The Mumbai Indians (MI) are five-time IPL champions and will look to extend their trophy count at the 2024 season. MI recently invested over ₹ 15 crore on eighteen (18) players, sending a strong signal about their ambitions in the next IPL edition.
A major shakeup in the MI squad sees returnee and former Gujarat Titans (GT) skipper Hardik Pandya take up the captain’s role. His appointment as the MI captain in December 2023 didn’t go down well with some players, especially national team skipper Rohit Sharma. Let’s check out the strongest playing XI for the Indians seeing recent changes to their on-field leadership and squad members.
Hardik Pandya (c)
Pandya returns to MI after two seasons away at IPL 2022 champions the Gujarat Titans. He makes his comeback as skipper, dislodging ex-skipper Rohit Sharma from a position he has held for several seasons. Fans will expect the all-rounder to replicate his match-winning performances for MI at IPL 2024.
Sharma has secured more runs for the Indians than any other player in their entire history. Some commentators believe he is open to a move, but he could stay and lead the batting line for MI at IPL 2024.
Ishan Kishan (w-k)
Kishan will partner with Sharma as an efficient wicketkeeper-batter at IPL 2024 if the ex-skipper stays on with MI. He also re-signed for the Mumbai outfit in 2022 after spending two impressive seasons with the five-time champions. Fans will expect a lethal partnership between Kishan and Sharma if everything pans out well next season.
Varma will likely play at three for the Indians after impressive performances over two seasons. The 21-year-old star has become much of a revelation with MI, earning him a place in the national team quicker than other players within his age range. Fans will expect an exciting performance from the cricketer as he looks to charge MI towards a sixth IPL trophy in 2024.
Yadav scored over 600 runs for the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2023 alone and will feature in their starting lineup. He is likely to feature at the number four position and will be a major headache for several opposition players next term. Yadav looks set to take the IPL by storm yet again seeing his recent impressive performances across all formats.
Nabi is a veteran cricketer and joins the MI squad as a capable squad member. His ₹ 1.5 crore price tag doesn’t do justice to the skills and presence he brings to MI’s dressing room. The 38-year-old moved from Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and will be an integral part in MI’s title campaign in 2024.
₹ 5 crore was the base price tag for Coetzee at the IPL 2024 auction in December. The talented player has put in several impressive performances at club and national level, becoming one of cricket’s hottest prospects in recent seasons.
David has skills in the death-over department and will be a vital addition to Pandya’s first campaign as MI captain.
Chawla took more wickets than every other MI player last season. He will seek to give more exciting performances to the team and cement his starting place for a long time.
Bumrah will be a vital addition to MI’s pace-bowling lineup. He missed most of IPL 2023 but looks set to bounce back with impressive showings at national level.
₹4.6 crore was spent on Madushanka and the young pacer will look to earn his price tag at MI in the new season.
Likely Reasons Why Hardik Pandya Was Made Captain Upon His Return to MI
India’s loss at the ICC ODI WC 2023 Final under Sharma
There is no clear reason why Hardik Pandya assumed the captain’s role ahead of former skipper Rohit Sharma. However, it may not be unconnected with India’s failure to win the ICC ODI World Cup under Sharma’s captaincy.
Blame games from many quarters fingered Sharma’s leadership as a major reason for India’s loss in that final. There may be a link between both events, but it’s too difficult to confirm for now.
Pandya’s IPL-winning debut season at GT
Hardik Pandya spent seven (7) seasons at the Mumbai Indians, clinching several IPL titles under ex-skipper Rohit Sharma. He made a surprise move to a then-debutant GT side and became their captain in his first season.
Pandya led GT to their first IPL title as debutants in 2022 and they were narrowly edged out of a second title in two seasons by an experienced Chennai Super Kings (CSK) side in IPL 2023. MI could have been lured by the leadership qualities of Pandya to bring him back as skipper for better chances at a sixth title.