IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians Season Review

Cricket May 14, 2019
Mumbai Indians picked up the IPL 19 Champions Trophy. Image: BCCI

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IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians Season Review

Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians. We couldn’t have asked for a better final than this. The cardio-surgeons are busy treating the weak hearts because there’s just something in 20th overs, one-run-wins, and Mumbai Indians. 

There are many reasons why the Mumbai Indians won. Many more will be unearthed, for every event, significant or otherwise, will now find profound meaning. There are many practitioners of retro-fit, finding weighty answers for normal events when the result is already known. Indeed, Rohit Sharma will become a better captain with every passing day and he will have a jolly laugh over it – with his tetra titles with Mumbai Indians.

It’s quite interesting how Lasith Malinga remained unfazed by the challenge of defending 9 runs in the ultimate over when he had conceded 42 in his previous 3. Sometimes a big occasion like that of a final can kill hopes before the contest starts. Very few would have backed Malinga to take Mumbai home with Watson still in the crease. But what mattered the most is his own self-belief. He looked potent, determined and uncluttered. In the Harry Potter series, J.K Rowling writes about the prison at Azkaban where a soulless creature called Dementors suck hope and happiness from the prisoners. However, Malinga with his unmatched experience got the better of the occasion and crowned Mumbai Indians to glory.

Rahul Chahar is the find of the season for Mumbai Indians. Image: IPL
Rahul Chahar is the find of the season for Mumbai Indians. Image: IPL

Find of the season

Rahul Chahar makes the list without a second thought. He was picked in the playing XI following an injury to Mayank Markande that ruled him from playing rest of the tournament. The young leg-spinner delivered the goods every time he walked on to the field donning the Mumbai jersey more so in the final, where he returned with excellent bowling figures of 14 runs in his four-over quota bamboozling the veteran Suresh Raina.

Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar lavished praise on the young Rahul Chahar. He was quoted saying Rahul Chahar was the stand out performer for Mumbai Indians in the final game. He was impressed for using a slip in the middle overs of the game and his consistency in hitting right line and lengths.

Chahar notched 13 wickets at an economy rate of near under 8. He was seen as a wicket-taking option in the middle overs, and he clearly didn’t disappoint his captain and repaid his faith bestowed on him. He doesn’t rip the ball as much as others and doesn’t turn it enough. He has a different perception of spin bowling, suggesting a variation from the established pillars if guile, spin, and turn. He varied pace and bounce throughout instead and did enough with the ball to trouble the batsman.

By what we see now, India has another young wrist spinner in the form of Rahul Chahar waiting to prove his worth in the big stage.

Misses

The label of champions suggests that they might not have had to linger over serious problems as such like many other teams including that of Chennai Super Kings. However, it is often seen that the winning team can also get into the comfort zone and sometimes stagnate in terms of growth. Hardik Pandya’s death over heroics and Bumrah’s magic with the cherry masked Pollard-Malinga woes. Here a winning team needs to have a healthy paranoia around them. They need to benchmark ruthlessness every time and the reason why they don’t is that they don’t seem to come out of their comfort zones and look beyond whilst riding the victories.

‘Satisfactory Underperformance’, is a far more dangerous illness than it may seem. Apart from getting people to play well below their ability, it can spread like a virus through the team. Satisfactory underperformance is a serious illness with the winning teams like some infections that can stay below the surface until it is too late.

Pandya was excellent throughout the IPL. Image: Twitter
  Pandya was excellent throughout the IPL. Image: Twitter

Best performance

Mumbai Indians after losing their first match against Delhi Capitals came back strong and knocked out Bangalore in their very own den, thus suggesting the scheme of things that are to follow. The two positives for Mumbai this tournament Bumrah-Pandya rose to the occasion and clinched the opening victory for them. Thereafter Hardik Pandya has scored 402 runs at a rather astounding average of 44.66 along with 14 scalps to his name.

Way forward for the Mumbai Indians…

Teams like Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders will look to make changes that question set ways. It could mean resting a star player, raising the bar on fitness and fielding by picking young guns who make everyone else look slow, getting a different coach who introduces stringent work ethic norms, getting a consultant who takes as the external, neutral view of things.

But Mumbai needn’t do any of those sorts. They have a balanced squad with good man-management skills. In this case, however, winning is fascinating to study because of many shades it paints life in; the challenges of winning once and the many more complex challenges of winning again. They will look to be more consistent and solidify their middle order batting.

Mumbai Indians currently sits in a comfortable position, and why not when you win the coveted IPL trophy that 8 teams were hunting 2 months ago. With Rohit Sharma leading the pack of blues Mumbai Indians script yet another memorable IPL win.

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