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regular-article-logo Thursday, 20 June 2024

Mumbai Indians search for missing pieces in IPL puzzle

MI have already lost all the four matches they have played so far

Our Bureau Published 13.04.22, 01:53 AM
Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard at practice ahead of their match against Punjab Kings on Wednesday.

Mumbai Indians’ Kieron Pollard at practice ahead of their match against Punjab Kings on Wednesday. Twitter

Jasprit Bumrah thinks Mumbai Indians are going through a “transition phase” and the sooner the new members of the team understand their role and responsibility, quicker they would be able to get back to their dominating best.

But the problem is, in a brutal tournament like the IPL, no one has time for transition. You either perform or you perish. Mumbai have already lost all the four matches they have played so far, and if they are not able to snap their winless run on Wednesday, when they face Punjab Kings in Pune, it might make their task of making a turnaround almost impossible.

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“It’s a transition phase that every cricketer understands, and every team goes through that. We are in that phase; we have got a new group. So understanding the format of the IPL, how you have to handle pressure and achieve success in this league… we are going through that. We are looking forward that we go through this transition… We have all the players we had and the quality will come back again,” Bumrah was quoted as saying in a media release from the franchise.

While Bumrah stays optimistic, in reality it looks a difficult road ahead for Mumbai.

Their batters seem to be lacking in firepower and the below-par performance by the bowlers has only made things worse for the Rohit Sharma-led team. Rohit himself hasn’t been the “Hitman” he is known to be at the top of the order. His opening partner Ishan Kishan is yet to make a proper impact.

Suryakumar Yadav, though, has looked in sparkling touch since his comeback into the team and that gives Mumbai hope. There is also hope from exciting talents like South African Dewald “Baby AB” Brevis and Tilak Varma. But there is concern over the off-form of old warrior Kieron Pollard. The all-rounder hasn’t been at his destructive best.

All of them have to fire in unison if Mumbai are to get their footing back in the tournament which they have won a record five times.

In Punjab, Mumbai face a team which has lacked consistency. Mayank Agarwal’s side have won two and lost two so far. Mumbai will have to go for the kill on Wednesday.

For that, their bowlers, led by Bumrah, will have to put in a much-improved performance. The likes of leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin, and pacers Basil Thampi and Jaydev Unadkat will have to be at their best to contain a batting line-up that sports Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone and Shahrukh Khan.

Bumrah, however, feels that with the tracks being heavily loaded in favour of the batters this time, the bowlers are having a hard time as the toss plays a crucial role.

“If it was up to me, I would say win the toss. That really helps,” the speedster said.

Fact is, Mumbai need much to do more than just win the toss.

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