Former Indian batter Aakash Chopra reckons that the Mumbai Indians (MI) lack depth in their lower order. Mumbai got off to an impressive start in their first IPL 2022 clash against the Delhi Capitals (DC). However, due to a lack of firepower in the end overs, they failed to put up a match-winning score.
Having gone down to Delhi by four wickets, Mumbai will take on the Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the DY Stadium in Navi Mumbai in the first game of Saturday's double header.
Speaking ahead of the match, Chopra said on his YouTube channel that the five-time champions will have to find a way to strengthen their lower-order batting. He opined:
“The depth in the lower order is not there. Mumbai are being forced to play Daniel Sams because they want those extra runs with the bat, but he went for 57 runs, so they need to draw a fine line. Also, it is not that they are missing anyone, like some of the other teams in the competition. So, they need to do something different.”
While Sams went for 57 in his four overs against Delhi, Mumbai also suffered because Jasprit Bumrah had a rare off-day. The pace spearhead was hammered for 43 in 3.2 overs as Delhi chased down 178 in 18.2 overs.
“MI’s bowling is looking 50-50” - Aakash Chopra
While stating that Mumbai’s lower order is not the same without the likes of Krunal and Hardik Pandya, Chopra added that there is still decent talent in the batting. He reckoned that the bigger problem was in the bowling.
The 44-year-old observed:
“Batting is still not such a problem for Mumbai. Tilak Varma impressed a lot in the last game. Rohit Sharma was brilliant, Ishan Kishan was brilliant. Kieron Pollard and Tim David are expected to score runs, so there is some talent in the batting.”
Shifting focus to the bowling department, he opined:
“I think Riley Meredith should replace Daniel Sams. Basil Thampi had done well in the previous game so I won’t really think about Jaydev Unadkat. They can win on the strength of their batting, but MI’s bowling is looking 50-50.”
Apart from Bumrah and Sams, the rest of the bowling attack did reasonably well against Delhi. Thampi claimed three for 35, Murugan Ashwin stood out with two for 14 from his four overs while Tymal Mills registered figures of one for 26 in three overs.