Mumbai: John Wright, a brilliant coach in his own right, claimed that Rohit Sharma is one of the natural skippers. The praise was not plucked out of thin air as Rohit had an IPL trophy against his name. However, the IPL 7 campaign has been going awfully wrong for the defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) and thus seems to be Wright’s view of Rohit Sharma. Still, that’s only one of the many troubles that have halted Mumbai Indians’ progress in the seventh edition of IPL.
There is no point solely blaming Rohit Sharma for Mumbai Indians’ performances (3 wins in 10 matches) and their lowly rankings in IPL 7. There are quite a few things that Mumbai Indians could have done better; right from the auctions that took place before IPL 7. For instance, they should have used their ‘Right to Match’ card for Mitchell Johnson and retained him in MI outfit. His presence alongside Malinga in the playing XI would have been a morale booster for the team and mountained pressure on the oppositions. If not Johnson, they could have gone ahead and made sure they reclaimed Glenn Maxwell, who is smashing the opposition attacks as if he is playing a game of computer cricket.
Mumbai Indians have failed to maintain a consistency in their batting and more often than not, got their batting combinations and batting order wrong. While Michael Hussey failed in the first few games, MI should have backed the Australian and stuck with him; as an in-form Hussey would have guaranteed them the strong starts from where the big hitters like Rohit Sharma, Corey Anderson and Kieron Pollard could have launched into the attack. But they opted to do otherwise and are now finding themselves in a deep hole. To put it differently, Mumbai Indians are in a danger of not getting an entry into the playoffs.
No back-up for Harbhajan and Malinga:
To Mumbai Indians’ credit, their key bowlers – Harbhajan Singh (8 wickets) and Lasith Malinga (13 wickets) have not been short on the efforts in first 10 games of IPL 7. While Zaheer Khan served MI well, an injury has ruled him out for the entire IPL 7 season. In his absence, MI have lacked the consistent performers who could accompany the veteran duo of Malinga and Harbhajan. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Corey Anderson and Kieron Pollard, although shown sparks, are yet to marry promise with consistency.
The Pollard puzzle:
While Pollard is Mumbai Indians management’s favourite kid, his performances are far too inconsistent. Mumbai Indians are wasting his ability to destroy the bowling attacks by pushing him to bat too low. Although it may backfire, Mumbai Indians can think about springing in a surprise and ask Pollard to open the innings. It can offer Kieron Pollard the time he requires before he hits the ‘attack mode.’