With 24 matches being played in this season of the Indian Premier League, we have had surprising and interesting outcomes as the least expected teams have showcased some of the best performances, and the sides that hold a great reputation are finding life difficult in the middle.
The two most successful sides in the league’s history, Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians find themselves languishing at the bottom of the table and the CSK will be a slightly relieved side after that thumping win against RCB a few nights ago. However, the Mumbai Indians are yet to register their first win of this season. Well, there are various that are being echoed for their failure.
Cricwizz shares our views on what could be the possible reasons for their downfall.
1) Inexperience of the bowlers
Apart from Bumrah, the combined experience of their lead bowlers totals just 73 matches. The inclusion of Jaydev Unadkat was expected to inject much-needed variety and experience. However, since his inclusion in the side, the veteran has managed to pick just 2 wickets and has conceded 74 runs in 8 overs.
Pat Cummins smashed Daniel Sams for 35 runs which is the 3rd most expensive over in the history of the IPL. Who would've thought that Pat will be the one holding this record.— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) April 6, 2022
Mumbai Indians are dealt with a further blow in the form of Daniel Sams, the Aussie is struggling for form and the team management were forced to change their combination in order to replace him. Well, taking nothing away from their effort, the franchise just did not get their balance right.
"We're trying to play with a different thought process, but it's not working out well. We aren't playing good cricket, we need to understand some situations and execute according to it."
- Rohit Sharma, MI skipper
2) The Jofra Archer factor
The English spearhead was bought for a whopping price of 8 crores despite the fact that he would not be available for the current season, yes, there is no denying the fact that he is a player who could justice for the price tag. However, is it worth having a player who will be missing out on an entire season? This might turn out to be a huge sacrifice for the franchise as they could have gone with an available player who could have provided them the much-required boost in the current scenario.
3) These are sub-continent conditions
Yes, we know that and everyone cricket follower will know this. How can a team go on to play in India with just one spinner? Well, dew factor? Maybe but in India we know the spinners always manage to pick wickets and the pitch tends to hold on with excessive use.
However, the Mumbai Indians have gone on to play just one spinner in the form of Murugan Ashwin and except for one outing, he has failed to impress. The only other spinner they have in the squad is Mayank Markande and being a former MI player, his absence in the line-up stands to be puzzling.
4) The big names are yet to deliver
The only silver lining for the franchise so far has been the form of Suryakumar Yadav and the latest young sensation, Dewald Brewis. They stood tall so far in this season and there is no doubt going forward, that these two will hold a key role. Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Suryakumar Yadav, and Jasprit Bumrah were the four players retained by the Mumbai-based franchise. However, the failure of Kieron Pollard who has just managed to score 57 runs in the 5 matches played so far has made things very tough for the five-times champions.
Another blow for the MI is the poor start of much expected Tim David, the hard-hitter who came in with a lot of reputation but he has failed to contribute in any manner to the team.
5) To play as a team
A team that knew how to win a match better than anyone are now struggling to register their first win. Another issue that has been troubling MI is the fact that the players are performing individually. All the matches has seen a player standout but as a team, they have not gelled well. The only match that saw some life from the MI line-up was the recent encounter against PBKS, however, the target of 192 turned out to be a tough one, eventually losing by 12 runs.
They can not be dependent on one player to perform and hope for that player to carry the load of the team. The team needs to come out with a different game plan and if it means replacing the big names, they should not hesitate.
The spotlight is already on the skipper and there have been baseless allegations about his captaincy. However, we feel there has been nothing wrong with his captaincy as after all he has made the best use of the available resources. Yes, personally he is struggling with the bat but we know with the caliber of a player he is, it doesn't take long to shift the momentum.
Mumbai Indians are not completely out of the race. More than any other franchise they would know how to make comebacks. They have done it in the past and they are definitely a side who are capable of doing so. However, with this time around the other teams being in the great form it is a huge ask. Moreover, if the Men in blue are to make any impact, they will have to revamp their bowling attack.
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Cover Credits: MIofficial