IPL 2018: 5 reasons why Mumbai Indians could not make it to the playoffs
Mumbai Indians, one of the most successful and popular franchises of the Indian Player League, failed to make it to the Playoffs this season despite having a good looking squad on paper. In the first half of the tournament, Mumbai just couldn’t hold on to the key moments and lost a few games that could have gone either way.
With some kind of momentum in the second half of the tournament, MI got themselves in a very difficult position in the end and failed to fulfill the equation needed by them to qualify for the playoffs. As a result, despite having a really good set of players, MI’s title defense came to an end in the league stage itself.
Let us have a look at 5 reasons why MI could not make it to the playoffs this season:
#5. The three phases of MI's bowling
Mumbai Indian’s journey in the tournament can be divided into 3 distinct phases, in terms of the standout performers in the bowling department. The point worth noting is that in the list of top 10 wicket takers- 3 Mumbai Indians bowlers feature and yet MI could not make it to the playoffs because each of the three bowlers bowled well in a particular phase of the tournament.
While in the initial period, Mayank Markande impressed one and all with his leg spin bowling and wicket-taking ability but he tapered off towards the latter half of the tournament, perhaps becoming too predictable during the course of the league. Markande picked up 15 wickets in 14 games, but much of those came in the initial phase, including a 4 wicket haul, which goes on to show, how ineffective he had been in the latter half.
Similarly, Hardik Pandya was leading MI’s bowling charge in the middle phase when MI had already got themselves in a difficult position. Pandya, not only picked up wickets, but also helped MI stay alive in the competition by picking up wickets. Pandya picked up 18 wickets from 13 games in the IPL and has done no harm to his reputation as a bowler. However, MI would have expected a bit more from him with the bat.
The third phase saw the rise of Jasprit Bumrah who did not have the best of starts in the tournament but came back to his lethal self during the last few games MI played. The fact that MI were able to stay alive in the completion till the last game was because Bumrah, the match winner delivered, for them in crunch situations- something they lacked in the first half of the tournament. 17 wickets from 14 games and an economy of under 7 goes on to show how special a bowler Bumrah is at the death.