Puno, April 8: ICB 2022 it marked the beginning of a new era in the history of the tournament. With two new teams in the Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans plus a mega auction, the competition from eight teams has been upgraded to 10. After 15 matches, the rookie teams have done well, although it is still early in the competition.
Five-time league winners Mumbai Indians have got off to their usual slow start losing their opening three matches to Delhi Capitals (by four wickets), Rajasthan Royals (by 14 runs) and Kolkata Knight Riders (by five wickets).
But after Kolkata’s Pat Cummins stunned them with 14 fifty balls, alarm bells may be ringing in camp now that in a 10-team competition, there is very little room for error.
They entered the playoffs in 2014 after losing the first five games and even won the trophy in 2015 after losing the first four games of the season.
But 2022 seems to be different. One could sense from Rohit Sharma’s tone after the Cummins carnage that he was not his usual calm and cool as he spoke to the announcers.
In all three matches, Mumbai have put in brilliant individual performances, but the team has not fired as a collective unit to take two points on the season.
If in the second half of IPL 2021, where batting performances prevented them from reaching the playoffs, it is the bowling in the first three games that has let them down.
Without Jofra Archer, Mumbai bowling has relied heavily on the pace of spearhead Jasprit Bumrah (three wickets at an economic rate of 8.32), plus Tymal Mills (six wickets at an economic rate of 9.90 ) and leg spinner Murugan Ashwin (four wickets at a cheap rate of 9.90). from 7.10).
It’s the rest of the bowling lineup comprising Daniel Sams (one wicket at an economic rate of 12.63), Basil Thampi (three wickets at an economic rate of 9.50) and with some occasional contributions from Kieron Pollard (one wicket at an economic rate of 9.50). economy of 9.50). 11.50) that have turned out to be the weak links.
Bowling coach Shane Bond feels that bowlers looking for big runs in an over is something that has hurt Mumbai’s bowling plans.
“It’s been a real mix of us, I guess, of a bowling unit. You look at the last game, the first 10 overs were fantastic. We’ve had a couple of overs slip away from us.
“It’s been a bit of a pattern for us, we’ve done really good things, we’ve taken out a number of the big players exactly as we thought we would. But when the game has been in balance, we’ve gone for some 20-plus overs. And when you go for 20-plus overs, you end up losing matches.” In the opening match against Delhi Capitals, Lalit Yadav and Axar Patel took 15 runs off Bumrah in the 16th, 13 runs off the last of Thampi and 24 off Sams in the 18th.
In his second match against Rajasthan Royals, Thampi was crushed for 26 runs by Jos Buttler in the fourth over of the first innings.
Ashwin was hit for 21 runs in the 11th while Pollard gave up 26 runs in the 17th. In their match against Kolkata, Mills and Bumrah gave up 14 and 12 runs twice while Sams gave up 35 runs from Cummins.
In their batting, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma and Dewald Brevis (in one appearance) have put on a good show. But without brothers Quinton de Kock and Pandya in the mix, Captain Sharma has to step up.
The scores of 41, 10 and 3 don’t do justice to Sharma’s famous game-changing skills with the bat.
“In the three games that we’ve played, we’ve done some really good things. It’s just that those little moments, and that indication, you know an individual has to understand, in that period of time when the game is happening. There will be an indication that ‘this is the end.’ What we do in that end, those little, little things, that we should try to squeeze that out and bring it to our side. Get that momentum to our side.” were Sharma’s words of encouragement in the locker room.
If Mumbai takes Sharma’s words to take the small moments of the game to heart, then they could find a way out of their bowling woes as well as the pattern to find consistent runs.
With matches against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings and Lucknow Super Giants lined up, Mumbai cannot afford to make any more mistakes now.
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— The story has been published from a cable source with no changes to the text.