Mumbai Indians April 22, 2012

Mumbai Indians' overseas gambit

Most IPL franchises would love to play more than four foreign players; so rich is some of the talent sitting on the bench
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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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 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.

  • david on April 26, 2012, 8:30 GMT

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

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Anonymous on April 24, 2012, 1:29 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • david on April 26, 2012, 8:30 GMT

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

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • Anonymous on April 24, 2012, 1:29 GMT

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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • puneet on April 23, 2012, 7:44 GMT

    Without Malinga this is a very ordinary team full of arrogance and attitude, malinga always created the pressure and rest of the bowlers got the benefit but now without him they are simply showing there frustration on other teams, patel and bhajji are good example of it.

  • Jameel on April 23, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    People do not watch IPL to see local Indian Talent ofcourse...Ranji trophy is already there for that purpose.

  • Pankaj on April 23, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    MI paid more money for the domestic transfers than their overseas recruits... So makes sense for a money-heavy-low-on-strategy team like MI

  • jez on April 23, 2012, 4:44 GMT

    With that firepower on the bench it is a massive waste of money, not quite sure what the reasoning behind having so many like for like players (opening batsman) on the roster is.

  • mj on April 23, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    Well... If they are losing their matches... They should rethink their strategy of playin only 3 foreign players

  • B S Kumar on April 23, 2012, 4:11 GMT

    No selection would have been based on anything silly like the intent to groom an extra Indian player. The team's name reeks of an intent to capitalize on jingoism - as if the other franchises are not "Indian" franchises!

  • Shreyansh on April 23, 2012, 4:05 GMT

    Granted that this move gave an opportunity for the local players to shine but now isn't the time for such experiments,I mean they had just had a humiliating defeat against the Delhi Daredevils and in the game against KXIP,they fell short by about 20 runs and were looking well on course for 180+.Imagine,if someone like Levi or Gibbs would've been there,wouldn't it have made a difference to the scoreboard and the match?And yes,MI have done this beore,in the first game of the 3rd season against the Rajasthan Royals but they won that game thanks to Rayudu and Saurabh Tiwary.

  • KAUSHAL on April 22, 2012, 17:56 GMT

    MALINGA WAS NOT FIT.....THEY SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED MCKAY....

  • ramesh on April 22, 2012, 17:35 GMT

    in todays match which indian player should sit out.ambati rayudu?please dont say that guys he is one of the best for mumbai indians.i think mumbai did what they should do

  • Raghavan N on April 22, 2012, 15:13 GMT

    Mumbai have good overseas players but they are not selecting the right ones.Being very arrogant in selection.They should have Gibbs/Levi opening,Pollard in the middle order,Peterson/McKay as 5th bowler option and Johnson/Malinga to lead the attack

  • JJosephs on April 22, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Evidently not. They really struggled today, especially their bowling. Mumbai without Malinga is like a fish without water

  • skyeshwin on April 22, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    This dumb decision have cost them the match. Clint McKay should've played.

  • DEVANG BEKAWALA on April 22, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    i m not satisfied with overseas..they miss opening combination......they can buy tamim iqbal ...for opening pair...with sachin..other wise it's perfect team for champion 2012.....

  • Ishwor on April 22, 2012, 12:59 GMT

    This only reduces the interest in IPL. It's not only for the Indian Players that people watch IPL - it's also for the star foreign players.

  • Debajyoti on April 22, 2012, 12:07 GMT

    Just the right way to go .. go Mumbai @ Indians go.... Every other ipl should follow this soon.. Stop spending too much on the foreigners...

  • hari on April 22, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    i think bhajji missed calculations some where 1+1+1 is 3 not 4 bhajii

  • Arno on April 22, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    I can't understand why Herschelle isn't given a chance. He was the top-scorer in the Big Bash League recently and can slot in any place in the order (think of 438 game where he played at 3 and scored 175).

  • rajshekar on April 22, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    Well...this might be a topic of debate but Mumbai are already overloaded with batting options, so it was no surprise that they haven't gone in with an extra overseas batsman. Also, the Wankhade pitch expectng to turn, Mumbai have included 2 spinners in the playing XI at the expense of one Clint Mckay..Harsh call it might be, but it might very well prove to be a masterstroke in the end..Cheers for Mumbai Indians!!!!

  • Mykuhl on April 22, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    I noticed that. probably just the balance of the side. They had a choice between Rayadu, Jacobs, Levi and Gibbs for the middle order. Rayadu is an interesting choice, but he's been in form, and the others not so much.

  • Sachin on April 22, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Mumbai have a very strong bench, no doubt. But what makes it more strong is the players with likes of Levi, Peterson, Blizzard, Johnson, so on. All of them have experience and can play under pressure.

  • Jimmy on April 22, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    They did it before I think, in their first match in IPL3 (2010) against RR, when Yusuf got that 100!

  • siri on April 22, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    ya it it is good decision by SR Tendulkar. And is giving chance to local players.

  • sohan on April 22, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    at cpl they haven't fit and available indian player but now they are stronger with indian only and strongest with foreign players. They will rock. I have faith

  • greg on April 22, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    At least I should say this is a positive move to provide more opportunities to Indian Players... after all it is Indian Premier League. and the team is Mumbai.. 'Indians'.. with the great intent of grooming inidan players...Good move to give more opportunities to indian players.... Go Mumbai Indians Go...

  • Kumar on April 22, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    Maybe they're trying to justify their team name as much as they can - Mumbai "Indians"

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  • Kumar on April 22, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    Maybe they're trying to justify their team name as much as they can - Mumbai "Indians"

  • greg on April 22, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    At least I should say this is a positive move to provide more opportunities to Indian Players... after all it is Indian Premier League. and the team is Mumbai.. 'Indians'.. with the great intent of grooming inidan players...Good move to give more opportunities to indian players.... Go Mumbai Indians Go...

  • sohan on April 22, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    at cpl they haven't fit and available indian player but now they are stronger with indian only and strongest with foreign players. They will rock. I have faith

  • siri on April 22, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    ya it it is good decision by SR Tendulkar. And is giving chance to local players.

  • Jimmy on April 22, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    They did it before I think, in their first match in IPL3 (2010) against RR, when Yusuf got that 100!

  • Sachin on April 22, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    Mumbai have a very strong bench, no doubt. But what makes it more strong is the players with likes of Levi, Peterson, Blizzard, Johnson, so on. All of them have experience and can play under pressure.

  • Mykuhl on April 22, 2012, 11:49 GMT

    I noticed that. probably just the balance of the side. They had a choice between Rayadu, Jacobs, Levi and Gibbs for the middle order. Rayadu is an interesting choice, but he's been in form, and the others not so much.

  • rajshekar on April 22, 2012, 11:51 GMT

    Well...this might be a topic of debate but Mumbai are already overloaded with batting options, so it was no surprise that they haven't gone in with an extra overseas batsman. Also, the Wankhade pitch expectng to turn, Mumbai have included 2 spinners in the playing XI at the expense of one Clint Mckay..Harsh call it might be, but it might very well prove to be a masterstroke in the end..Cheers for Mumbai Indians!!!!

  • Arno on April 22, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    I can't understand why Herschelle isn't given a chance. He was the top-scorer in the Big Bash League recently and can slot in any place in the order (think of 438 game where he played at 3 and scored 175).

  • hari on April 22, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    i think bhajji missed calculations some where 1+1+1 is 3 not 4 bhajii