the COVID-19 scenario.

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