File photo of Sachin Tendulkar playing for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. (AP Photo)
The 2013 Indian Premier League champions, Mumbai Indians, will be hoping to complete a double by winning this year's Champions League Twenty20 after their maiden IPL title earlier this year.
Rohit Sharma & Co will like to follow a solid performance in IPL 6 with a fitting farewell to batting icon Sachin Tendulkar by putting another trophy in his kitty. This will be Tendulkar's final tournament in the Mumbai Indians jersey, as he has already announced that he won't be part of next year's IPL.
When it comes to support across the world, none of the IPL teams surpass Mumbai Indians and a big reason for that is Sachin Tendulkar in the team. Tendulkar will have extra motivation playing his last tournament for Mumbai Indians, and that is sure to bring the best out of him.
Mumbai's biggest strength lies in their batting. A good mix of youth and experience makes MI one of the strongest teams in this edition of the CLT20. They started IPL 6 with Ricky Ponting in charge but to lend some balance to the eleven, Ponting opted out and the reins were handed over to Rohit, who transformed the team's fortunes as a leader and a batsman. Ponting isn't part of Mumbai squad in this tournament, which means Rohit will continue as captain.
At the top of the batting order, openers Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith make a perfect combo, with Smith going berserk from ball one and Tendulkar mixing caution with aggression on the other end. Mumbai's batting prowess has names like Dinesh Karthik, Kieron Pollard, Glen Maxwell and Ambati Rayudu other than captain Rohit. Pollard and Maxwell bring a lot of value to the team with their all-round skills. Both are primarily explosive batsmen but can roll their arm to good effect in this form of the game.
But the team's batting will revolve around Rohit. He provides stability to the middle order and can shift gears swiftly to hit it long when need be. He has also emerged as a capable leader and will look to set an example with his performance both as a batsman and as the captain.
With the tournament happening in India, the spin duo of Pragyan Ojha and Harbhajan Singh could be lethal on their day. Having grown up on the turning tracks and proving themselves in the Test arena, Harbhajan and Ojha will be the leader of the team's attack in the absence of Lasith Malinga.
Malinga not in the squad can hurt Mumbai Indians the most. His slingy round-arm action has always created trouble and his yorkers are one of the most deadliest in the game. In his absence, Mumbai's bowling workload will depend heavily on the Australian left-arm pacer Mitchell Johnson. Johnson had a terrific IPL and led Australia to an ODI series win against England.
The other thing that could work against Mumbai is the form of Sachin. He has been out of action for the past five months, which might have left him rusty.
Rohit Sharma (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Aditya Tare, Glenn Maxwell, Kieron Pollard, Rishi Dhawan, Mitchell Johnson, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Akshar Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Abu Nechim Ahmad, Dwayne Smith.