“Our franchise always has a short-term goal and a long-term vision,” said Nita Ambani, owner of the Mumbai Indians, after acquiring English pacer Jofra Archer for an eye-watering INR 8 crore. Notably, the express pacer will not be available for the 2022 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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The Mumbai Indians, the five-time champions, entered the mega auction with a balance of INR 48 crore from their allotted INR 90 crore. Prior to the auction, the franchise retained four key players: Rohit Sharma (INR 16 crore), Jasprit Bumrah (INR 12 crore), Suryakumar Yadav (INR 8 crore), and Kieron Pollard (INR 6 crore). During the two-day mega auction, the franchise purchased a total of 21 players. The team will have a total squad size of 25 players (17-Indian, eight overseas)

During the auction, the Mumbai Indians didn’t hesitate to go all out for Ishan Kishan, a crucial player from the previous season, investing INR 15.25 crore on the destructive wicketkeeper-batter. Mumbai have made some savvy acquisitions, including all-rounder Tim David (INR 8.25 crore), South Africa’s Dewald Brevis (INR 3 crore), left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat (INR 1.30 crore), leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin (INR 1.6 crore), and pacer Basil Thampi (INR 30 lakh).

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Mumbai Indians’ IPL 2022 squad

Rohit Sharma (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, Ishan Kishan, Dewald Brevis, Anmolpreet Singh, Rahul Buddhi, Rahul Buddhi, Aryan Juyal, Basil Thampi, Murugan Ashwin, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Tymal Mills, Riley Meredith, N Tilak Varma, Sanjay Yadav, Jofra Archer, Daniel Sams, Tim David, Mohd. Arshad Khan, Ramandeep Singh, Hrithik Shokeen, Arjun Tendulkar, Fabian Allen.

MI’s squad’s SWOT analysis

Strength: A solid foundation of core players.

The success of Mumbai Indians is due to their core group. The five-time champions will be hoping that veteran members of their squad, like Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard, and Suryakumar Yadav, have another outstanding season. Ishan Kishan, the franchise’s outstanding performer, will be welcomed with open arms at the top of the order with skipper Rohit Sharma. Power hitters like Tim David and Dewald Brevis, as well as Pollard, can deliver a strong finish, especially now that Hardik Pandya has been dropped from the squad.

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Weakness: Indians are still concerned about death bowling.

The Mumbai Indians will be without express pacer Jofra Archer, who would have been an ideal partner for Bumrah not only for sharing the new ball but also for stopping the flow of runs in the dying overs. Due to the absence of Archer, skipper Rohit will consider other possibilities like Tymal Mills, Riley Meredith, Basil Thampi, and Jaydev Unadkat. Given his wicket-taking talents, even Jasprit Bumrah has been known to have a bad day or two at the workplace in the past.

The club will also be without leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who, together with Boult and Bumrah, was one of the team’s most important bowlers. Murugan Ashwin and Mayank Markande will try to fill the void left by the absence of a spinner in the team.

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Opportunities : Foreign players looking to make a name for themselves

It remains to be seen how South Africa’s U19 World Cup star Dewald Brevis fits into MI’s heavily loaded batting order. Similarly, Tim David, known for his destructive ability with the bat down the order, will be eager to demonstrate his skills in the gala competition. West Indies all-rounder Fabian Allen could also serve as a replacement for his country’s captain, Kieron Pollard.

Given his deceptive slower balls and pinpoint yorkers, English pacer Tymal Mills could be an excellent alternative to bowl with Bumrah in the death overs. Similarly, because of his wicket-taking abilities in the middle overs, Australian pacer Riley Meredith, who had a difficult season with Punjab Kings last year, could be a viable option.

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Threats- Injury concerns

Injury threats could become one of MI’s major problems, as the team has been plagued by them in prior seasons. With Archer now out, the biggest issue is whether Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma will be able to play the entire season, given he has been plagued by injuries in previous tournaments. If that happens, the team will be without not only a fearsome batter but also his captaincy abilities.

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