IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians aiming for the fourth title
New Delhi, March 14 - The only team to win the Indian Premier League (IPL) thrice, defending champions Mumbai Indians will be gunning for their fourth title and make up for a poor run in the last season when the 2019 edition gets rolling later this month.
Skipper Rohit Sharma, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah have been retained by the franchise. Mumbai also used their Right to Match (RTM) card to retain all-rounders Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya.
Krunal incidentally, was Mumbai's costliest buy during January's IPL auction, commanding a price of Rs 8.8 crore.
Mumbai will, however, miss the services of several key players including veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and promising batsman Nitish Rana.
Harbhajan will represent defending champions Chennai Super Kings this season, while Nitish, who scored 333 runs in 13 matches last season, will don the Kolkata Knight Riders's jersey.
Having said that, Mumbai will have a pool of young talent in form of domestic players like young Ishan Kishan, Surya Kumar Yadav and Siddhesh Lad. These three newcomers could come in handy for the Rohit-led team.
Mumbai Indians have also acquired the services of veteran all-rounder Yuvraj Singh for a price of Rs one crore.
They have also brought back experienced Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga at his base price of Rs 2 crore. Off-spinner Jayant Yadav has also been acquired by the franchise.
Although Malinga has served Mumbai well in the past, both he and Yuvraj are well past their prime and it remains to be seen how they perform this season.
Mumbai had last won the IPL in 2017. They had finished at the top of the points table that season, winning 10 out of their 14 matches. They went on to win the trophy after beating Rising Pune Supergiants in a nail-biting final.
But their performance fell dramatically last season when they finished at the fifth spot after winning six of their matches and losing eight.
Rohit Sharma and his men will definitely want to forget those matches and redeem themselves this season.