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Reasons for Mumbai Indians’ poor run in IPL 2024

IPL 2024: Top reasons why Mumbai Indians having a disappointing season even after having a great team. Mumbai Indians have 3 wins out of 11 games played so far.

IPL 2024: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya failed to lift Mumbai Indians this season | Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Mumbai Indians' road to playoff qualification is next to impossible (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)

Mumbai Indians (MI), the five-time IPL champions, are having their worst season so far. They are placed last in the points table currently, and are almost out of the race for play-offs in IPL 2024. Despite boasting some of the top international players, what went wrong with Mumbai’s campaign this season? Let’s have a look.

No bowler stepped up except Bumrah

Mumbai have a decent bowling attack, but except for Jasprit Bumrah, who is currently the joint highest wicket-taker so far with 17 scalps, no other bowler stepped up and supported him. Gerald Coetzee has picked up 13 wickets in 10 games, but he has been expensive with an economy rate of 10.17. Hardik Pandya too has leaked runs, while picking up 8 wickets so far. Other pace bowlers didn’t fare well as they were not given a longer run. Spinners were underutilised by Mumbai. Overall, the MI bowling attack performed below expectations this season.

Lack of role clarity for bowlers

Over the 11 matches so far for Mumbai, there was no stability in terms of role clarity to bowlers. Sometimes, Pandya opened the bowling, but was taken for runs. He later bowled in middle and death overs. Bumrah didn’t receive the new ball early on, but was brought in at the first change. Common sense prevailed soon to hand Bumrah the new ball, and the medium-pacer showed his class, emerging as the highest wicket-taker so far. 

Other bowlers such as Coetzee were used all over the place. Spinners were not used judiciously and there was a lack of role clarity for them too. Overall, Mumbai bowlers were not handed roles where they could be the most effective, and hence, they have conceded as many as four 200-plus totals.

IPL 2024, MI vs KKR_ Nuwan Tushara took 3 wickets against KKR _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Nuwan Tushara introduced very late in the tournament (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)
Bowling combination failure

Mumbai struggled to get their bowling combination right. There was frequent chopping and changing and a lot of experimentation to get the right set of bowlers for a match. Except for Bumrah, no other regular bowlers have played all the 11 matches. Nuwan Thushara, who has a career haul of 124 T20 wickets, was brought in too late. Unlike other teams which stuck to a bowling combination and plan, Mumbai had none of it. It spelled doom for them straight away.

Spin options or lack of it

Mumbai lacked a spinner who could be a wicket-taking option. Veteran Piyush Chawla wasn’t at his fluent best, and as the leader of the spin attack, a lot of pressure to perform rested on his shoulders. He picked up five wickets in eight games. Mumbai didn’t show much faith in Shreyas Gopal who just got three games and took three wickets. Mohammad Nabi as an off-break bowler flattered to deceive, taking just 2 wickets in 7 games. They also lacked a left-arm orthodox spinner who could be handy against right-hand batters. The lack of a quality spinner hurt MI the most.

Lack of collective batting display

MI boast a strong batting line-up, but they could not come together as a team to bat out an opponent or chase down targets collectively. There were a few moments of individual brilliance such as Rohit Sharma’s ton against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) but despite that knock, Mumbai lost the match as no other batter stepped up to support the ‘Hitman’. 

Similarly, Kishan got starts, but could not capitalise on them. Suryakumar Yadav played a few blinding knocks to win a match or two, but overall, the team didn’t deliver a collective batting display to win matches consistently. Pandya failed to lead the team from the front with the bat, and his poor show had a bearing on the team’s overall batting display. Tim David came lower down the order and struggled to hit out from the first ball itself. 

The only saving grace was Tilak Varma who came up with a few counter-attacking innings to save the blushes for Mumbai. He is the highest run-getter for them this IPL, scoring 347 runs at an average of 38.55 with 3 fifties in 11 games.

Impact Player Rule has impacted all-rounders heavily this season _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_IPLT20)
Hardik Pandya failed to find the right combination for the MI (Images: ©BCCI/IPLT20)
Captaincy loopholes

Even before Mumbai started their campaign, their new captain Pandya, who replaced successful skipper Rohit, was booed consistently. This had a bearing on Pandya and put added pressure on him to lead a team featuring a few superstars. Hence, Panya’s decision-making was monitored closely. He also made a few captaincy blunders that the team had to pay with losses. 

Bowling the last over against Chennai and conceding 20 runs to MS Dhoni alone cost Mumbai the match by exactly the same amount of runs. He also bowled well ahead of seasoned strike bowler Bumrah, and was taken for runs. He also didn’t have a settled spot for himself in the batting line-up, and could not lead from the front with the bat. Overall, Pandya failed in all departments as a captain and all-rounder, and that summed up Mumbai’s season very well.

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