Defending champions, Mumbai Indians have had a pretty average run in the ninth edition of Indian Premier League. Out of the 12 matches, Mumbai Indians have lost six and won six. Even after having abundance of big names in the team and in the coaching staff, why have Mumbai Indians failed to deliver what’s expected of a champion side? What have been the reasons behind Mumbai’s inconsistency?
Let’s have a look at those reasons.
1) Poor start to IPL 2016 campaign – Mumbai Indians had a pretty ordinary start to the campaign as they lost against Rising Pune Supergiants in the opening match. Thereafter, they even lost against Gujarat Lions and Sunrisers Hyderabad. In the first four games, Mumbai Indians had lost three and never got any sort of momentum. MI did win a few matches in a row after that, but the damage which was done early was a difficult one to undo. If at all they want to qualify for the play-offs, Mumbai Indians need to win both their matches. It’s not going to be an easy task though, as they are to be played against teams who have shown consistency, one is against Delhi Daredevils and the other against Gujarat Lions.
2) Lack of opening partnerships – The opening partnership has been the biggest disappointment for Mumbai Indians. Parthiv Patel was dropped in the last match but his replacement Unmukt Chand failed too. With 10 single-digit partnerships, Mumbai Indians have one of the worst averages for the first wicket in IPL 2016. The teams who feature in the top-four, all have a solid opening combination. Mumbai Indians never got a settled opening pair and hence the team has struggled to score in Power-play right through the tournament.
3) Rohit Sharma’s struggle while batting first – Mumbai Indians’ skipper, Rohit Sharma has shown brilliant temperament while chasing. He has registered five half-centuries during run-chases but while batting first and setting totals, Sharma has failed to deliver. His best score while Mumbai Indians have batted first is 15. And when he hasn’t been amongst the runs, even the others have failed to contribute.
4) Middle-order woes – Mumbai Indians have tried different combinations in the middle-order. They tried Hardik Pandya initially and when he couldn’t do the job, Ambati Rayudu was asked to move up the order. Jos Buttler and Kieron Pollard have put in efforts but only in patches. On batting friendly pitches the middle-order batsmen have played crucial knocks, but on slow pitches they have looked mediocre. With two games remaining, they need to pull up their socks and put up a good show if at all Mumbai Indians wish to qualify.
5) Failure to adapt to new home venue – Visakhapatnam has been Mumbai Indians’ new home venue but at this venue they have lost both their matches. Against Sunrisers while chasing and against Kings XI Punjab while batting first. They were bowled out for a shambolic score of 92 by Sunrisers Hyderabad and against Kings XI Punjab, they managed to crawl their way to a paltry 124. Their new home venue has proved to be a nightmare for Mumbai’s batsmen. With one more game to be played there, Mumbai Indian batsmen would be under pressure to score big at that venue.
Picture Credit: BCCI