CL – 2012: Team Review Mumbai Indians

Repeat on Mumbai's minds

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The defending champions find themselves in a state far different from the one they left the tournament in last year.

For a franchise considered to be the richest among the IPL teams, with plenty of star value, they finished a disappointing fourth in the 2012 IPL.

Equipped with plenty of firepower in the batting, and the services of Lasith Malinga with the ball, Mumbai offer lots of entertainment value.

And unlike last year, when an injured Sachin Tendulkar watched his team's games from the sidelines, with adequate television time reserved exclusively for his reactions to compensate for his absence from the XI, his fans will be able to see him take the field this time.

How they qualified

Thanks to a change in qualification rules. The change was made in July this year, allowing the fourth IPL team - in this case, Mumbai Indians - a direct entry in the main competition. Kolkata Knight Riders, who had finished fourth in the fourth edition of the IPL, had to compete in a qualification round in the Champions League last year.

Key Player

Apart from the obvious Tendulkar and Malinga, Kieron Pollard has been a key player for Mumbai. Munaf Patel was expensive in the IPL but picked up 15 wickets at 24.46 in 12 games. He isn't the swiftest mover in the field but can bowl tight and vary his pace well.

Surprise package

Mitchell Johnson missed the whole of the 2012 IPL due to a toe injury he picked up in South Africa last year. He made his return to international cricket in July this year and last played in August-September against Pakistan in the UAE. Though he was outshone by the other Mitchell, Starc, he was economical and picked up four wickets in three games.


Mumbai had issues with their opening combination during the IPL this year - they tried as many as eight. It'll be interesting to see who opens with Tendulkar. They have the choice of playing Richard Levi, but he's struggling, or Dwayne Smith, who gives an additional bowling option. The tinkering was not confined to the top, and the lack of a settled line-up was one of Mumbai's big problems in the recent IPL.

CLT20: Lions v Mum Indians, 14 October

Will David stun Goliath again?

If you are a powerful IPL franchise, the Champions League T20 is a cushy place to be. You can have the tournament rules changed midway to increase the number of overseas players in your XI from four to five.

You finish fourth in the qualification tournament for the CLT20 2012, which used to offer direct entry only to the first three IPL sides. The format changes to accommodate a fourth direct entrant from the IPL. Why go through the uncertainties of qualification? So, here are Mumbai Indians, defending champions, straight into the main draw, and will meet home franchise Lions in a repeat of the opening clash of the 2010 edition, also held in South Africa.

That game had been viewed by some as a David v Goliath clash of superstar-laden Mumbai Indians with domestic strugglers Lions. And David ended up winning the supposed mismatch, as Lions rustled up 186 and stopped Mumbai Indians nine runs short, despite Sachin Tendulkar's 69. Back then, Lions had laboured without a trophy for so long that their home crowd at the Wanderers cheered for Tendulkar and his side for most of the match. What will their reaction be tomorrow?

Lions retain a few core players from the team that played in the 2010 edition, and have been bolstered by the addition of international quicks Dirk Nannes and Sohail Tanvir. Mumbai Indians, as always, have an array of star players, and easily look the stronger side on paper.

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Group B: Lions v Mum Indians, 14 October

  • Mumbai Indians (75% Votes)
  • Lions (25% Votes)

Match 62: Mumbai v RCB, 14 May

To know PunterPolls pick of the day:


Result: Mumbai Won

Favoruite Team: Royal Challenger Banglore 89p

Who will win RCB v MI? 14 May

  • Mumbai Indians (40% Votes)
  • Royal Challenger Banglore (60% Votes)