Opinion: How can Mumbai Indians get back to winning ways?

MI is a champion team known for bouncing back to the winning ways.

Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

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Who would have thought that five-time IPL champions Mumbai Indians will lose their first eight matches of IPL 2022? Nevertheless, it has happened. The losses have made the qualifying equation for playoffs impossible in the current season when ten teams are competing in the tournament. 

Different experts have different opinions on what went wrong with MI. A total of seven titles, including two Champions League titles, make MI the most successful team in the IPL. However, MI is a champion team known for bouncing back to the winning ways. How can they be back on the winning track in IPL 2022? Here are some measures they can undertake:

Immediate measures

1. Rein the command to the new leader

Mumbai Indians handed over the captaincy to Rohit Sharma in 2013, and he has given them five titles in the IPL. However, currently, Rohit looks burdened captaining his franchise. He is already captaining India in all three formats and the captaincy burden has affected his batting form as well. In the current IPL, his batting average is below 20, and the strike rate of below 130 indicates his struggle.

2. Identify a leader for future

There are two front-runners, Suryakumar Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah. However, Bumrah is a fast bowler who plays all the three formats, and the Indian team management wanted to manage his overall load. Therefore, Yadav is the best option. Rohit should immediately step down and act as a mentor for the new captain.

3. Test young brigade for the next IPL

MI have five matches left in the tournament, and it gives them a good chance to build the team for the next IPL. They should start experimenting with the pool of uncapped players like Sanjay Yadav, Ramandeep Singh, Mayank Markande, and Aryan Juyal. Rahul Buddhi, Anmolpreet Singh, and Arjun Tendulkar should be given a chance to prove themselves, too.

Long-term measures

1. Groom a finisher  

After losing the Pandya brothers, MI should identify a finisher. One of them could be a big-hitter in the mould of Dinesh Karthik, who has a strike rate of more than 250 in the 16-20 overs. They can also look for an all-rounder who can score a few quick runs and bowl a few economical overs.

2. Bring in a quality spinner 

After the goof-up during the mega auction, MI lost many valuable players who were their core. They should look at a fast bowler available for the entire season and support Bumrah. Another variation in the team combination they should look at is a couple of quality spinners and one leg-spinner. Rashid Khan, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal have proved how valuable the spinners are.

– By Viral Nagori