How has the IPL’s most successful side Mumbai Indians fallen from grace?

Time is pretty harsh. You never know what’s gonna happen unless it happens. Who would have imagined Elon Musk would buy Twitter just on a whim? Similarly, who would have thought that IPL’s most successful side Mumbai Indians would be struggling this hard, just to get a single win in their kitty. Mumbai Indians have been going through a disastrous season as of now, losing all of their 8 matches. Nothing has worked their way. Their batting is unreliable, their pacers are leaking runs, their spinners have been decent at the best and the fielding is just an excuse. Even the Skipper Rohit Sharma is wondering what’s wrong with his side.

After the mega-auction, Mumbai Indians were one of the sides which decided to revamp the whole squad and retain the core players. Whilst, the likes of Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, and Suryakumar Yadav were retained, Mumbai splashed out a whopping 15.25 crores to bring back Ishan Kishan. When you add that with 32 crores they spent on retention, MI is left with just 32.75 crores to construct a whole squad. Now, remove another 8 crores from it as Mumbai brought Jofra Archer, who couldn’t have been part of this IPL campaign due to injury. This left Mumbai’s purse with just 24.75 crores to spend and still bring in at least 15 players.

What happened next is predictable. Mumbai brought any player they could have gotten cheap. This includes the likes of Jaydev Unadkat, Tim David, and many others who aren’t good enough to replace the former MI squad. Tilak Varma and Dewald Brevis are an exception, however. Barring a reliable Suryakumar Yadav, the two youngsters are the only batsmen who have been delivering for the Mumbai outfit. Tilak Varma is Mumbai Indian’s top scorer with 272 runs at a healthy average of 45.33. The smooth-flowing left-hander has a wide array of strokes and can execute them with a soft and silky finish. Dewald Brewis on the other hand has shown the destruction he is capable of. Rightly named Baby AB, Brevis has a ton of horsepower waiting to be unleashed. Suryakumar has been his reliable self. The Mumbaikar missed a few matches at the start but has been the backbone of the batting line-up ever since his return. Scoring 239 runs at an average of nearly 50, Surya has done everything to justify his price tag.

Well, these have been the guys who have been performing for the fallen champions, but they have their loads of under-performers as well. Ishan Kishan has been the biggest disappointment at the MI camp so far. After a stupendous 81* in the first match, Ishan has scored just 116 more runs in the next 7 matches. More than that, the southpaw is finding it difficult to time the ball, in the familiar Mumbai conditions. His shot selection has garnered much scrutiny from the legends like Sunil Gavaskar and Viv Richards, as both have used the word ‘immature’ to describe Ishan. His mistakes while keeping the wickets have been rare, but they have affected MI’s chances. Kieron Pollard has been another embarrassment.

The West-Indian power-hitter was retained for his ability to finish matches, and it seems that Pollard has forgotten how to do so. The explosive all-rounder is struggling to get the bat on the ball and even if he can get some wood, that’s just a catching practice for out-fielders. After losing the Pandya brothers to the new franchises, Mumbai’s death-hitting looks bleaker than ever. They bought in Tim David for a whopping 8 crores to address this issue and guess what, he isn’t even in the playing XI. Rohit Sharma is getting some good starts but the silence at the other end is forcing him to go big and throw away his wicket. The fielding has become sloppier compared to previous seasons. Mumbai also lacks a decent wicket-taker. All the teams that have faced MI have a simple formula, bat out Bumrah, and hit the others for the maximums. Mumbai might be regretting letting go of Trent Boult, who had forged a solid partnership with Jasprit Bumrah and bringing in an injured Jofra Archer. Coincidentally, both were brought on a price of 8 crores by their respective franchises.

Murugan Ashwin has been bowling some decent spells, but there is only so much he can do. Jaydev Unadkat, Tymal Mills, and Daniel Sams are Mumbai’s most successful bowlers this season, with just 6 wickets apiece while conceding runs at 9.5, 11.17, and 11 runs per over respectively. These economy rates are high even when compared to T20 standards. Bumrah has just had 5 wickets this season with a good economy of 7.5 runs per over.

In all, it sums up that Mumbai has been underperforming in almost all the departments and would have to change its approach drastically to start getting things back on track. While Mumbai Indians have been effectively out of the playoff race, they still can play the role of party-poopers or just concentrate on working towards the next season. The biggest factor in Mumbai Indian’s disastrous season has been their auction woes. They have heavily over-priced Ishan Kishan and retaining Kieron Pollard has raised quite a few eyebrows. Even Rohit Sharma deserves some heat for his unreliable presence at the top. If not for the likes of the Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma, Mumbai might have been in a deeper mess than they are in now. With just 6 games in hand, Mumbai should do what CSK did two years ago. That is to give all their players a chance and look out for their performances. Who knows they might find another Ruturaj Gaikwad or the next Umran Malik?

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