Defending champions Mumbai Indians are all set for yet another successful Indian Premier League campaign in 2021.
With a squad full of match-winners, this time, IPL's most successful team will try to reach a new record- a hat-trick of titles.
As they begin their IPL 2021
journey at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium in the season opener against Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 9, let's take a look at the 5 potential game-changers
in the squad.
#5 Ishan Kishan
After being the leading run-scorer for Mumbai in IPL 2020, Ishan Kishan is expected to reprise the same role this season.
The 22-year-old is riding high on his successful T20I debut against England, where he scored a quick 56 off 32 and was declared man of the match.
He also had a fantastic domestic season. On the opening day of the 2020-21 Vijay Hazare Trophy, Kishan scored 173 runs against Madhya Pradesh to help Jharkhand register a massive total of 422/9.
The left-handed batsman is a valuable asset for Mumbai Indians.
In the 14 games he played for the team last year, he scored a total of 516 runs and maintained a strike rate of 145.76.
So, it won't be surprising if he pulls off more match-winning innings in this edition.
#4 Suryakumar 'Sky' Yadav
Kishan's fellow MI teammate Suryakumar Yadav also made his international debut during the recent series against England.
On his first opportunity to bat for the 'Men in Blue', he smacked the very first ball for a six and became the first Indian to do so in T20Is.
He then went on to impress everyone with his ability to fire quick runs as he scored 57 off 31 balls.
'Sky' continued his excellent run in the next match where he scored 32 off 17.
Yadav will now bring his red-hot form to Mumbai Indians, the team which has helped him grow in the last couple of years.
Despite spending almost a decade in the domestic circuit, his stints in the IPL have clearly uplifted his career the most.
After accumulating 512, 424 and 480 runs in the last three years of IPL, Yadav will look forward to improving his record in the league, which can definitely increase his chances of finding a place in India's T20 World Cup squad.
#3 Kieron Pollard
Since 2010, Kieron Pollard has been one of the most reliable players for the franchise and now carries the tag of a franchise legend.
Known for his big hits and the ability to perform exceedingly well in high-pressure situations, the West Indies all-rounder has played a crucial role in Mumbai's five successful title campaigns.
In the UAE last year, Pollard scored 268 runs and took 4 wickets. And given his recent international successes, which includes his 6 sixes in an over against Sri Lanka in March, it is clear that Pollard is ready to fire again.
The limited-overs specialist is set to take up his usual role of an explosive lower-order batsman. Should he continue to churn out more game-changing knocks in IPL 2021, the opposition units will have plenty of sleepless nights.
#2 Jasprit Bumrah
Before becoming one of the world's most lethal fast-bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah grabbed global attention with his IPL debut in 2013.
By registering figures of 3/32 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in his very first match, he announced himself with a bang.
While he then transitioned to the international circuit and became India's premier death over specialist, his importance at MI remained intact.
In the 92 games he played for Mumbai, Bumrah has picked up 109 wickets.
As the team's lead pacer after Lasith Malinga's departure, Bumrah will now try to build on his performance from the last season when he pocketed 27 wickets in 15 games.
Although he has been out of action for a month in keeping with his wedding, Bumrah will be hungry to knock over many a batsman with his yorkers and pinpoint accuracy.
#1 Trent Boult
Bumrah's partner in MI's pace attack is Trent Boult.
The Kiwi seamer, who joined the MI 'paltan' last season, has been a tremendous addition to the team.
In IPL 2020, Boult claimed 25 wickets in 15 matches.
His speciality in the powerplays complements Bumrah's control in death overs. Together, the duo decimated the opposition and played a key role in Mumbai's title ascent in 2020.
Given his recent performance against Bangladesh, where he picked up 4 wickets for 27 runs during the first ODI, it seems like Boult is ready to fire yet again for Mumbai.
The 31-year-old is also a brilliant out-fielder, which will be a plus-point for Mumbai.
Although this particular list contains only five names, MI has no shortage of game-changers.
From skipper Rohit Sharma, Pandya brothers -Hardik and Krunal- to the latest additions like Adam Milne and Marco Jansen, there are match-winners aplenty and you never know who will step up and turn the tide in favour of the defending champions.