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IPL 2019: 3 reasons behind Mumbai Indians' lackluster start to the tournament

ANALYST
Modified 01 Apr 2019, 12:01 IST
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#2 Middle order failures

Yuvraj Singh failed to fire against King XI Punjab (picture courtesy -BCCI/iplt20.com)
Yuvraj Singh failed to fire against King XI Punjab (picture courtesy -BCCI/iplt20.com)

So far this season, Mumbai have put on scores off 176, 187/8, and 176/7. On the outset, these scores sound commendable and say that Mumbai's batting has clicked this year. However, in reality, Rohit's Sharma's side should have done better in each innings.

In the game against the Delhi capitals; chasing a total of 214, Mumbai did not even come close to the target. Against the Royal Challengers Banglore, they crumbled from 124-2 in 13.3 overs to 146-6 in 16.3 overs. It was only some late heroics from Hardik Pandya that got them to a respectable total.

The same story repeated against Punjab for the three-time champions. The visitors had got off to a brilliant start but went from 120-2 in 12.5 overs to 162-6 in 18.3 overs. Quite clearly, the middle order is failing to score runs and also slowing down the scoring rate. Unfortunately, as Mumbai Indians fans will remember, such collapses were a common theme last season and them happening again is a worrying trend in their hopes to make it to the last four.

A big reason behind this happening is that Kieron Pollard has failed to fire. Pollard has been one of the best T20 players in the world over the last decade and played a huge part in each of Mumbai Indians' three title wins.

However, he has only scored 33 runs in the three matches this season and has just one double-figure score to show for. It looks like, the Trinidadian has failed to shrug off his struggles from last year; where he only scored 133 runs in the whole season.

Quite clearly, the 31-year old is not the same player, he once was. It is high time that the team management moves past him as it is looking like, he is unable to play at this best consistently anymore. More often than not, Pollard fails to clear the boundary rope these days and is struggling to time the ball effectively.

Another issue is the presence of Yuvraj Singh at number four. While his scores in the first two games were quite good, the concerns about him did not die in many fans. They were vindicated in the game against Punjab; where he scored 18 runs from 22 balls at an extremely poor strike rate of 81.81. Many would point to his knock as the phase when Mumbai lost the momentum.

At the Wankhede stadium against Delhi Capitals, while Yuvraj scored a half-century, he only scored 21 of 25 balls if Axar's Patel's overs were not considered. Even against Royal Challengers Banglore, he did not look at comfortable before smashing Yuzvendra Chahal for three consecutive sixes and getting out.

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It is extremely clear that left-hander is someone teams can work out. His weakness against pace and spinners taking the ball away from him is an open secret. In such a situation, it is not hard to keep him quiet and hurt Mumbai's run-rate.

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Published 31 Mar 2019, 07:30 IST
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