Mumbai, March 16 (IANS) Legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar believes five-time IPL winners Mumbai Indians will have a point to prove in the 2023 season after last year’s performance, where they finished at bottom of the points table.
“They’ll have to forget what happened last season, this is a fresh season to believe that they can do it again. They’ve got the team, they are, you know probably going to miss Jasprit Bumrah, but otherwise, they’ve got a team that can win the championship once again.”
“I see them being in the top two this time around or top three definitely because I think they have a point or two to prove after their last year’s performance,” he said to Star Sports, the official television broadcaster of IPL 2023.
Gavaskar also sees fast bowler Jofra Archer as a trump card for Mumbai over captain Rohit Sharma and wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan. Archer has been bowling impressively after his comeback to competitive cricket earlier in the year.
“Jofra Archer, one, definitely. I think Ishan Kishan after his debut for India in one-day cricket getting a double hundred, he will be somebody to watch out for as well. And I think Rohit Sharma will do something really special this season.”
“Their biggest strength is obviously going to be Jofra Archer coming back because Jofra Archer is a kind of bowler who can take you wickets at the start and who can bowl the overs, the final couple of overs where he can get the wickets and block the runs as well.”
Gavaskar also spoke about his four overseas players for Mumbai, and why he sees big-hitting Australian finisher Tim David as a game-changer.
“The four overseas picks would be the big signing Cameron green. Another big signing, Jofra Archer. Tim David, three. And between the two, depending on form, depending on the opposition, either Tim or Stubbs or Dewald Brevis.”
“Tim David is going to be the X-Factor because he is the kind of player who can change the game in a couple of overs. Cameron Green, he’s again somebody who will make a big difference with both bat and ball. He might even bat at number three because of the fact that when he’s played for Australia, he’s opened the batting and he’s scored so many runs so quickly.”
Gavaskar signed off by saying Mumbai’s weakness could be in their spin department. “I think it would be perhaps the spin combination because they’ve really got a lovely new ball attack. The spin combination looks just a little bit light.”
Mumbai will open their IPL 2023 campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 2.