Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra believes that the Mumbai Indians' success in the IPL can be attributed to the strategies they adopt at the auction table. He also lauded the franchise's investment in youth, which has paid them rich dividends.
Aakash Chopra analysed the reasons behind Mumbai Indians' successful run in the IPL on his YouTube channel.
The reputed commentator opined that the Mumbai Indians are excellent at planning, which helps them to win half the battle at the auction table.
"Their planning is absolutely top-class. This is the only team which wins half of the IPL at the auction table. They make such a good team there, they have backup for every position."
"When you collect such good players, then even if there are some injuries or lack of form, they are pretty much sorted. That's been the hallmark of their success. They follow the philosophy of good selection."
Aakash Chopra observed that the emphasis the Mumbai Indians place on finding and grooming young talent makes the franchise special, an aspect in which the team has improved significantly over the years.
"The second is something that has changed over the years. When they started, they didn't give lot of chances. They used to go to proven customers and made the team emotionally."
"But after that, they started finding and grooming the young players. If you are a youngster and you want opportunities, previously it was Rajasthan Royals but now you say Mumbai Indians. If you are a youngster in Mumbai Indians on whom the team has reposed faith, then sky is the limit."
He lauded the franchise's talent research program, which has given them an edge over the rest of the teams.
"Other franchises have fallen behind as they don't do that much talent research and depend on the auction. They go for proven customers but Mumbai Indians picked players who no one had seen."
Aakash Chopra on Rohit Sharma being groomed for the captaincy role by the Mumbai Indians
Aakash Chopra lauded the foresight of the Mumbai Indians for picking Rohit Sharma as a future captain and grooming him for the role.
"Whichever team does well in the IPL, has a stable captain. When they took Rohit Sharma from Deccan Chargers, they decided that they are looking at him as a captain. They took him with the aim of preparing him for captaincy."
He added that Shreyas Iyer for the Delhi Capitals is probably the only other such case where a player was picked as a potential future captain.
"That I have not seen in any other franchise, may be Delhi Capitals and Shreyas, but I am not a 100% certain. But Rohit Sharma was an absolute clear-cut case. In fact when they were going into the auction and about to take Rohit Sharma, they had asked him what kind of players he would like to work with."
Aakash Chopra also appreciated the Mumbai Indians for sticking with their players over the years and turning them into eventual match-winners, with Kieron Pollard as a primary example.
"It is a thorough professional side. Whoever comes to them, sticks with them. Kieron Pollard - Dwayne Bravo had asked them to put their money on him. No one knew him at that time but he stayed with this team for 12 years as a match-winner. There is a certain amount of loyalty with this side, just like Chennai Super Kings."
The former KKR player also spoke highly about the support staff that the Mumbai Indians have put together, who are not only the best in the business but also managed well by the franchise to get the best inputs from them.
"Last but not the least, the amount of data analysis and strategising that they do. They keep the best person for everything and manage them as well. It is very difficult to manage egos when you have a lot of high-profile players together at one place. But this franchise has done that."
"They kept Zaheer, Malinga will be a bowling coach in the future, they took Mahela, Ricky Ponting, John Wright, Paras Mhambrey, Rahul Sanghvi. They have a very strong unit. They actually believe that they are one family."
Aakash Chopra signed off by stating that Mumbai Indians is probably the best T20 franchise across the world.
"If everything goes well, this team is going to continue as one of the best franchises in the world, not just the IPL. They are perhaps the world's best T20 franchise."
Mumbai Indians are the most successful team in the history of the IPL, having won the tournament on 4 occasions - 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. Apart from that, they also won the Champions League T20 title twice in the years 2011 and 2013.
Published 31 Jul 2020, 10:03 IST