In my view, the most balanced team in the IPL is Mumbai Indians. Why? Let’s look at their current playing XI:
- Quinton de kock (wk)/ Evin Lewis
- Suryakumar Yadav
- Ishan Kishan
- Rohit Sharma
- Hardik Pandya
- Krunal Pandya
- Kieron Pollard
- Ben Cutting
- Jason Behrendorff/ Mitchell MCclenaghan/ Adam Milne
- Mayank Markande/ Rahul Chahar
- Jasprit Bumrah
They have all the position filled up and the only weak point they have is their overseas bowler.
They have deep batting upto number 8 and they have 7 bowling options. The have the strongest batting lineup as well as dominant bowling lineup.
They were lacking a quality wicket keeper and with De kock being traded from RCB, they solved their biggest problem. Also, with IPL going to be held in South Africa, he will be a strong contendant.
Now, what they need is an foreign bowler who can bowl in death overs along with Bumrah. So, they might look at these players to fill that slot:
1) Oshane Thomas
The youngster displayed a lot of maturity and new-found control to go with the genuine speed during this year’s CPL, where he finished with the most wickets for a fast bowler—18 at 17.66—and overall second only to leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed. But despite the hype around his speeds, Thomas wants to focus more on maintaining control and “hitting the stumps”.
This player will be the only playere who MI will bid intensely and they will be wiling to go upto 5-6 cr for him.
2) Jos Hazlewood
The Australian pacer, who is quite effective with the new ball, went unsold at the IPL auctions in which his base price was Rs. 2 crores. Perhaps the only thing that went against his IPL contract was that he hasn’t played too much of T20I cricket, but has been a regular in the Test and ODI team.
Earlier this year in the Ashes, the quick scalped 21 wickets in 5 games, and in the recent controversial series against South Africa, he picked up 12 wickets from four games. His potential cannot be doubted, but his T20I experience, as said before, is not much.
He has played only 30 T20Is from which he has 37 wickets at an economy of 7.77.
But he can do the death over job for MI.
3) James Faulkner
The 27-year-old Australian fast bowler had a Rs. 2 crore base price but went unsold. His vast experience in IPL- that in which he has 59 wickets in six seasons -makes him one of the ideal replacements for Cummins.
The left-arm bowler possesses a host of cutters and is good with slower balls too. However, it was his lacklustre show in his last IPL season with Gujarat Lions that possibly cost him a direct entry into the tournament this year.
Overall, the Australian has played in 159 T20 matches and has taken 176 wickets at an economy of 7.94. He has been a hot property in the Big Bash League too.