Monday, Aug 15, 2022

Can Mumbai Indians Make IPL 2022 Playoffs? What's Horribly Wrong With Five-Time Champions

 Mumbai Indians, once touted as the ‘invincibles' of IPL, have lost six matches on-the-trot in IPL 2022. On Saturday, they lost to debutants Lucknow Super Giants. 

Mumbai Indians have lost an unprecedented six matches on the trot in IPL 2022.
Mumbai Indians have lost an unprecedented six matches on the trot in IPL 2022. IPL

Five-time champions Mumbai Indians lost their sixth consecutive match in IPL 2022 on Saturday. The defeat against Lucknow Super Giants has queered the pitch for the IPL giants that has Sachin Tendulkar among it's mentors.


MI's journey in IPL 2022 has been below par. It started with a defeat to Delhi Capitals in their campaign opener and since then, the opponents have changed for Mumbai Indians but not the result. Their latest defeat to Lucknow Super Giants sees them registering their worst-ever start in IPL.

It is the first time Mumbai Indians have lost six consecutive matches in IPL. In 2014, MI had lost five straight matches but still managed to qualify for the IPL playoffs at the expense of Rajasthan Royals.

MI had chased down 190 runs against Rajasthan Royals in 14.4 overs to qualify for the playoffs of IPL in 2014. Since then, Mumbai Indians have been known for comebacks but this time, it's looking difficult.

Rohit Sharma's batting has lacked the usual spark in IPL 2022.
Rohit Sharma's batting has lacked the usual spark in IPL 2022. IPL

The same Mumbai Indians later won two IPL finals by the barest of margins - one run - in matches that went till the last ball. Though the most successful IPL team won the title in 2013, MI maintained their aura ever since the inception of the cash-rich tournament in 2008. Mumbai Indians won the title in 2020 to put an end to the pattern of winning the tournament every odd year

Comes April 2022 and the MI juggernaut looks deflated. Languishing at the bottom of the IPL table, Mumbai are struggling to play their perfect game. They have lost close matches and are facing early elimination.

What Is Wrong With Mumbai Indians This Year?

Captain Rohit Sharma, who has been one of the batting mainstays for the side, has scored at an average of just 19 this year across the six matches he has played so far.

Ishan Kishan, for whom the side paid a whopping sum of INR 15.25 crore in the IPL auction 2022, has batted against his natural flair of attacking cricket. A defensive approach has seen his strike-rate ranging around 117, highly uncharacteristic.

Suryakumar Yadav, MI’s another match-winner, missed the first couple of games due to injury. He did start scoring valuable runs on his return but lacked support from the other end to take MI home.

Other two star performers for Mumbai Indians – Jasprit Bumrah and Kieron Pollard – have also failed to live up to the expectations. While Bumrah took four wickets in the first six games, Pollard got only one wicket and his economy is 10. With the bat, the monstrous Pollard has contributed only 82 runs across six games.

Kieron Pollard has been unusually ineffective in IPL 2022.
Kieron Pollard has been unusually ineffective in IPL 2022. IPL

Meanwhile, the likes of Jaydev Unadkat, Tymal Mills and Murugan Ashwin have also ebbed and flowed with their performances so far. Better not to talk about Jofra Archer, for whom Mumbai Indians splurged INR 8 crore at IPL auction 2022 despite knowing that the player won’t be available for them this year.

Mumbai Indians have used 15 players in the first six games, a clear indication that the high-profile team management consisting of Sachin Tendulkar, Mahela Jayawardene and Zaheer Khan have been unable to find a settled Playing XI.

“We lost 6 games now, we are trying to understand what our right combination is, but it all depends on the opposition that we play. When you lose games it is very easy to point out that changes are being made but we try and go with our best eleven,” said Rohit Sharma in his defence after MI lost to LSG on Saturday.

“I think KL Rahul batted brilliantly that is something missing from our team, wanted someone in our top four to bat as long as possible which is not happening, don't want to look too much into it. We haven't won a game yet but we need to keep our heads high

"I take the full responsibility of not putting the team in the situation of what they expect from me… It's important to keep looking forward. It's not the end of the world, we have come back before and we will try and comeback again,” the dejected MI skipper added.

What Are The Chances Of Mumbai Indians’ Playoff Qualification?

It is worth noting that before Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils (in 2013) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (in 2019) also lost their first six games of IPL 2022. Both the teams ended the league stage at the last spot in the IPL table. 

However, that doesn’t mean that Mumbai Indians’ playoff chances are over. The side can still qualify if they win all remaining eight games as 16 points will be enough for them to get a spot in the top-four of the 10-team table.

But expecting that from a dilapidated and now underconfident Mumbai Indians is too big an ask to be honest. It’s close to an impossible task. But again, who knows? This is cricket and it is the actual result that matters, not the prophecy!


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