The Mumbai Indians are right up there with the best teams in the history of the IPL. The team was bought by Reliance Industries for $111.9 Million & was the most expensive team in the league. Mumbai had many legends of the game in their squad but couldn’t quite deliver in the first season.
For a team consisting so many star players, Mumbai Indians were underwhelming in first 2 seasons of the IPL. In the 3rd season, they managed to finish as runner-up. But Mumbai has been very consistent since then.
In the last 8 seasons, they have failed to make playoffs only twice. 3 times, they managed to make a place in playoffs & won trophy 3 times; making them the franchise with most IPL titles along with their arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings.
Next edition of the IPL is around the corner. In this article, we will have a look at Mumbai’s playing XI in the first ever IPL game they played & whereabouts of their players.
#1 Openers: Luke Ronchi and Sanath Jayasuriya
Mumbai’s Captain Sachin Tendulkar was injured before the start of the season & was unavailable for first few matches. In his absence, Luke Ronchi handled the opening duties.
Luke Ronchi never got going in the tournament. In the first 4 matches he played as an opener, he could manage only 34 runs. Ronchi played only one match in the IPL 2009 & since then, he hasn’t been picked by any franchise. He played for New Zealand in World Cup 2015 & is playing in various T20 leagues.
Sri Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya had a poor start to the tournament, but he turned it around in next 7 matches by scoring 378 runs which included a blistering 114* of 48 balls vs CSK.
He formed a very good opening partnership with Sachin Tendulkar. Jayasuriya was part of Mumbai for next 2 IPLs as well but his performance was poor. Post-retirement, Jayasuriya has given his services to the Sri Lanka cricket board as Chairman of Selectors.
#2 Middle Order: Dominic Thornley, Robin Uthappa and Pinal Shah
Dominic Thornley had to retire hurt in the first game itself. He was a part of the Playing XI in 6 matches & his tally was meagre 39 runs. Thornely never got an opportunity to play in the IPL again after a poor showing.
Robin Uthappa had a very good first half of the tournament where he scored 227 in 8 games at an average of 45.4. Post his first year with the Mumbai Indians, Uthappa has played for 3 more teams.
His stint with Kolkata Knight Riders is the most successful. He has been a consistent performer for KKR, having scored 2591 runs for KKR in 5 seasons. 2014 was the peak of his career as he won the orange cap with 660 runs.
Baroda Wicket-Keeper batsman Pinal Shah handled the keeping duties for Mumbai. He represented Mumbai in first 3 seasons in 10 matches & all he managed was 92 runs. Post-IPL, he has been representing Baroda in domestic cricket.
#3 All Rounders and Captain: Harbhajan Singh, Abhishek Nayar and Shaun Pollock
Harbhajan Singh was appointed as captain of the team but was suspended after 3 matches because he slapped Sreesanth. He continued to be a seasoned performer for Mumbai Indians for 10 IPL seasons, accounting for 127 scalps. He will be representing CSK this season.
Mumbai all-rounder Abhishek Nayar did well for Mumbai in the first season, scoring 206 runs. Abhishek represented Mumbai in the first 3 seasons. He played for Kings XI Punjab for 2 seasons & the Pune Warriors in 2013, before playing out his final season with the Rajasthan Royals in 2014. He has also mentored the KKR academy in 2018.
Legendary all-rounder Shaun Pollock was an integral part of Mumbai & was also the captain of the team in the second leg of the tournament. He scored 147 runs & also took 11 wickets. For the past few years, Pollock is working as a broadcaster & commentator with SuperSport & is doing a commendable job.
#4 Bowlers: Musavir Khote, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ashish Nehra
Mumbai had a good bowling line-up. Musavir Khote played only 4 games for Mumbai Indians. Post-IPL, he played a few list-a games for Railways.
Dhawal Kulkarni was part of Mumbai until 2013 season, scalping 36 wickets. Post-2013, Dhawal has played for Rajasthan Royals & Gujarat Lions in the absence of Royals. In the domestic arena, he continues to be a stalwart of Mumbai bowling line-up.
Ashish Nehra had a decent IPL for the Mumbai Indians. He managed to pick 12 wickets in the 14 games he played. Later on, he played for 4 more teams. Playing for CSK in the 2015 IPL, Nehra picked up 22 wickets.
It was on basis of this performance that Nehra managed to make a comeback to the Indian T20 Team & performed very well. He was also the part of WT20 & was fantastic for India. Nehra took the retirement from all forms of cricket after playing his last game vs New Zealand. He was appointed as RCB’s coach in 2018. Off the field, he has been a successful commentator.