Hello readers, since we all know that we are very close to the IPL, today we will be talking about something related to it but different. Today’s topic is the reasons behind MI’s failure last season. To give you a recap, Mumbai Indians have failed to qualify for the playoffs for the past two years straight just after winning the IPL in 2020. Last year, they finished the season in the last spot in the points table.
Mumbai Indians, owned by the famous businessman, Mr. Mukesh Ambani is the most successful IPL franchise having won the competition in the years 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. There is a famous saying that “winning the title is difficult, but defending it is more” but Mumbai has done it. This explains that it is a very successful franchise and maybe the best in the whole domestic circuit in the world. Although, the past two years haven’t been much great for this team. In the 2021 season, they finished fifth on the points table and missed the playoff spot because of Net Run Rate (NRR). The 2022 season was horrible for them as they finished last on the points table with only 4 wins from 14 games and 10 big losses and an NRR of -0.506. Here, we will try to decode some reasons for their disappointing performance.
MI is a team that is known for great scouting, excellent planning, and performing well at the auctions. Well, last year at the mega auction, I don’t feel they performed up to the mark. Auctions are a chance to build your team for the current season and groom some players for the future.
MI completely forgot the former part and went into the auction thinking about only the future. They spent heavily on Jofra Archer even though they knew that he will be available from the 2023 season. MI’s tactics were out of sorts as from their purse of INR 90 crores, they spent heavily on 8-9 players and weren’t left with much money to buy good players for completing the rest of the squad, which was very strange compared to MI’s reputation at the auction.
They retained 4 players Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Surya Kumar Yadav, and Kieron Pollard for a whopping INR 42 crores. Going into the auction, they had INR 48 crores with them. They bought Ishan Kishan (15.2 crores), Tim David (8.25 crores), Jofra Archer (8 crores), Dewald Brevis (3 crores), and Daniel Sams (2.6 crores). After these expensive buys and retentions of a total of 9 players, they were left with a total of only INR 4.95 crores to complete the whole squad which forced them to compromise on the quality of the rest of the squad.
This was the mistake they did even before the tournament actually started and now talking from a cricketing perspective, there were many things that went wrong for them. Firstly, the opening partnership didn’t click for them as the openers were able to make only one 50+ partnership throughout the whole season where they played 14 games.
MI had high hopes from both their openers Rohit Sharma, their captain, and Ishan Kishan, who was bought for a hefty sum of money. Rohit’s season was the worst season among all of the IPLs he has played where he scored just 268 runs with an average of 19.14 and a strike rate of just 120.
He finished IPL 2022 with zero half-centuries and a highest score of 48. Kishan, on the other hand, scored 418 runs with an average of 32.15 but wasn’t able to do the job which he was bought for as his strike rate was a mere 120. Second, there was a lack of bowling options for captain Rohit Sharma.
The bowling line-up consisted of fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Ramandeep Singh, Arshad Khan, Basil Thampi, Daniel Sams, Tymal Mills, and Riley Meredith. They tried everyone to partner with Bumrah, but no one performed up to the mark and their bowling looked really weak.
Spinners consisted of Fabian Allen, Mayank Markande, and Murugan Ashwin to name a few but this department was also clueless. Whenever the team needed a wicket, Rohit had to turn to Bumrah as no one else performed the job. The third reason, I think was the captaincy. Since, IPL 2022, Rohit Sharma’s captaincy has taken a toll may be due to his batting failures in the past year or so.
He has started to look frustrated and irritated on the field. Whenever the opposition is dominating, he looks clueless which clearly tells us how difficult the job of captaining the team is and previous captains like MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli did it brilliantly. It is very simple when the team does well the captaincy looks good but when the team fails, the captaincy comes into the picture.
In the IPL 2022, his team selection was also questionable but that was mainly because of a lack of good options. The fourth reason I’d say was the lack of two-dimensional players, batters who can bowl and bowlers can who bat. One very important reason for the lack of two-faceted players was the going of the Pandya brothers from the team. Now, that Pollard has also retired from IPL, it is going to be a very difficult task for MI management to find all-rounders in the auction.
So, to sum up the topic, the main reasons for Mumbai Indians’ failure in the IPL 2022 were poor performance at the auction, lack of runs by openers, not enough wicket-takers in the bowling line-up, Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, and missing two-faceted players like Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya. Apart from this, there were a few positives for them also from the past season.
The main positive was the batting of Tilak Varma and how they have got a proper number 4 batter in him, who can bat in all phases of the game. He scored 397 runs for them with an average of 36 and a strike rate of 131. The other positive was the performance of Dewald Brevis, the young sensation, who looked really good from the glimpses we saw, and hopefully, we can see more of him this year.
For improving the mistakes, MI desperately needs to have a good auction and focus on buying more all-rounders and impact players. Apart from this, the return of Jofra Archer and Rohit Sharma’s form can solve more than half of their problems.