They are also the only side along with CSK to have won the now defunct Champions League T20 twice – in 2011 and 2013 beating the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
A lot was expected of them last year since they won the title in 2015 but they did not live up to their promise as they failed to qualify for the playoffs by two points as they finished 5th on the table with 14 points.
They did not spend too much in this year’s IPL auction as they already had a balanced squad with a host of impressive players to make the playing XI. Their biggest buy was Karn Sharma who was bought for Rs. 3.2 crores.
They also purchased former Australian speedster Mitchell Johnson for his base price – Rs. 2 crores.
As they prepare for their first match in the IPL 2017 against the Rising Pune Supergiant outfit, let’s take a look at the possible XI they would field out against Steve Smith’s men.
This 31-year-old wicket-keeper batsman has turned over a leaf over the past few years with some exceptional performances in the domestic circuit.
He led Gujarat to the Ranji Trophy title and was at the helm of their success being one of their leading run scorers. He even made a comeback to the Indian Test side to face England for the last three Tests of the 5 match series last year.
Having played for 5 teams over the past 9 years, it looks like Parthiv Patel has finally settled with the Mumbai Indians and has opened the innings for them on multiple occasions. Given his recent run of form, he should play an integral role at the top of the order.
The man responsible for India’s exit from the 2016 World T20, Lendl Simmons has been an exceptional player for the Mumbai Indians for the past few years. Having joined them in 2014, he has been one of the most consistent performers for the side.
He was their top performer in the 2015 season with 540 runs in 13 innings at an average of 135 and strike rate of 122 with six fifties to his name. In the 2015 IPL final, he top scored with 68 from 45 balls which helped Mumbai Indians post a total in excess of 200.
He was out injured for the majority of last season and will be raring to get back to action and get some runs on the board at the beginning of the innings.
After being out for nearly 5 months, Rohit Sharma will finally be back in action for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. There was a lot of speculation about his return, but he confirmed that he would be available for the tournament.
He is arguably one of the best ODI players today and will play a vital role in Mumbai’s batting line-up at no. 3. He led Mumbai Indians to the title in 2013 and 2015 as well. He was named as the man of the match in the final of the 2015 edition for his quick fire half century.
He has 142 matches in his IPL in his career and is just 116 runs short of the 4000 run mark. He average 33.68 with a strike rate of 131.72 with 29 half-centuries and one century to his name.
Ambati Rayudu is one of the few players who must feel hard done by the fact that he has hardly ever played for the Indian cricket team despite consistently performing well at the domestic level.
Rayudu had a fantastic first-class career before he made a decision to switch to the rebel Indian Cricket League in 2007 and that was when we witnessed a decline in his career.
However, he made a return to domestic cricket in 2009 when he began to play for Baroda and gained back his form. He carried his domestic form onto the IPL as well when he was picked up by the Mumbai Indians in 2010.
Since then, he has played an integral role in Mumbai’s success in the IPL and has provided a lot of stability in the middle order. He has played 109 matches in total and has scored 2325 runs at an average of 27.67.
This 26-year-old wicket-keeper batsman has had a profound impact in England’s limited overs side and even holds the record for the three fastest ODI centuries to his name.
He made his IPL debut last year and played all 14 matches for the side and achieved a lot of success in the middle order with his attacking style of play.
He scored 255 runs in 14 games at an average of 23.18 and a strike rate of 138.58. He will prove to be vital in the lower middle order for Mumbai this season as well.
Kieron Pollard’s ability as a hard-hitting all-rounder came to light after his success with West Indian side Trinidad and Tobago in the Champions League T20 back in 2009.
His success at the tournament led to him being picked up by the Mumbai Indians in 2010 and he has proved to be one of the most effective all-rounders for them over the years.
He has finished many matches for Mumbai and has proved to be an effective bowler as well. He has also taken a few spectacular catches over the years and has been involved in a lot of banter on the field with opposition cricketers.
He has not been in great form over the past year or so and will be looking to silence his critics in the IPL this year.
The younger of the Pandya brothers has surely been one of the finds of the IPL over the past couple of years.
After making his debut in 2015, he showcased his skills as a big hitter and a fast bowling all-rounder. He achieved a lot of success with the Mumbai Indians in 2015 and was responsible for a few of their victories as well.
He will always be remembered for his knock when he took Mumbai to victory with a quick-fire eight-ball 21 against CSK coming when the team needed 30 from two overs.
Shortly after the 2015 edition, he made his way into the Indian T20 side and was even a part of the World T20 squad which reached the semifinals in 2016.
He did not perform too well in the IPL last year and will be looking to turn his fortunes around this year.
The elder Pandya came into the limelight with some impressive performances in last year’s IPL. While Hardik did not live up to his potential, Krunal played a vital role in the lower middle order with his big hitting and proved to be successful with the ball as well.
While Hardik is a right-handed batsman and a medium pace bowler, Krunal is a left-arm slow orthodox bowler and a left-handed batsman as well.
He played 12 matches for the Indians in 2016 and scored 237 runs at an average of 39.50 with one half-century to his name. He picked up 6 wickets as well and will be looking to continue his good run of form this year too.
Arguably one of the best spin bowlers to have ever played for India, Harbhajan Singh has been a vital cog in the Mumbai Indians line-up ever since the inception of the IPL.
He was even the captain of the side for a couple of years and took the team to their first ever Champions League T20 title when they defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2011. At the age of 36, he still continues to be their go-to bowler and has proved to be successful with the bat as well.
He is one of the few cricketers who has played only for one single team having played 125 matches for Mumbai. He has picked up 119 wickets at an average of 26.21 and an economy rate of 7.
Along with Hardik Pandya, he too made it into the Indian T20 side after impressive performances in the IPL.
The Baroda lad, with an unusual, jerky action bowls with deadly accuracy, and, most importantly, has the most important ball for this format in his arsenal, a deadly yorker.
He performed decently well in the 2014 edition but failed to impress in 2015 as he played only 4 matches and conceded runs at a rate of 12.26 per over. However, he completely transformed himself in last year’s edition and ended up with 15 wickets in 14 matches at an economy rate of below 8.
One of India’s best T20 bowlers, he will look to form a deadly partnership with Lasith Malinga once he returns from the series against Bangladesh.
Despite having an economy rate of above 8, Mitchell Mccleneghan has proved to be an extremely effective bowler by taking wickets at regular intervals.
Having made his IPL debut in 2015, he played a vital role in Mumbai winning the crown that year. In the 26 matches he has played so far, he has taken 35 wickets at an average of 23.48 and a phenomenal strike rate of 17.20.
However, when Malinga makes his return, it will be extremely interesting to see who takes the field. We could also see both Mccleneghan and Malinga play with one of the batsmen or all-rounders sitting out and that would mean an extremely potent bowling attack for the Indians.
Final Playing XI
Parthiv Patel (wk), Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma (captain), Ambati Rayudu, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Harbhajan Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Mccleneghan