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A Wake Up Call For The Mumbai Indians

April 13, 2015

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It is nothing new that Mumbai Indians make a shaky start to a tournament. It has happened before and even after that they have gone ahead to win the tournament at times. To win the big tournaments like IPL and CLT20 you got to be a good team, what the Mumbai Indians have been over the past 5 or 6 years. But one major concerns I have found with this side is that they have not made the best of what they had. Not only to have a good squad is the master key to success, but also what is equally important that you use your resources to an optimal effect.

Every team has to go through a transition phase and MI are no exceptions. Last year they had to struggle until they could taste of their first victory of the campaign. Several combinations were tried before they were able to find a set formation. But I am really surprised with the way they have tried to enforce some new formations. When you get a right combination going on for you (having said that it takes some time to find one) and the individuals start to understand and execute their roles properly, I don’t find any reason to make such experiments what the MI camp has been doing.

A little change in their strategy can draw a big impact to their chances in this tournament.

Change in the batting order:

Opening slot: This has been a bone of contention for the Mumbai Indians ever since the commencement of IPL. Right now they have Rohit Sharma at the opening slot along with Aaron Finch. Many will say that it’s fair enough to have Rohit at the top as he also opens for his country, which means that in India, you won’t find a better opening batsman than him. But one must keep it in mind that the Indian team also has other accomplished players in the middle order too. The problem with the middle order of this team is that it doesn’t have a bunch of players whom you can rely upon. We all saw tonight how their middle order collapsed like a house of cards in front of KXIP bowling. That’s where I feel the skipper’s skill and experience may come handy. Also it will be good if he bats till the end in most of the matches, and when it comes to finish a game, he is the best in this business.

Number 3 position: Another vital position, currently occupied by Aditya Tare. But I don’t think he is a player of that class who can play dynamic roles according to the needs of the game. He is one of those who knows only one way of playing and hence should be pushed down the order where he has also played some cameos in the past. If the team gets a solid foundation then the number 3 position should be given to Corey Anderson, else it has to be Ambati Rayudu.

Change in bowling:

Mumbai Indians have played 5 specialist bowlers in their first 2 matches. But neither of cases they have been able to restrict their opponents within 170. So if the Indian bowlers are not doing the job then they may have push in another overseas player in this department. Yes, in that case an overseas opener has to make sacrifice, but MI also have a talented Indian opener in form of Unmukt Chand. This is ideal time that his talent meets proper opportunity.

Problem with Malinga: Each and every good thing in the world must come to an end sooner or later. Thus the best ever bowler in the history of T20 cricket is presently nothing more than the shadow of his glorious past. There used to be a time when he was deadly accurate with his line, length and Yorkers. Getting 6 out of 6 balls in the block hole used to be a walk in the garden for him. But over the past one year we had so many occasions when we saw an attempted Yorker from Lasith Malinga gets turned into a full toss. He is nowhere near his old form and that’s why I believe that the think-tank should not hesitate to think about Josh Hazzlewood.

Change in Attitude:

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It is very important that the players play the game with the right attitude. I was really upset to see the way they batted tonight against KXIP. The top order batsmen never looked like doing anything except playing stupid shots. They had given it up completely and were just about waiting for the match to get over officially. But it’s a huge lesson what Harbhajan and the debutant Suchit taught the half dozen batsmen. They fought till the last ball even though they were left to a position from where it is literally impossible to win a match unless you are playing computer games.

Harbhajan’s heroic reduced the defeat margin by at least 70 runs, which has not only going to have a striking effect in terms of the net run rate, but also it should lift his side. Yes, they had a very ordinary day with the bat; but the team whose 7th wicket batters can add 100 runs in 39 balls, what the top orders should be scared of? The players should come out with a positive frame of mind and an aggressive body language. They got to have the self belief that they can continue the MI-legacy. Moreover, they need to come out of their shells and enjoy themselves.

 

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