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IPL 2014: Have Mumbai Indians relinquished their chances of making it to the playoffs?

With five losses to start their IPL 2014 campaign, it looks almost impossible for Mumbai Indians to make the playoffs from here.

Things have slipped out of Mumbai Indians’ hand rather cheaply

Mumbai Indians (MI), after crushing to a 5th successive defeat this season, seem to have relinquished their chances of making it to the playoffs for the first time in 5 seasons.

Over the years, Mumbai Indians has always been the side that struggles in foreign conditions, and it’s only in India where they’ve cantered to a couple of Champions League T20 titles to go with their first IPL title in 2013. That trend hasn’t changed this season either, and as things stand after the UAE leg of IPL 7, the current string of defeats look like they could already be the decisive factor in the current IPL champions not making it to the playoffs.

One of the conspicuous elements of a league tournament is that, it gives you the leeway to come back from a position that can be rectified and improved, something that is close to impossible in knockout tournaments. But, in case of Mumbai Indians, the position they are in at the moment doesn’t look like one that is rectifiable.

To even make the last playoff spot, you should, at the bare minimum garner 16 points from the stipulated 14 games. 5 of the 14 games have culminated in the UAE leg, and off the remaining 9 games, 8 wins are imperative, if Mumbai Indians are to have any chance of making that last playoff spot.

Mumbai Indians play 5 of those remaining 9 fixtures at the Wankhede, and if home advantage does play its part, there’s a good chance of MI winning those 5 games. And, if the rub of the green goes the Mumbai Indians’ way, the other results could also impact the minimum number of points required to make it to the playoffs.

Looking into the elements that can be controlled: Kieron Pollard has hit the straps in the last couple of games, Rayudu continued his decent run of form with a  very good knock against the Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday, Zaheer and Harbhajan are bringing all of their experience into play. And, with contributions from a couple of more personnels on the batting front, Mumbai Indians could well compete and produce results way better than they have managed thus far. In this format of the game, it just requires one game to turn things around, and Mumbai Indians need to show tenacity in achieving that elusive win of the campaign.

Being realistic, though, you almost get a sense of feeling that this has not been Mumbai Indians’ season so far, and expecting such a depleted line-up to conjure up the needful appears goofy, if not more.

However, you just never know in any sport, and more so in a competition like the Indian Premier League, which keeps you engrossed throughout the length of the campaign. Mumbai Indians would do astoundingly well to end up vindicating the pedigree of the competitiveness of the Indian Premier League.

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