Revealing the demons haunting Mumbai Indians campaign

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Mumbai Indians are having a poor start to the IPL 2022 under the leadership of Rohit Sharma

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Revealing the demons haunting Mumbai Indians campaign

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Nishad Bapat

04/11/2022

Mumbai Indians have been one of the dominating sides in IPL winning five titles in the history of the tournament. They are also known to bounce back from tough situations but this time around they are in deep trouble with four losses so far and a long list of issues to address to script a comeback.

Indian Premier League is undoubtedly the best T20 league around the world and the quality of cricket played in the tournament proves it. Two teams, Mumbai Indians (MI) and Chennai Super Kings have enjoyed unchallenged supremacy over the years in the league. Mumbai have won five titles while Chennai have been the winners on four occasions. The fate of these two sides seems to be changed this season as both of them have lost all four of the matches they have played so far. 

Going into the mega auction, MI retained a strong core including Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Kieron Pollard, and Jasprit Bumrah. Looking at the retentions, another successful season was on the cards in 2022. In the mega auction, MI picked Ishan Kishan for the most expensive price and added an attacking wicketkeeper-batter to their squad. Also, the inclusion of Daniel Sams, Tim David, Jofra Archer, and Tymal Mills strengthened the squad. Archer was going to be available from next season but the team still looked to be a strong outfit. 

Coming into the IPL 2022, the season has turned out to be a nightmare for the team so far. They have lost four matches in the season and the opposition have beaten them convincingly each time. MI have enjoyed a successful run in the history of IPL under the leadership of Rohit Sharma but the same captain is looking clueless on the field right now with the kind of performance the team is giving. The body language of the team is not looking good at all and frequently there has been chaos in the field resulting in some missed fields and overthrows. When Anuj Rawat and Virat Kohli were taking the game away from MI in the last match, the frustration due to errors by fielders was clearly visible on the face of Rohit Sharma. Jasprit Bumrah also reacted in anger when a throw from the fielder went horribly wrong while he was bowling. 

The team is usually known to bounce back even after losing the first few matches but this time the situation looks very different. The team is in deep trouble and there are a few reasons for their poor results so far. 

Struggle to find the best playing combination 

Mumbai Indians have been using different team combinations and surprisingly they have used 15 players which is the joint second-most count in the tournament so far. In the last match, Tymal Mills was dropped to make place for Jaydev Unadkat in spite of being the highest wicket-taker for the franchise so far. Ramandeep Singh replaced Daniel Sams and that compelled Kieron Pollard to play the role of a fifth bowler for the team. Tim David was excluded from the team after the first two matches. Dewald Brevis played the last couple of matches for the team. Overall, it appears that they are yet searching for the best possible XI and will have to finalize it as soon as possible to reverse this poor start in the tournament. 

Weak bowling unit

Bowling is turning out to be the weakest department for the team. Basil Thampi scalped three wickets in the first match but didn’t pick a single one after that. Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t lived up to the reputation taking only three wickets from four matches. Out of the nine bowlers used by MI so far, no one has managed to take more than four wickets in their four matches except for Tymal Mills. He has taken six wickets from three matches. 

Also, the team lacks a sixth bowling option as Kieron Pollard who bowled three overs in the last game was not able to take any wicket. 

Lack of runs in middle-overs and a solid finish

If there is one area where MI has malfunctioned badly, it is their batting in middle overs (7-16). In this phase, their run-rate is 6.75 which is the lowest among all the teams. The team also have a poor average and they are missing out on a decent total due to that. The middle-order is now looking better with the arrival of Suryakumar Yadav but he needs support from the other end. Anmolpreet Singh was the no. 3 batter in the first two matches while Dewal Brevis batted one-down in the last couple of matches. Both of them didn’t play any big knocks. Also, Rohit Sharma’s rough patch is another reason they are not able to attack in the middle overs. 

Finishing is another area where MI needs to do a lot of work. Pandya Brothers and Kieron Pollard used to finish the innings very well for the team in previous seasons. However, Pollard has the responsibility to finish the innings this time but he has been struggling to score runs. Tim David played in the first two matches and registered scores of 12 and 1. Daniel Sams hasn’t been impressive with his batting in death overs. This lack of a finisher scoring runs is restricting them from posting huge totals. 

Overall, the team will need to make a lot of changes in their approach and tactics. Tymal Mills has been a wicket-taking option and dropping him in future matches can be very risky. The team needs a big knock from Rohit and a glorious finish by Pollard in his own style to excel in the tournament. Also, Mills and Bumrah will need spinner Murugan Ashwin to take wickets in the middle overs. With the arrival of Suryakumar Yadav, the middle-order looks more solid and they can hope for a comeback just like previous editions. 

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