April 22, 2012

Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians' overseas gambit

George Binoy

Most IPL franchises would love to play more than four foreign players; so rich is some of the talent sitting on the bench. Not Mumbai Indians, perhaps – for their game against Kings XI Punjab at Wankhede Stadium, they included only three foreign players in their XI: James Franklin, Kieron Pollard and Thisara Perera.

They are the first team to field less than the maximum of four overseas players in the 2012 season.

Lasith Malinga was not fit, otherwise he is an automatic selection, but the other players warming the bench were Aiden Blizzard, Herschelle Gibbs, Davy Jacobs, Richard Levi, Clint McKay and Robin Peterson. And of that lot Gibbs, Levi and Peterson were bought ahead of the 2012 season. Mitchell Johnson isn’t in India yet, he will join the squad on April 24.

Do Mumbai Indians actually have Indian players that are good enough to keep out their international signings? Or did the franchise’s think-tank mess up in terms of the balance of overseas players?

Mumbai Indians went on to lose to Kings XI by six wickets. Mumbai Indians scored 164 for 4, and Kings XI achieved the target with three balls to spare.

During the Champions League T20 in 2011, Mumbai Indians created a stir by getting an allowance to field five overseas players because they did not have enough fit Indian players. They seem to have swung to the other extreme during this IPL.


George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Sachin on (May 5, 2012, 8:07 GMT)

at bussiness end of tournament they should go with this team: Gibbs, Sachin, Kartik, Rohit, Rayudu, Pollard, Franklin/Perera/Peterson, Harbhajan, Malinga, Ojha/RP, Munaf/Nechim/Dhawal.

Posted by david on (April 26, 2012, 8:30 GMT)

I think gibbs in squard will strengthen batting line up and fielding spirit.

Posted by Sujay on (April 24, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

I think gibbs should be there to open witn sachin..... & sachin should play his natural stroke without taking the pressure of building the innings...

Posted by rens on (April 24, 2012, 4:24 GMT)

So Mitchel Johnosn is joing today. MI has to strengthen their bowling as Malinga is not available. Here is my take, Johnson for Perera and R Pieterson for Ojha.

Posted by Anonymous on (April 24, 2012, 1:29 GMT)

They lost the game ! Isn't that enough of a sign ????

Posted by Shantanu Rastogi on (April 23, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

War cry for Mumbai Indians is - Malingaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. It doesnt matter whether they play 1/2/3/4 overseas players if Malinga doesnt play. MI chances are affected considerably if Malinga isnt there. Tendulkar over-rates himself(look at the way he ran himself out as he was competing with afielder half his age). Its Malinga which turns this MI into champion unit. Tendulkar hasnt won them CLT20 it was Malinga who is grossly underpaid.

Posted by Abhijeet on (April 23, 2012, 12:18 GMT)

I afraid this would be the trend for MI for next few games till Mitchell Johnson comes. 8 Indian Players pick themselves in absence of Malinga. As their first choice bowling attack comprises Bhajji, Munaf, Ojha and RP. They actually can not drop any Indian batsman to fit in one overseas player unless they think of dropping Rayudu or Karthik which would be harsh for both of them since they did not perform that badly. that leaves them with only 3 spots to play with. one spot is nailed by Pollard and another Franklin, means they just have one overseas spot and I think they should play power hitter on that spot someone like Levi or Blizzard. I can only see MI playing with 4 overseas player when they decide to drop any of the 3 Indian blower for McKay or Johnson when he comes

Posted by Bala gangadhara on (April 23, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

MI is not going for proper balance of the team, Whatever the thinktank thinks. When you look at the team unbalanced is the first reaction - results are also proved so.

Posted by cricket lover on (April 23, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

i think their balance of the side was aweful considering they ahd players like gibbs, blizzard, livi warming the bench. Whats with james franklin opening the batting? One thing i realized watching the in between overs break and strategic breaks ( thanx to HD telecast) is that when sachin is n the team he calls the shots and he generally likes to think of out the hat! Bhajji goes totally in manmohan mode. he becomes a disciple and never in command. What more can we say when he said he wants to win IPL now for Sachin. This was just way too much. In due respect to the master sachin, but he has always been poor in strategy.

Posted by jplterrors on (April 23, 2012, 8:38 GMT)

Franklin is now better then "SRT", lookm at "srt's" slow run a ball 23, while Franklin carved a 150 strike rate 79.

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George Binoy
Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket

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