Mumbai Indians won all that they saw in 2013. However, they had a certain Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar in their ranks as they had the young Glenn Maxwell and the irresistibly quick Mitchell Johnson. Those players are gone and it seems Mumbai’s aura has deserted it with the departure of these players as well. It has played 2 matches before it took on the mighty, and presently well-settled, Chennai Super Kings on April 25, 2014 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium and lost both of them. The trend repeated itself with a 7 wicket loss that has now raises some uncomfortable questions for the Mumbai Indians management and coaching staff.
Team composition: Chennai went in with the same team that won the last game against Rajasthan Royals. Mumbai made just one change to the team that lost against Royal Challengers Bangalore, bringing in wicketkeeper CM Gautam instead of fast bowler Jaspreet Bumrah.
Batting: MI won the toss and opted to bat first. They could score only 140 in their 20 overs because of losing wickets at a steady interval – they lost 7 wickets in all. Captain Rohit Sharma was the leading scorer with 50 from 41 balls and received decent assistance from Corey Anderson and Aditya Tare.
Chasing the smallish total, CSK was never in trouble thanks to a fantastic 71 not out from 53 balls by Brendon McCullum. Dwayne Smith, Faf du Plessis and MS Dhoni also made small but key contributions to the victory.
Bowling: Chennai Super Kings were exceptional with the ball and that helped them have a comfortable second half in the game. Mohit Sharma (4 for 14) was excellent and deservedly won the Man of the Match award. Hilfenhaus (2 for 39) picked up the other wickets to fall. Ishwar Pandey and Ravichandran Ashwin were very economical with the ball, something which kept Mumbai to a manageable level.
In reply Harbhajan Singh (2 for 27) tried his level best as did Pragyan Ojha (1 for 25). The seamers Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga were economical but it was the failure of Anderson and Pollard to check the runs that perhaps cost Mumbai the game in the final analysis.
Where do the teams go from here?
Nothing much needs to be said about Chennai right now considering how well they have performed in the last couple of games. However, one feels that Dhoni needs to trust Ravindra Jadeja more with the ball – in this match he just got one over, was taken for 14 runs and that was it. Such things should not be repeated lest Jadeja loses his confidence.
Mumbai will be hard pressed to find answers to the present debacle. Well, the answer lies in the make-up of its squad, which does not have sufficient two-dimensional cricketers. Perhaps they should have invested more in allrounders and batsmen in the auction instead of stocking their lineup with wicket keepers. However, there is Jalaj Saxena and he needs to be used instead of Pollard who has not been performing to his best and perhaps needs some time to evaluate where he may be going wrong. They should also think of bringing in Ben Dunk, who has performed well in Big Bash this year, and rest Michael Hussey who is yet to perform well.