IPL 2019: Match 24, Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab – Tactical failure of the game

IPL 2019: Match 24, Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab – Tactical failure of the game

Mumbai Indians conceded 54 runs in the last three overs to the Kings XI Punjab.

KL Rahul
KL Rahul. (Photo Source: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Mumbai Indians are close to achieving their best form in this IPL as they have won each of their last three matches. After defeating the last season finalists CSK and SRH by huge margins, the MI team sneaked their 2nd biggest IPL chase of 198 against the Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday. Despite the wins, MI need to work on their death overs bowling tactics as they conceded as many as 54 runs in the last three overs despite Jasprit Bumrah bowling two of those.

The choice that MI needed to avoid

The last match sensation Alzarri Joseph was expensive this time as the KXIP openers enjoyed his pace with the new ball. The Caribbean speedster conceded 22 runs in his two overs and was doubtful about finishing his four overs. The stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard managed to sneak in an over from Hardik Pandya during the 17th over. Indian all-rounder gave away only five runs and claimed Karun Nair’s wicket after dismissing dangerous David Miller in the 15th over.

However, Joseph was needed to be backed ahead of Pandya with KL Rahul at the crease for the 19th over. Pandya has a dubious record during the 18-20 overs period in the IPL. Before this game, Hardik bowled 14.4 overs during the last three overs of opposition’s innings. He conceded 177 runs at an economy rate of 12.07. Pandya was hit for 13 fours and 14 sixes in this period but claimed ten wickets out of which nine were caught in the outfield and the other one by the keeper.

The move that cost Mumbai

Rahul had shown signs of slowing down after a quick start in the last two games and same happened against Mumbai Indians. The opening batsman missed out on targetting the bowlers in the past two games but found one in his friend Hardik Pandya. MI did a mistake of going with Pandya for the 19th over irrespective of his poor record in this period. The KXIP keeper was already facing Jasprit Bumrah at the other against whom he has a brilliant record in the IPL.

Rahul, who was batting on 69 off 54 balls, needed a big over to take KXIP past 190. He smashed Pandya to 6, 4, 6 and 6 during the first four balls in the 19th over which gave him the push to bring up his maiden IPL century. He finished with 100* from 64 balls and powered KXIP to finish on 197/4. If not for that over from Pandya, the KXIP could have scored 10-15 runs lesser. MI might not been under pressure as they were on Wednesday chasing 198.

It would be interestingly to see what Rohit Sharma could have done at this point. Rohit rated Joseph highly after the game against Sunrisers and might have turned towards him to deliver the 19th. However, while defeating against RCB this year, he handed Pandya the responsibility of bowling the 18th over due to lack of pace bowling options. Against CSK as well, Rohit gave the 20th over to Pandya but after the game but not before Mumbai have confirmed their win over the arch-rivals.

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