Jofra Archer, Dewald Brevis picks at mega auction show Mumbai Indians (MI) are prepared for the long haul

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After a rather peculiar start, Mumbai Indians (MI) formed a quality squad by the end of the mega auction, with two very unlikely picks: Jofra Archer and Dewald Brevis. They have an all-around attack with most of the bases covered. From the looks, the squad seems pretty balanced on the paper.

Just like their usual strategy, they bid heavily for the selected players. They saved the purse – waiting for Ishan Kishan and Jofra Archer. As soon as Kishan’s name popped up, Mumbai Indians started bidding for him right away. The teams like Punjab Kings, Gujarat Titans, and Sunrisers Hyderabad did try to snatch Kishan but had to succumb to relentless Mumbai Indians. Similarly, MI bought in Archer after some intense bidding with Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad, who were probably looking to raise price rather than getting Archer.

Mumbai Indians were bold enough to risk their performance in the upcoming season (2022), as they went after Kishan and Archer to build a side for a longer future. another sign in this regard is the INR 3cr bid for South Africa’s Under-19 World Cup star Dewald Brevis. They got Kishan (15.25 cr), Tim David (8.25 cr), and Archer (8 cr) back after heavy bidding and covered the remaining spots with local talents.

Here we analyse the strengths and weaknesses of Mumbai Indians in each department:

IPL 2022: Mumbai Indians (MI) Batting Unit

Strengths

The five-time champions, Mumbai Indians, have one of the most balanced batting line-ups. Starting up with the openers, they have a Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan who complement each other very well. Both are excellent players of pace, especially Rohit Sharma, and Kishan is pretty solid against the spinners too – particularly those who bowl relatively slow.

Ishan Kishan is a quick starter too and can maximise the powerplay completely. Since 2020, he has had an excellent strike rate of 133.79 and a balls per boundary ratio of 4.32 in this phase. He can also be used somewhere in the middle order if required.

And, the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and N Tilak Varma in the middle order are excellent players of spin. Suryakumar Yadav has a wide range against the spinners and can attack them on will. While SKY has displayed his class against spin in the last couple of years, Tilak Verma also seems impressive.

Tilak has good footwork against the slow bowlers and can smash them everywhere. The southpaw Tilak can help SKY in counter left-arm orthodox spinners, and form a good batting duo. Since Tilak Varma is an LHB, it is a bonus to have at No 4.

At No. 5 and No. 6, Mumbai Indians have Kieron Pollard and Tim David who are brutal power-hitters against the pacers. Kieron Pollard is a proven match-winner while Tim David has shown enough glimpses of his power game. Both are destructive against the medium quality spin bowling too.

Since 2020, Tim David has had a monstrous strike rate of 172.40 against the pace and 149.25 against the spin. Furthermore, MI have Fabian Allen at No. 7 who has got a stable base against the pacers. He can smash the fuller lengths and slower balls easily.

Weakness

There are not many areas of concern for Mumbai Indians in the batting department. However, not having adequate backup options might be an issue at some part of the tournament. For example, there is no backup LHB option for Ishan Kishan and pace-hitter Tim David in the squad.

The players in the reserves are too inexperienced and untested at this level. So, there might be a huge downgrade in the quality if the first-choice options get injured midway. Apart from the downgrade in quality, the team balance might also take a major hit.

Moreover, the lower middle order of Pollard, David and Allen have similar weaknesses. They can all be shut down by the hard lengths and bouncers on the wide lines. So, if the opposition has an express pacer, they can control the damage in the opposition death overs.

The margin of error, though, is very less against them. But, the high-class operators will have a chance against this dangerous trio. Moreover, it also remains to be seen if Tim David can handle the pressure of the big ipl stage and price tag.

IPL 2022: Mumbai Indians (MI) Bowling unit

Strengths

The overseas pacers along with Jasprit Bumrah are the biggest strength in the bowling department of Mumbai Indians. With the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Tymal Mills and Riley Meredith in the ranks, there is too much pace in the bowling unit. Most importantly, Jasprit Bumrah and Tymal Mills can bowl in any phase – which is a big boost in the T20s.

Tymal Mills will be the go-to bowler in the middle overs for Mumbai Indians. Since 2020, Mills has had an economy rate of 7.00 and bowls around 41.60% dot balls in this phase. He can bowl over 140 km/h+ consistently and hard lengths into the surface regularly.

For the death overs, Jasprit Bumrah’s two overs are secure, and the addition of Tymal Mills will be added benefit for MI. Bumrah’s skills are known to one and all, and the English pacer – Mills – is not far behind either. Mills might not be a yorker specialist, but he has different variations in his armoury.

Mills possesses a deceiving back of hand slower ball and leg-cutter to bowl, along with the pacy back of length balls in the death overs. Moreover, Mills is a smart operator who can adjust himself based on the batsmen. Among all the pacers to have bowled a minimum of 20 death overs, Tymal Mills has the second-best economy (7.49) since 2020.

Weaknesses

Undoubtedly, Mumbai Indians have the weakest spin attack among all the ten franchises. They lack quality in each type of spin bowler, which might affect them in the middle overs, particularly against the teams vulnerable to slow bowlers. This also puts on the extra pressure for the powerplay bowlers to take wickets regularly.

They are likely to have Murugan Ashwin (leg-spinner), Fabian Allen (left-arm spinner) and Tim David (off-spinner) in the starting XI. Murugan Ashwin has been bowling decent but he can not be a lead spinner. Mayank Markane, meanwhile, has barely bowled at this level after a dream debut season in 2018.

Moreover, Fabian Allen is pretty much new at this level, and, hence, his good returns with the ball are not sure as of now. Lastly, Tim David is a part-timer who has been taken to cleaners by the teams at times.

Powerplay bowling is another concerning area of ​​Mumbai Indians. No quality Indian pacer to partner Bumrah has been an issue that Mumbai have failed to address for quite some time. Both Jaydev Unadkat and Basil Thampi, particularly the latter, have been below-par in the last few seasons of the IPL.

There is already a relatively weak spin department, and if MI fail to pick early wickets, they will be under immense pressure. Jaydev Unadkat has to be a decent support bowler for Jasprit Bumrah in the powerplay. For now, the powerplay and spin department of Mumbai Indians look thin.

ALSO READ: Mumbai Indians strongest XI



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