HYDERABAD, INDIA - MAY 12: The Mumbai Indians celebrate after they defeated the Chennai Super Kings during the Indian Premier League Final match between the the Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Hyderabad, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Mumbai Indians were one of the biggest strugglers during the initial years of the IPL. They finished fifth at the table in the inaugural season of the tournament and didn’t fare any better during the next few years. But from 2013 onwards, they have been incredibly successful in the prestigious competition, and now have the distinction of being the only team to win five IPL trophies.

One of the biggest reasons for their recent accomplishments is said to be their smart use of data. By using numbers, the franchise have been honing their strategy and working on recruitment, selection and tactics.

In the words of Tim Wigmore, the journalist for The Independent and co-author of Cricket 2.0, a book about the T20 revolution.

“They (Mumbai) have got a very good idea of how to assemble a team because they’ve used data to establish the best strategy. Then they have a really strong scouting system that allows them to chase all of the most undervalued domestic talent.

“It’s a bit of a myth that you want to get the best overseas players – you actually want the players that add the most value to the team, which is dependant on which local players are available.”

  1. 2013 Indian Premier League 

In the 2013 IPL final, Mumbai Indians came up against Chennai Super Kings at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The Rohit Sharma led-side won the toss and elected to bat first, but they failed to make a good start. They were left reeling at 52/4 after the CSK bowlers wreaked havoc with the new ball. However, Kieron Pollard made an unbeaten 60 off 32 to help them reach a decent total of 148/9.

And during the chase, Lasith Malinga gave them great hopes by striking early wickets. Except for captain MS Dhoni, no other Chennai batsman managed to stay on the pitch for longer, and thus Mumbai went on to win by 23 runs, claiming their first IPL title.

2. 2017 Indian Premier League 

After defeating Chennai Super Kings in two finals, Mumbai Indians locked horns with Rising Pune Supergiant at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium for the IPL crown. Skipper Rohit decided to bat first after winning the toss but this didn’t prove to be a great decision. Mumbai’s batsmen managed to put on a paltry 129/8 total, with Krunal Pandya the only impressive player who struck 47 off 38.

Contrary to everyone’s expectation of a straightforward chase, Pune’s batting failed spectacularly and allowed Mumbai back in the game. The Supergiant looked to be in a great position for victory when Ajinkya Rahane and captain Steve Smith were on the crease. However, things went downhill for them in the ending stages of the game and Mumbai Indians went on to win the last-over thriller by one run to lift one more IPL trophy.

3. 2019 Indian Premier League 

For the fourth time in the history of the IPL, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings clashed with each other in the tournament’s final. The script of the match looked very similar to the earlier finals as MI went to bat first and managed to put on a below-par 149/8 in 20 overs. Kieron Pollard was their top batsman who smashed an unbeaten 41 off 25 while Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan also contributed 29 and 23 runs respectively.

To the delight of Mumbai fans, CSK also crumbled with the bat, even though the openers provided them with a good start. Shane Watson was their stand-out performer who struck a valiant 80 off 59 balls, and he was run out in the last over when the match had entered a very crucial stage. Chennai needed just two runs from the last delivery but Malinga took the wicket of Shardul Thakur. And thus, Mumbai claimed their fourth IPL title, becoming the most successful team in the history of the tournament.

In all their successes, Rohit Sharma has been one of their most important players. The Indian cricketer is regarded as one of the most naturally gifted batsmen. He is also known for his good fashion sense, with his class and elegance comparable to even the most stylish footballers of all time.

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