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Is there any way to stop the Mumbai Indians juggernaut?

The last time we saw Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier league, Captain Rohit Sharma was holding the trophy aloft after having thrashed the once-dominant Chennai Super Kings in the final. Last year however they were not favourites but this time it would be erroneous to consider the Mumbai franchise anything but that leading up to the tournament.

As has been their modus operandi, Mumbai Indians rely on experienced Indian campaigners to guide them to victory. Along with Sharma, Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Rayudu have played in every season of the IPL and are definite fixtures in playing XI. Explosive England wicket-keeper Jos Buttler has been added to the mix as well, which may just provide the Mumbai Indians with the X-factor in their run to the title.

Mumbai’s bowling stocks, particularly pacers, looks extremely impressive. Lasith Malinga, barring injury, will be among the top wicket-takers and he is ably assisted by Indian sensation Jasprit Bumrah, along with Mitchell McCleneghan and Tim Southee in reserve.

The key to Mumbai Indians’ fortunes though will lie with their all-rounders, of which they have three of the highest quality. Kieron Pollard has consistently been an above-par IPL performer and is likely to be fit to torment other franchises, despite missing West Indies’ World T20 triumph through injury. Corey Anderson can hit sixes at will and Hardik Pandya has proved himself an international-quality performer in the World T20.

The only drawback for Mumbai the lack of experience in their reserves. But with a support staff that has Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Shane Bond, Jonty Rhodes and Robin Singh, that inexperience is unlikely to factor in to the equation.

What we can expect

Going in to the tournament, Mumbai Indians are the favourites. They expect, and are likely, to claim the IPL title, making them the first side to win the Indian Premier League thrice.

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