Mumbai, the defending champions, come into the 2020 Indian T20 League season with some handy recruits and a strong core squad. Their challenge, however, multiplies with the venue shifted out of India and their veteran pacer Lasith Malinga pulling out. Here, we look at the four overseas players Mumbai could use this season on a regular basis.
Overseas players: Kieran Pollard, Quinton de Kock, Mitchell McClenaghan, James Pattinson, Trent Boult, Sherfane Rutherford, Chris Lynn, Nathan Coulter-Nile
The undisputed pick in the 11, West Indies all-rounder and skipper Kieron Pollard has been in outstanding form in the T20 circuit. He was stellar in the Caribbean Premier League and has found a new lease of life since becoming the leader in the West Indies limited-overs setup. A potential match for Andre Russell in the MI line-up alongside Hardik Pandya, Pollard could be a big player for them this season considering his form and the conditions.
Quinton de Kock
The South African opener is a terrific opening batsman in the shortest format of the game and is a much-needed aggressor alongside Rohit Sharma at the top of the order. De Kock is exemplary at the start of the innings and Mumbai will once again bank on him to provide them with quick starts this season. On the slow conditions in UAE, it is imperative that teams start off with a bang as run-scoring gets harder once the pitches become slow.
While it will be tempting to throw in Chris Lynn in the top 3, a poor CPL should put to rest doubts regarding his place in the starting XI. There's no way Lynn can start considering his weakness against spin and Mumbai will have to make up for that with extra oomph in their pace attack. Trent Boult can swing the ball early and brings in variety in the form of left-arm pace and should be a certain starter in the line-up ahead of Mitchell McCleneghan who seems a bit past his prime.
With no overseas spinners added and the Indian spinners not as strong, Mumbai have left themselves slightly short of options. But in Nathan Coulter-Nile, they have a hit-the-deck pacer capable of changing pace and bowling in the middle overs. He also lends batting capability down the order and should start in most games for Mumbai this season, ahead of the likes of Sherfane Rutherford and James Pattinson. Coulter-Nile will likely bat at 7 or 8 behind Pollard, Hardik and Krunal.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Punit Paranjpe