Mumbai Indians have won the Indian Premier League (IPL) trophy a record four times – 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. They are the most successful franchise of the tournament and have also won the Champions League Twenty20 in 2011. Added to this, they are one of the most consistent IPL sides, having reached the playoffs a total eight times and have lost just a solitary final in 2010.
Mumbai Indians are the team to beat in the upcoming IPL as they will be hoping to break the curse of not winning the title in an even-numbered year. The team has been producing match winners season after season and the four trophies in the span of seven years is a true testament to the remarkable consistency they have achieved so far. What makes Mumbai Indians tick? What are the key reasons why they are a little ahead of their contemporaries? These are a few questions that we’d like to answer here.
BACKING THEIR CORE GROUP
Mumbai Indians have always had a good blend of youth and experience in their squad. They started off in the tournament with building their team around legends of the game like Sachin Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya and Ricky Ponting but slowly realised that if they were to be successful in this format then they would need more T20 firepower in the squad.
The team has identified a few core group of players and have continued to back these players through thick and thin. It started with Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu – both Chennai Super Kings players now. Currently, we’ve seen Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Lasith Malinga, Suryakumar Yadav and Mitchell McClenaghan regularly featuring in the team and they have delivered in clutch situations for the franchise. While others have continued to chop and change, Mumbai have stuck to its gun players and that has done wonders to the team.
ASTUTE LEADER IN ROHIT SHARMA
Rohit Sharma is the most successful captain in the history of the IPL with four titles under his belt as a captain and five as a player. Rohit took over the captaincy of the Mumbai Indians in 2013 when Ricky Ponting stepped down as the skipper due to his bad form. Under Rohit’s leadership and Ricky’s mentorship, Mumbai Indians went on to lift their very first IPL trophy in the same year and the rest is history.
He is a top man-manager and continues to back his younger players to come good. He seems like one of those captains who is open to ideas flying in by the analyst and makes decisions backed by data, whose importance is growing by the day in T20 cricket. The most significant two victories in Rohit’s career have come in the finals of the 2017 and 2019 IPL where Mumbai managed to win by the margin of just a run. His mantra is simple, guide the Indian players to get better and let the overseas players display their class on the field. His field placements and tactical decisions on the field are pure class as well.
A FAMILY FEELING
When you talk about the Mumbai Indians, you know that it’s more than just a team. It feels more like an extended family and that feeling stems down from the owners of the franchise. In the Netflix documentary of the team, it was pretty evident that the sense of belonging to a combined goal is important for the owners as well as the coaching staff.
This season as well, Mumbai Indians have led the way when it comes to doing things in style. While most franchises have been extra cautious in their approach, Mumbai have let the players take their families to travel along with them for the upcoming IPL. The team room in their hotel in the UAE is also pretty well thought through and the credit needs to go to the backroom staff for it.
DOUBLE TROUBLE- PANDYA BROTHERS
In the lockdown, cricketers loved to go live on Instagram with fellow cricketers. In one such session, Dinesh Karthik had a one-liner which will remain iconic for the relevant future. With the chances of IPL not happening at that time, DK, while on Instagram, live with the Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal, said that after the BCCI, Pandya family will be the second-most badly hit entity in terms of monetary losses if the IPL was to get cancelled.
The Pandya brothers are on massive contracts with the Mumbai Indians but the way they have performed so far tells us why those hefty payments come their way regularly. John Wright loved the confidence the brothers possessed when he signed them for the Mumbai Indians. In a team environment where individuals are allowed to express themselves freely, the Pandya brothers have excelled. Both have proven to be match-winners for the team regularly and provide stability to the squad with both bat and ball.
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