Dear Mumbai Indians,
I am one of your greatest fans. I am writing this to let the team know what I am going through after watching the 3-time IPL champions slump to a league-stage exit.
It was a terrible season for us. Things did not go our way, or rather, when the opportunity knocked the door we refused to open it. Some games were totally in our grasp, but we let them slip. Our squad was ranked among top 3 by the critics and experts at the start of the IPL. Despite having the best players and coaches we flunked badly. The performances put up by our boys on the field do not do justice to our potential at all.
Right from the first game, we have been struggling to seize the big moments. They say playing well for 90% of the games counts nowhere if you mess up the remaining 10%. If we are to list down the games that were ours but we let go, I am afraid the list will be too long. The games against Chennai (April 7), Delhi (April 14), Rajasthan (April 22), Hyderabad (April 24), Bangalore (May 1) were in our hands but we gifted them away.
It was disheartening to see the Mumbai Indians players make the same mistakes over and over again. Going after the bowling when it was not needed, bowling numerous length balls at the death giving opposition easy balls to score off - those are things the team won't be proud of. Sometimes, it left me wondering: which Mumbai am I watching play?
As a fan, I would like to ask Rohit Sharma, Mahela Jayawardene and rest of the team management a few questions:
1) What did the coaches tell the batsmen when they were repeatedly playing irresponsible shots in crunch situations?
2) Why weren’t some uncapped players like Siddhesh Lad, Aditya Tare, Tajinder Singh Dhillon etc. given a chance when the team was struggling?
3) Our death bowling was poor in many games despite having a pace attack consisting of Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell McClenaghan and Mustafizur Rahman. How would you explain that?
4) Mumbai Indians surprisingly struggled at home this season, winning only 3 out of 7 games. Why did the team find it difficult to adapt to the home conditions?
5) What was the logic behind letting go the stars from our victorious 2017 campaign like Jos Buttler, Lendl Simmons, Ambati Rayudu and Harbhajan Singh?
6) A lot of chopping and changing is required going into the next IPL. Which players can we expect to be released from the squad?
Needless to say, today I am absolutely gutted! Nevertheless, I will never give up on my team in these turbulent times. I am sure the team management will ponder this and come back strongly next season.