If there was anything that could’ve gone right for Mumbai, it did as they finished the season with a record fifth title and played in a league of their own. In a triumphant season, Mumbai turned the whole competition one-sided, although an exciting one, by defeating each team in a thrashing manner.
Whoever is of the opinion that a perfect movie doesn’t exist, should watch this season of Mumbai as they scripted their title-win with near perfection. Their season was filled with the drama of super over, fireworks with the bat, some crushing pace bowling, and youngsters coming up to the plate when the conditions got tough. Although they had the most predictable climax ever, they had provided enough entertainment throughout the season that it didn’t feel like they needed to make it interesting towards the end. Other teams looked like lower-division teams as they played in the league of their own, settling all the disputes regarding them being called the best team of IPL ever. Immortals among the mortals!
This would be one of the toughest jobs to choose one or even a few protagonists in a team, where all the players contributed to their progress. However, if we look at it closely the whole team rallied around Suryakumar Yadav, who played the role of George Clooney from the Ocean’s series perfectly to help Mumbai complete their effortless heist. While it was Quinton de Kock and Ishan Kishan in the batting lineup who gelled smoothly in Suryakumar’s XI, Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult were the maestros with the ball, who took turns to destroy the opposition in their run to the ‘ultimate prize’.
Such was the star cast of the protagonists that there was hardly any room for permanent antagonists in the team. Rather there were few cameos here and there which hardly affected their season, and one of them was played by Rohit Sharma, who struggled to get going except for three matches. Jasprit Bumrah, who had an excellent outing in the season, did struggle a bit in the initial period along with Quinton de Kock, but both of them made an excellent comeback to more than make up for their initial failures. However, all these cameos were not enough to crumble the assembled XI as they were strong enough to overcome almost any adverse situations.
Marks for direction - 10/10
The man at helm Mahela Jayawardene made some excellent choices and was quick enough to rectify any mistakes he made. He made great tactical changes that are required to pull off such a huge heist, one of which was the inclusion of Jayant Yadav in the final, who did exactly what was asked of him and knocked over Shikhar Dhawan before he could get started. However, the masterstroke was played by Jayawardene in 2018 only, when he recognised SKY and Ishan Kishan and invested in them to bear fruits of 2 IPL titles in 3 years. What better investment one could have asked for? It was a well-directed, well-executed, and well-planned movie from the direction perspective, making an enthralling experience for one and all. Full points for defending the cup.
SKY started off the series of hits by playing gorgeous innings time and again and was complimented extremely well by Ishan ‘flexible’ Kishan, who was absolutely smashing the ball whenever he got the opportunity without minding his batting position. WHAT A REVELATION! Quinton de Kock looked like himself in the second half of the season and then to end the innings on a high, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard ensured that the balls kept flying over the ropes towards the end. To add to the misery of the opposition, Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah were impeccable with the new ball.
When you make such a high budget movie, there are bound to be some negligible issues at the end which won’t matter in the overall scheme of things. Heck, without a few misses it would have been a boring movie. One of such minor misses was Jasprit Bumrah at the start when he unusually gave away way too many runs, but he was back at his brutal best in no time. James Pattinson did fade away after a point in time, but he was ably replaced by Nathan Coulter Nile. Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya too were taken for runs in a few innings but again they came back strongly, making sure not much damage was done.
Interestingly, this team never depended on a single player, and each match some new hero emerged out of their lineup with the rest of the players playing second-fiddle. However, some notable supporters to the huge star-cast included on point leg-spinners from Rahul Chahar, Krunal Pandya doing all sorts of tricks to not get hit, James Pattinson early on, and later, Nathan Coulter-Nile providing the perfect balance to the pacy duo upfront and at points, Pollard with the ball got crucial breakthroughs, making it a cent per cent performance from the men in blue and gold.
Overall Rating - 10/10