Middle Order Problems for the Defending Champions

Mumbai Indians are in a worse condition, after the conclusion of six games in the 11th edition of Indian Premier League, as they have won just one game.

Cricket News: Lack of consistency from proven match-winners has put Mumbai Indians in complete disarray

Currently, the team led by Rohit Sharma is placed just above Delhi Daredevils in the eight-team table, on account of a better net run rate.

Mumbai were unlucky in the first three games as they lost the matches at the fag end of the contest. But the concern rose when they could not chase a target of 119 set by a depleted Sunrisers Hyderabad, as they were bowled out for 87 in 18.5 overs.

“We have put ourselves in this situation. There is no one else to blame. We probably played the wicket thinking there are going to be demons. We did not take responsibility, so that part was quite disappointing,” was how MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene summed up proceedings.

Mumbai’s biggest problem has been inconsistency from their star players, including skipper Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard.

Jayawardene feels that other teams have done their homework and discovered ways to keep the likes of Pandya in check.

“When we study other teams, we also look at our own players and realize where the opponents will bowl to them. This is something you need to work on because every year you can’t bat the same way. If people don’t evolve and improve, there’s no progress.

“Young guys like Hardik will learn that and need to work harder. I think that talent alone will not get you success. Reading about the game and thinking about it is important for progress.”

Speaking of Pollard’s form, Jayawardene said, “Kieron is struggling a little bit, but we trust the system. You need to trust your players. You can’t chop and change, just because you don’t fire. You have to go with that structure and yes, eventually as a coach, I will have to make some calls. I need time to think about what happened today and not be emotional about it.”

Mumbai Indians need to wake up quickly and they can take inspiration from 2015 season, where they were in an identical situation, but resurrected their campaign in some style and eventually won the title.