IPL: Mumbai Indians must scale mountain to progress
Mumbai Indians have tied themselves up in knots of complicated equations, thanks to their lacklustre performances in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.
Rohit Sharma’s team are still alive in the race for the last play-offs berth. But to win that race, Mumbai will have to do the unprecedented.
Mumbai play their final league match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Abu Dhabi on Friday. They are currently on 12 points and are in a tussle for the final play-offs berth with Kolkata Knight Riders, who have 14 points after Thursday’s win.
Mumbai can match the Knights on points with a win on Friday. But to snatch the fourth play-offs berth from the Knight Riders, Mumbai will need to have a better net run rate and for that, they have to win the game by 171 runs! No victory in IPL’s history has been that big.
Sunrisers have played the worst cricket among the eight teams this year. But that does not give Mumbai the licence to take their opponents lightly on Friday. They have taken note of how Sunrisers stunned Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last game.
Whatever be the equation, it’s obvious that Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma (363 runs) will have to lead from the front. He has got starts but
has not been able to convert them. Friday will certainly be a good day to get a big score. Young Ishan Kishan has
come out of the clouds and his team will hope that he plays another bright innings in the crucial game.
Much more important will be the role of Mumbai’s middle order. The onus will be on Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Saurabh Tiwary to provide the team with a backbone.
Rohit can expect his strong bowling attack to help them once again.
The Sunrisers, on the other hand, will be happy to play party-poopers. Captain Kane Williamson will surely want to end the disappointing season on a high and what better way to finish it off than a win over the defending champions.
Jason Roy is among runs and Bhuvneshwar Kumar has found his rhythm back. The contribution of all-rounder Jason Holder will no doubt be important for the Sunrisers.
So Mumbai will need a miracle to qualify for the play-offs. Miracles don’t happen often, but nothing is impossible.