Not just in the IPL, Mumbai Indians is also one of the best T20 teams across the globe. The franchise has five IPL trophies and two CL T20 championships to prove its case. Mumbai pioneered the ideal template for a T20 team, and this has been tried out in various other leagues. However, if the same roster of Mumbai Indians played Tests, it would be interesting to take a look at the XI. In this article, we discuss the all-time strongest Mumbai Indians XI if they played Test cricket.
Openers: Rohit Sharma and Sanath Jayasuriya
Rohit Sharma’s Test career started on a slow note, but at the moment, he is one of the best red-ball openers in world cricket. This switchover has been phenomenal and was one of the main reasons to help India reach the final of the first edition of the World Test Championship.
Although he was there in the MI squad for a short time, with 768 runs at a strike rate of 144 and an average of 27, the Sri Lankan had a good impact. In Tests, although he was not a legend, Sanath still played 110 games to make 6963 runs apart from picking 98 scalps. Hence, he features in this all-time strongest Mumbai Indians XI if they played Test cricket.
Middle-Order: Ricky Ponting (C), Sachin Tendulkar, Ajinkya Rahane, and Quinton de Kock (WK)
For this XI, Mumbai Indians will have the highest-scoring No.3 and No.4 in the history of Test cricket. In fact, Ponting and Sachin are the Top 2 highest run-scorers in Tests. Together, the duo has made 29299 runs in the five-day format. Ponting did not have great success as a player in the franchise, but enjoyed his time as a coach. On the other hand, including winning an Orange Cap, Sachin’s time at the franchise was memorable.
The rest of the middle-order will be completed by two players from this era. While Ajinkya Rahane will play at No.5, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock will operate at No.6. Rahane played for a short while for the Mumbai Indians. QDK, though, has been one of the pillars of the franchise in the last two editions.
All-Rounders: Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya will be the all-rounder in this all-time strongest Mumbai Indians XI if they played Test cricket. Although he was regarded as a T20 specialist, he has actually been decent in his short Test career so far. In 11 games, Hardik has scored 532 runs apart from collecting 17 wickets. He currently has a back issue which is not allowing him to bowl long spells. Once he recovers completely, a comeback to the Test team can be expected.
Bowlers: Harbhajan Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Jasprit Bumrah and Pragyan Ojha
Having picked up 127 wickets for MI, Harbhajan Singh is the second-highest wicket-taker for Mumbai. Bhajji also has 417 Test scalps, which makes him an automatic selection to this side. In the spin department, he will be supported by Pragyan Ojha. He played between 2012 and 2015 for the franchise and collected 29 wickets. In just 24 Tests, he took 113 wickets and had a telling influence.
In the pace department, we have a delicious combination of Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell Johnson. Both are fiery customers and will be a delight for the captain to have. Johnson and Bumrah also have done well for MI in IPL. The Aussie comes into this XI ahead of the likes of Pat Cummins and Shaun Pollock.