Mumbai Indians’ seems to be going all out to continue their winning streak in the IPL. According to the latest news, the Ambani-owned cricket franchise recently welcomed veteran Indian fast bowler Vinay Kumar as a talent scout. This comes just days ahead of IPL 2021 resuming its latest season after it was brought to a screeching halt in May due to a breach in the players’ bio-bubble and rising cases of Covid-19 in India. The remainder of the season is set to resume from September 19th and will be hosted by UAE. According to cricket pundits and best prediction for IPL, Mumbai Indians who are the reigning champions are strong contenders of another consecutive win. The side didn’t have the best of starts to the tournament but shall look to get the ball rolling once it resumed in September
Vinay Kumar joins the team days after Parthiv Patel became a member of their talent scout. A team leader who led Karnataka cricket to two successful Ranji Trophy titles, Kumar has for long been associated with Mumbai Indians. He was part of the winning squad of 2015 and 2017. The 37-year-old is set to be part of the team’s management and coaching staff. His appointment is likely to further strengthen the squad especially in the fast-bowling department where the side already has the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Revealing the team’s excitement in having Kumar in its support team, the owner of Mumbai Indians Akash Ambani said in a statement, “I am delighted to have Vinay join our talent scout programme. Mumbai Indians is established on strong fundamentals of discovering talent and belief in nurturing youth. I am confident Vinay will add value to our ideology and scouting strength”.
“I am honoured for this opportunity to associate with Mumbai Indians again. Mumbai Indians strives for excellence in every aspect of the game, and scouting talents is undoubtedly their key strength. It’s a new chapter and personally, I reckon it as an opportunity for me to give back to cricket,” Kumar said while showing excitement about his renewed association with Mumbai Indians.
Earlier this year in February, Kumar announced his retirement from all formats of the game. Becoming a part of Mumbai Indians’ talent scout seems to be a new chapter in his life. He has successfully been a part of 105 IPL matches starting with the Royal Challengers Bangalore before moving over to the now defunct Kochi Tuskers Kerala and Kolkata Knight Riders before becoming a part of Mumbai Indians. As a right-art medium bowler, he has picked 105 wickets and has an economy of 8.39.
Mumbai Indians has had the most successful run in IPL’s history of 13 years. It has won the trophy home five times and is the current defending champions. When the 2021 season was suspended in May, they ranked fourth in the table having won four out of the seven matches they played. When the games resume of 19th September, they will face Chennai Super Kings in Dubai. Most IPL pundits see Mumbai having the best chance of clinching the title again and Rohit Sharma led squad always start favourites in the best predictions for IPL.
Scouting has always been an important part of Mumbai Indians’ strategy and with Kumar joining forces, they seem to be serious about looking for new talents. This comes at an important time as IPL is set to soon become a 10-team competition. If MI must keep up its record wins, it must look for new talent.