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IPL 2018: Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma's wavering form, early defeats hurt defending champions

New Delhi, May 29: Mumbai Indians had a forgettable campaign in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 as they couldn't even manage to book a playoffs' berth and finished fifth in the points table.

IPL SPECIAL SITE | STATS | BEST XI of IPL 2018

Living up to their late bloomers tag, the defending champions had just one win in their first six games. By the time they picked up, perhaps, it was a monumental task for them as a single defeat would knock them out of the race.

With 6 wins and 8 losses, they finished at the fifth in the points table and missed the ticket to the playoffs by a whisker. But they were themselves to blame for it.

Mumbai Indians started their campaign against their biggest rivals Chennai Super Kings and lost the match by a slender margin of one wicket in a last-over thriller. In the coming games too, Mumbai lost by a whisker to languish at the bottom half of the points table. The defending champions were knocked out of the tournament following their defeat against Delhi Daredevils in their last league game.

Here Mykhel gives a report card of Mumbai Indians' based on their performance in the league phase.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

The Rohit Sharma-led side was slightly unlucky to not make it to the top four at the end of the league stage. Still, they showed a lot of character to keep themselves in the hunt and not letting it go till the last game.

Mumbai Indians' young blood once again performed well for them. The uncapped players like Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Ishan Kishan and Mayank Markande played their part well. These youngsters made their presence felt with consistent efforts, however, they weren't equally complimented by the seniors/capped players.

Jasprit Bumrah had a shaky start but eventually got into his grooves as the season progressed and emerged as the team's best bowler. New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan played his part and made a lethal pair with Bumrah. The franchise would hope for a similar show from these two next year.

Young leg-spinner Mayank Markande, whom none had heard of turned out to be a revelation after trapping a giant of MS Dhoni in his debut game. Dhoni failed to read the googly from the debutant and ended up getting leg-before.

The 20-year-old Punjab bowler surprised all as he kept picking up key wickets and even bowled economically. The franchise would hope another consistent effort from him next year.

WHAT WENT WRONG

There were quite a few loopholes in Mumbai Indians' strategy this year. Skipper Rohit Sharma has been the batting mainstay for his team but this year the right-handed batsman experimented a lot with his batting order and the team paid the price.

Big names like Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Evin Lewis, Ben Cutting didn't live up to the expectations with the bat and the middle-order never came to the party in big games. Hardik, however, had a decent performance with the ball by picking up 18 wickets.

Despite winning five of their last eight matches MI couldn't muster enough points to qualify for the playoffs. They let the games slip out of their clutch in the early stage of the league which hurt them badly in the second-half. Having said that, Mumbai would still take a lot of positives from this season start afresh in the next season.

ROAD AHEAD

Despite having a forgettable season, Mumbai Indians had a lot of positives to take from IPL 2018. They might have started winning quite late in the season but that has been the story for Mumbai Indians, ever since Rohit was made the captain of the franchise.

In the past seasons, Mumbai had made comebacks and even went on winning the title and fans believed that MI will succeed this time around too, but luck wasn't on their side this time.

The men in shiny blue would once again start as favourites next year no matter how badly they played this year for a simple reason i.e. they know how to win the title. They've done it three times, a record Chennai Super Kings levelled this year, and could do it again.

Highest run-getter:

Suryakumar Yadav: 512 runs (50s: 4)

Highest Wicket taker:

Hardik Pandya: 18 (Eco: 8.93, Best: 3/24)

Disappointment:

Rohit Sharma: Mumbai Indians' batting heavily depends upon their skipper the Mumbai swashbuckler just failed to fire this year. Rohit's form has been directly proportional to his team's success but because he shuffled his batting position too much, the team had to bear the brunt. MI won almost every game in which the Hitman fired.

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Story first published: Tuesday, May 29, 2018, 16:49 [IST]
Other articles published on May 29, 2018
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