Mumbai Indians’ season has got off to an extremely rough start. Unlike previous years this year their team combination has been a problem.
The foreign players have not contributed much and most of the pressure has transferred onto the Indian players. The last win definitely gave MI some idea about a possible playing XI but we feel there is still a scope for playing a better and settled XI.
Evin Lewis’ form has been an area of concern for the Mumbai Indians. The Caribbean smasher has looked out of sorts so far in the tournament. Except for that 64 against a rather dismal Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling line-up, he has not done enough to keep his place in the side. Even in the last match he never got going and in fact could have cost Mumbai the match had skipper Rohit been not in that kind of hard-hitting form.
The fact that playing Evin Lewis at the top means either Rohit Sharma or Ishan Kishan has to play in the middle-order doesn’t quite make for a stable batting line-up. Kishan has been in extremely fine form and has already played 3-4 crucial innings at the top of the order for Mumbai. So playing him in the middle order definitely doesn’t seem like a feasible option. Hence it might just be better for the team if they drop Lewis and ask Kishan to open with Suryakumar Yadav. Making that change also means that Rohit certainly gets to bat at number 3 and hence will get enough balls to settle in before he starts to attack.
Let us now talk about the best possible replacement for Lewis. Mitchell McClenaghan was good in the death overs against Chennai Super Kings but previously his record in the death has not been that good. Hence maybe it will be a nice option to replace Lewis with Mustafizur Rahman. Though in this IPL Mustafizur has faltered in the final overs a couple of times, still playing him is essential. Making this change will definitely provide the side with a death bowling option along with Bumrah.
Playing five specialist batsmen in Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Rohit Sharma, JP Duminy and Krunal Pandya along with a couple of hard-hitting floaters in Hardik Pandya and Ben Cutting surely makes the Mumbai batting line-up look a lot more stable. The bowling line-up too looks a lot stronger with the likes of Bumrah, McClenaghan, Mustafizur and Mayank Markande in the side.
Thus, here’s what we predict to be the most effective probable eleven for Mumbai Indians:
Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, JP Duminy, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Ben Cutting, Mitchell McClenaghan, Mayank Markande, Mustafizur Rahman, Jasprit Bumrah.
Mumbai have had issues with both their bowling as well as their batting line-up in this year’s IPL. We feel that bringing in JP Duminy and Ben Cutting in their previous match was definitely a great move but still we think if they can make the change of playing Mustafizur instead of Evin Lewis then there is a chance that this team might become invincible.
Do you think Lewis should be dropped for the rest of the tournament? Comment below.
Photo by Ashwin John