Mumbai Indians today appointed Sri Lankan International and one of its longest serving member player – Lasith Malinga as the Bowling Mentor for the upcoming IPL season.
Lasith Malinga has been the core of Mumbai Indians winning combination in the last decade. Sri Lankan has donned the prestigious Mumbai Indians jersey featuring in 110 matches of the 157 franchise has played so far.
A veteran of over 200 ODIs and 300 T20s, Malinga will join the support staff headed by Coach Mahela Jayawardane, Bowling Coach Shane Bond, Batting Coach Robin Singh and newly appointed Fielding Coach James Pamment.
“It’s a great opportunity to be present with, and an honour to continue my association with Mumbai Indians. Mumbai has been my home away from home for the last decade. As a player, I have enjoyed the journey with Mumbai Indians and now as mentor, I look forward to the new chapter,” said Malinga on his new appointment.
Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani feels having Malinga as mentor will serve a great benefit to the young talents the franchise has in the team.
“Mumbai Indians has proven record of scouting and bringing forth the young talents at National stage. It will be a boon for these youngsters as well the established ones to have the combine force of Shane Bond and Lasith Malinga to back them,” said Akash Ambani.
“Malinga has been a pillar of strength for Mumbai Indians since the inception of the team, and his passion for the team will help us achieve new heights,” added Ambani.
Mumbai Indians, owned by Reliance Industries Limited, is the most successful team in the Indian Premier League by winning 3 IPL titles. After an initial struggle in the starting two seasons, the club has shown massive improvement from the 3rd season till now, by qualifying to the play-offs each time. The men in blues are the only team to win 100 T20s and one of the two teams to win 2 Champions League T20 titles.
Being the defending champions, Mumbai Indians, have developed a well-settled side that they would prefer to keep intact and build a strong team around for the upcoming edition of the IPL.
Here are the players that Mumbai Indians should absolutely retain (3 retention + 2 RTM card) for the 2018 season:
1. Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians will not willingly let go of the man who led the team to three IPL titles.
In 2011, he was grabbed by the Mumbai Indians for $2millions. As a Captain, He has led the Mumbai Indians team successfully to three IPL title victories, becoming the only captain to have won the highest number of IPL title. As a prolific batsman, he has scored 4207 runs with a strike rate of 130.89, becoming the third highest run-scorer in IPL history. Apart from batting, he also owns a hat-trick against his current club Mumbai Indians in 2009.
He has also been the leading run scorer for the team, hitting the 3,000-runs mark in the last season. His 2017 IPL run was admittedly mediocre, but the team should nonetheless consider him as its first pick for retention.
2. Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah is easily the Mumbai Indians’ best gift to the Indian team.
The Gujarat pacer was picked by Mumbai Indians for a whopping 1.20 crores in the 2014 Auctions. Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians started bidding from a base price of 20 Lakhs, which went on for quite a while. However, it was Mumbai who eventually won the bidding war.
Bumrah made his IPL debut in 2013 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. His first wicket, Virat Kohli, grabbed the instant attention of cricket fans across the country. In his debut match of IPL he took 3 wickets for 32 runs.
Though he played just a couple of games in IPL-6, his impressive show in the domestic circuit convinced the Mumbai Indians management to buy him back for IPL-7.
Bumrah’s improvement has been significant in the years since. With the decline of Lasith Malinga, Bumrah would be the perfect death bowler for the Mumbai Indians, and the management should ensure that they retain him.
3. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya should be an obvious pick for the Mumbai Indians – even though there have been speculations about his keenness to be part of the auction pool, that would result in a big blow for the team as it would be hard to get a player of his stature back via auction.
He was initially grabbed by the Mumbai Indians for 10 Lakhs back in the 2015 Indian Premier League auctions. Ever since he has played several match-winning hands and has grown in stature as a cricketer. With an ability to clear the ropes with ease, he has turned out to be a hot prospect for Indian cricket.
Hardik has been in an amazing form this year and has proven himself in the international arena over and over. His presence in the Mumbai Indians line-up would be a great boost to the team in all three departments. His hard-hitting ability, handy medium pace, and terrific fielding make him an all-rounder par excellence and, if the opportunity to retain him presents itself, the Mumbai Indians should not pass it up.
4. Lasith Malinga
Malinga is MI’s strike bowler in this format and is a leading bowler in the competition.
He was bought by MI in 2008 for 3,50,000 ($USD) from the IPL auction.
Sachin Tendulkar described Malinga as an important cog in the Mumbai Indians game plan.
He won the Purple Cap award (most wickets) in the fourth season of Indian Premier League with 28 scalps in 16 matches. Throughout the tournament, he led the Mumbai Indians attack from the front and was instrumental in many victories.
He created quite the buzz in his first IPL game for Mumbai Indians in 2009, taking 3 wickets for just 15 runs against Chennai Super Kings which helped the team to victory. He has been outstanding for us, having taken 143 IPL wickets, the most by any bowler in this competition.
Mumbai should use 1 RTM Card for him.
5. Lendl Simmons
In April 2014 it was announced that Simmons had been signed by Indian Premier League side Mumbai Indians, replacing Jalaj Saxena. This had the aim of improving the team’s fortunes, after they had gone without a win in any of their 4 matches prior to his signing. On 22 May 2014, Simmons scored his maiden IPL century helping his team post a 7 wickets win over Kings XI Punjab.
Simmons was selected for Mumbai Indians for play 2014 IPL and 2015 IPL seasons. He opened the batting with Indian Parthiv Patel during the 2015 season due to injury of Aaron Finch, where they became the most dangerous opening pair of the IPL 8 with an average over 50. Simmons played a major role in the team guided to the IPL 8 win by Mumbai Indians. It was their second title in IPL.
He has been MI’s consistent and most destructive opener and MI should definitely look forward to retain him..