Mumbai Indians’ Trent Boult admitted that MI have been underwhelming with the bat, and insisted that, versus Punjab, it will be imperative for the middle-order batters to take advantage of good starts. Despite batting first four times, Mumbai Indians are yet to cross the 160-mark this season.
The world expected Mumbai Indians to run away with IPL 2021 after their dominant showing last season, but the Rohit Sharma-led side have seen their invincibility be stripped. Mumbai have won just half of their matches this season and have been outplayed at some point in each and every game. The team’s batting has misfired to the extent that MI are yet to score 160 this season, despite boasting of the most feared batting line-up in the competition. The ever-so-reliable middle-order has been non-existent and this has put the side in a spot of bother in almost every game, leaving it to the bowlers to drag the side to victory.
Ahead of the side’s next clash versus Punjab Kings on Friday, pacer Trent Boult hoped for the batsmen to put up a better showing in the side’s last match in Chennai. Boult acknowledged that the batsmen have been below-par, and hoped for the bowlers to get more runs to play with.
"I am sure the middle-order is not too pleased with how things have gone so far. I know the guys are hungry and desperate to put in a good performance in our last game in Chennai. Not an ideal start, we would like a few more runs on the board,” Boult said ahead of Friday’s clash, reported TOI.
“The strength of the side is fighting till the end and the bowlers have managed to do that. It should be an exciting game against Punjab, hopefully, we will get few more runs on the board.”
Funnily enough, Mumbai have got off to a great start in almost every game, but then have tended to inexplicably collapse in the middle and the death overs. While they lost the plot in overs 7-15 versus Delhi, the side suffered embarrassing collapses at the back-end in each of its first three matches. Boult called for the middle-order batsmen to capitalize on the starts provided by the top three batters.
"I think it is very hard for me to talk from the batting point of view. They are key ingredients to our team, things have not gone to plan as yet. Wickets are hard here, they must be thinking about giving themselves some extra balls. Yeah, hopefully, we can take good advantage of the good starts we are getting.”
Boult ripped through teams with the new ball in IPL 2020, but he’s reinvented himself this time around, rendering more valuable towards the back end of the innings owing to the lack of movement on offer. With dew around, the left-armer said that conditions are very tough, but asserted that adapting to new challenges is what makes playing in the IPL a fun experience.
"It is definitely tricky when the ball gets wet like that. The other night was the worst it has been in terms of dew. In terms of being a foreign player, it is something we are not used to in New Zealand, but it is part and parcel here, as bowlers you need to be able to execute some kind of deliveries so that is a good challenge. Ideally, you want to see an even contest between bat and ball.
"From a personal point of view, I just swing the ball around, but the surface and conditions here have not allowed that. But, that's the beauty of coming to this part of the world, the challenge becomes to adapt to these kinds of conditions. I am enjoying the challenge, it has been great bowling with Bumrah and seeing how he operates. Yeah, it is a great challenge and I am looking to just improve my game," he added.
Mumbai will play their last game in Chennai on Friday, April 23, post which they will be shifting base to Delhi.