In search of that crucial spark

In search of that crucial spark

In search of that crucial spark

In the last five years, Mumbai Indians have prided themselves with the best of buys. A team glittering with stars has invariably notched up the favourites tag but their bowling and batting have seldom translated in to meaningful results. Ahead of the fresh start, the Mumbai team has undergone significant overhaul in its set up in quest of the Indian Premier League title.

Despite being one of the top spenders at the auction, Mumbai Indians have had a disappointing run in their first two outings to finish at fifth and seventh place. They turned a new leaf in 2010 when they reached the final. Led by Sachin Tendulkar and some of his blistering knocks, the likes of Kieron Pollard, Saurabh Tiwary, Ambati Rayudu, Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga responded with match-winning performances.

Mumbai finished the league stage at the top and when they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in the semifinals, the trophy looked within their grasp. But Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings defeated them by 22 runs to become champions despite Tendulkar winning the orange cap, for being the highest run-getter, and best captain.

The subsequent years saw them finishing third and the trophy drought continued.

This year Mumbai have brought in the pugnacious Ricky Ponting to lead the side. The now retired former Australian captain has dismal memories of his only appearance in the IPL when he was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders outfit.

Coming on the back of fantastic domestic season, Ponting brings discipline and responsibility at the top and will be eager to make amends of his first season. He would find himself in the company of Tendulkar and keen to perform players like Rayudu, Dhawal Kulkarni, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Kaarthick, Munaf Patel and Harbhajan Singh.

Young Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell has been one of the most expensive purchases by the Mumbai owners this time. Maxwell hit the headlines with his 19-ball half-century against Tasmania, the fastest one-day fifty in Australia's domestic history. Obviously Mumbai would expect him to come firing in a similar fashion.

Mumbai have also got 19-year-old Gujarat medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who would be eager to stand out among the stalwarts.

The presence of experienced coach John Wright and former India captain and leg-spinner Anil Kumble as their mentor lends solid backing to the support staff strength with Robin Singh and Jonty Rhodes boosting the campaign with their inputs. Like in the past, Mumbai Indians, once again, have settled for nothing but the best among the lot. Will such stalwarts work in fulfilling their long awaited desire would be keenly followed.

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