Mumbai Indians‘s season in IPL 5 was brought to an end on 23rd May by Chennai Super Kings. Now its time to review their performance for this season, and try and find out what needs to be improved for next year and what needs to continue so that next season we may finally get to witness Mumbai Indians winning the IPL.
Position: Mumbai ended up as the 4th best team in IPL, after losing to CSK. Considering the money spent and the quality they had in the team, at least on paper, they should be in the top 3, and failure to perform consistently led them to be at 4th.
Flop of the Season: This has to be the Captain. Harbhajan Singh had a very dismal season and never really led from the front. Even his batting this season, never helped the team. His bowling was abysmal. Last season, he took 14 wickets with an avg of 26.42. Comparing it with this season, he took 6 wickets at an avg. of 64.
Star of the Season: There was never really any consistency in the team and hence this was a harder choice. But it has to go to Lasith Malinga. He was one of the main reason why our bowlers did so well and Mumbai won many games based on the strength of their bowlers and none were better than him. Taking 22 wickets at an average of 15.90 is remarkable in T20, which is believed to be a batsman’s game.
Highlight(s) of the Season: This was hard to choose. So I decided it had to be “ALL OF THE CLOSE FINISHES”. Bangalore, Chennai, Pune were 3 of the teams that ended up on the losing side to Mumbai in close finishes. Mumbai somehow found a way to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. It was almost like they were trying to test how far could they let victory get away from them before snatching it back from what seemed certain defeat.
Bargain Buy of the Season: Not really much too choose from here. Not many of the cheaper players actually ended up playing so this one was hard to choose. I will go with Dwayne Smith considering he played 2 match winning knocks and even in the Eliminator, he got Mumbai off to a decent start.
Flop Buy of the Season: This one is shared between Dinesh Karthik and RP Singh. When Karthik was bought this season, I envisioned a season finally where MI would have a wicket keeper who could bat very well. This along with the fact they did not have decent enough Indian bowlers always used to pain me as a MI supporter. This season, when both departments were strengthened, it gave me hope that finally MI may be able to win the IPL. But both did not perform well enough to really improve on what they had last season. The only good Dinesh Karthik probably did was that Mumbai finally had a wicket keeper who could keep, with Rayudu not being a specialist in that position.
Final Verdict: Mumbai Indians started the season with great promise when they beat one of the pre-tournament favorites CSK very comprehensively. They totally dominated the game. Alas, we had to wait till the last MI group game against Rajasthan for a performance where they dominated completely. Between the 1st and the last group stage game, there were too many inconsistent performances from just about everyone and this led to their Elimination at the hands of CSK. Mumbai, this season, again struggled to find that perfect pair with Sachin at the top, though they might wanna continue with Dwayne Smith next season.
The First 11 never really looked settle and there were too many changes over the 17 games they played and that did not help players to settle and perform. They did well to win games which seemed lost but in the end, inconsistency cost MI a chance to win the IPL this season. Next season, lets hope MI doesn’t stand for inconsistency, but something with what we know it and love it for, Champions.