IPL 2021, PBKS vs MI: 3 reasons why the Mumbai Indians lost

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma's dismissal was as good as game over for MI.
Modified 23 Apr 2021

The Mumbai Indians (MI) batting unit failed for the fifth straight occasion in the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL), when they took on the Punjab Kings (PBKS).

On a pitch that has consistently aided turn, MI failed to show up in the first innings, as they progressed at a snail's pace in the powerplay and could not accelerate at the death. Aside from Rohit Sharma's 63, there was no other contribution of note from MI.

For PBKS, their only change - Ravi Bishnoi in for fellow leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin - worked wonderfully, as the youngster accounted for two MI wickets and conceded below a run a ball. In chase, the PBKS openers got off to a solid start, and while spin induced a slow phase, the team pocketed the two points at the end of the contest.

Here are the top three reasons why MI lost to PBKS on April 23.

#3 Ishan Kishan's slow-a-thon against spin

Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan's dismissal off a Ravi Bishnoi googly saved him from further embarrassment.

PBKS skipper KL Rahul had one of India's best all-format fast bowlers in Mohammad Shami at his disposal. However, he chose to open the bowling with Moises Henriques and part-timer Deepak Hooda. The move was planned to curb Quinton de Kock, and it worked perfectly, as Hooda saw the back of De Kock early.

In a surprise move, Ishan Kishan was sent next, presumably to gain some confidence and keep the left-right combination intact. Against the off-spinner, Kishan was simply unable to get going, and he didn't fare better against the medium pacer either. After Mumbai scored 5 or less for 7 consecutive overs, Kishan finally fell to Ravi Bishnoi for a laborious 17-ball 6.

Though Rohit played his shots, the poor innings ensured MI were always playing catch-up.

#2 Pandya brothers fail once again for MI

MI are desperate for Hardik Pandya to show any sort of form with the bat.
MI are desperate for Hardik Pandya to show any sort of form with the bat.

Though Krunal Pandya has occasionally been handy with the ball on Chennai's turning pitch, he has failed to provide MI the much-needed strong finishes with the bat. Faring even worse is Hardik Pandya, with 36 runs from 5 games at a strike rate of 97 and no meaningful contributions with the bat to help his cause.

Even though Kieron Pollard found the boundary occasionally, MI could not reach a competitive total as the brothers added 4 runs in the 7 balls they faced. With ball in hand, Krunal was miserable as he gave away 31 off his three overs when PBKS needed 132 to win.

#1 KL Rahul steers PBKS through tricky chase

KL Rahul played a classy, slow innings as the pitch demanded to give PBKS their second win.
KL Rahul played a classy, slow innings as the pitch demanded to give PBKS their second win.

As has been the script with many chases in Chennai this season, the openers found batting quite easy in the powerplay, before a wicket fell and the spinners came into operation. PBKS needed a cool head after Mayank Agarwal threw his wicket away, holing out in the deep, and the skipper provided that.

While Chris Gayle's mature 43 had a profound impact on proceedings as well, it was a 60 from a player often criticised for his slow batting that saw PBKS through. Measured in attack and full of smart strike rotation, Rahul and Gayle's partnership made MI's total seem even more inadequate than it looked on paper.

Published 23 Apr 2021
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