The Mumbai Indians (MI) had begun their IPL journey, this season, with four consecutive losses. Failing to gain a full-fledged support from the fans, they kept oscillating between wins and losses. With blames on the star studded coaching staff of the team to the newer players in the squad, there were many critics criticizing the incessant defeats faced by the team. However, ironical as it may be, both of the coaching staff and the budding players worked in MI’s favour, as the season progressed and concluded with the win for the MI for the second time in the eight IPL seasons.
The final on Sunday was staged in Eden Gardens, with the team that was at the top of the points table, Chennai Super Kings and the under dogs, Mumbai Indians. Under the direction of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the team had the support of almost 60 % of the cricket enthusiasts on social networking sites, whereas MI received only a meager support from the rest 40%. The match started with skipper Dhoni winning the toss and electing to bowl first. The batting seemed to be at an advantage where Lendl Simmons and Rohit Sharma bombarded the score by hitting half centuries each. After their dismissal, the batting was well taken care of by Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu who didn’t fail to impress the Mumbai fans with their champion performances. They were very quick with a strike rate reaching 200 for Pollard whereas 150 for Rayudu. Needless to say, in this edition of IPL, they reached their career best strike rates.
Meanwhile, the CSK couldn’t match to the high standards set by MI, who scored more than 200 figures for the second time in this season of IPL; the first being against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, with which they had put an end to their losing spree. Moreover, the refined attack of Mitchell McClenaghan and Lasith Malinga did wonders for MI by clinching 5 wickets collectively; in addition to the powerful bowling attack. Harbhajan Singh played only to the delight of the MI fans with his continued magical spell over Suresh Raina and the threatening Dwayne Smith. Though Smith scored a half century, he played at a dismal strike rate of mere 118 before Harbhajan sent him back to the pavilion. Ending the tournament with 16 wickets in hand, Harbhajan Singh put the finger on the lips of the critics who mocked at his inadequacy to strike wickets in the earlier editions of the IPL.
The use of the young talent, Hardik Pandya and Jagadeesha Suchith proved that the Mumbai Indians had, indeed, played their cards right. In between, the evolving of the young talent from the side, the coaching staff would surely be proud of the team effort by MI that helped them bring the trophy home after a year. The proud team of the coaching staff which included Jonty Rhodes, best known for his fielding gimmicks, and Ricky Ponting whose patience and wisdom guided the team towards winning the IPL Trophy; after facing the lows in the beginning.
All said and done, it was a well conceded effort by the Mumbai Indians, one that helped them have the last laugh. Congratulations!
Gagandeep Singh Vaid
Image Source: The Viewspaper