Thirteen matches into the tournament and there is only one team that is yet to open its account. That team, dear readers, is none other than the most successful team in the previous 10 years of the IPL, Mumbai Indians. Three losses on the trot haven’t done them any good. They were involved in high-pressure finishes in games that could have gone either way. They would (should) however take heart from the fact that they have been playing good cricket and they must understand that it is the only aspect of the game that they can control. Performance.
The team has players who are rightful match winners in every literal sense and can win you games single-handedly. The top order is as dangerous as any you would see. The middle order picks itself and they have the power players who can provide the final flourish towards the end of the innings. Lewis is finding his feet in this tournament and it won’t be long before we see him running away with matches. Rohit is struggling with indifferent form at the moment but we all know what sort of damage he can cause to the opposition team.
The Mumbai Indians management played it very smart at the auctions and they ensured that they have a good solid core of Indian batters. They got back the local boy, Suryakumar Yadav, who knows Wankhede like the back of his hand. They have invested in young and promising Ishan Kishan who is now repaying the faith in kind. Krunal Pandya carried his form from the last season into this year’s IPL and as seen in the last match, is pretty handy with the ball as well, picking up crucial wickets, with the help of a bit of athleticism on the field (KP and HP in particular). His younger brother, Hardik, hasn’t done enough yet with the bat, and with the ball too, he has been rather inconsistent. He bowled well in the first game but went for plenty upon his return in the third.
Speaking of bowling, MI has two of the best bowlers of the death overs. In Bumrah and Mustafizur, they have found a good combination. Boom is accurate with his line and length and hits the batsmen’s toes more often than naught while Fizz mixes his pace up pretty cleverly. However, the find of the season so far has to be Mayank Markande and it is no coincidence that the wrist spinners are the talk of the town these days. And they have the statistics to back up the uptick in their favor. He has outfoxed some of the better players of spin bowling and his performances continue to impress. The non-availability of Pat Cummins has been a huge setback but they have found a good replacement in Milne who can crank it up in the late 140’s and even touch early 150’s.
At the moment, yes, they are at the bottom of the points table, but only a fool would make the mistake of discounting them just yet. They just need one good win and things will start falling into place soon for them. They are known for making incredible comebacks but it doesn’t happen every season and they’ll be wary of it as well. A home game against an opponent whom they fancy should be factors good enough for them to secure their maiden win in this year’s Indian Premier League.