“2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019. They are only known to win titles in odd years,” Mumbai Indians were jinxed into this belief early on and it was a challenge for them to overcome the curse this season. Defying all ODDs and overcoming every single obstacle, they EVENed their performance throughout the tournament on their way to the title. It is Mumbai’s fifth IPL Title, clearing more air around who is the consistent IPL team ever. More importantly, also proving to everyone and themselves that each and every player in the team is a part of one-family, willing, and striving to show their best on the field.
The Journey of the Mumbai Indians:
Compare the journey of the Mumbai Indians with the other winning teams from over the years, and you realize that it’s the most cruising IPL campaign so far. Begun rather ironically, with a loss to CSK, MI came back to attain an unending winning habit. Yes, there were a few close encounters not going their way, even a couple of hiccups by the end, but Mumbai managed to hang on trusting their strengths and abilities. The Mahela Jayawardene-led team management also did a brilliant job, first to get the team going after the pandemic and then to consistently bring out the best in them.
The one thing that stood out for the franchise was their squad balance this year. Every player had designated roles in the team, some key responsibilities, and had the onus of delivering right when needed. The entire process and the work ethic for Mumbai Indians followed a set routine that only culminated with that win in the finals. Mumbai used only 15 players through the entire length of the IPL, the least by an IPL winning side ever. The fact that 8-9 different players won the Man of the Match awards in the 16 matches stands proof to the fact that the title triumph was an individual effort by no means.
The franchise was a part of a few nerve-wracking encounters, a super over, a double super over as well as a few clinical victories. They were the ‘Team-to-Beat’ this season and proved it by holding their nerve even in the later stages of the tournament. Their hunger to strive and succeed on the cricket ground remained evident throughout. The intensity, dedication, passion, and energy with which they took the field was contagious, even to that every single fan back in India and across the globe.
Key Players this season:
The phrase is only unfair to be answered without mentioning that Mumbai Indians were a team of 11 match-winners contributing to the cause whenever the opportunity came through. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult instilled terror in the opposition batsmen. While Boult was absolutely lethal at the top, Bumrah was that asset a captain would turn through whenever he needed a wicket. Interestingly, the third seamer in between Pattinson and Coulter-Nile also played their part well. The plausible weak links in the spin department were also covered as both Chahar and Pandya ensured that they remained economical if not wicket-taking.
With the bat, Mumbai were even better. Ishan Kishan, Quinton De Kock, and Suryakumar Yadav took the onuses upon themselves to score big and score consistently. The three finished as Mumbai’s leading run-getters in that order. Kishan in-fact was also the batter with the most number of sixes to his name, quite a contrast to his small stature. The Mumbai middle order was also as fearsome as ever. In the limited chances, both the Pandya brothers and Pollard made sure to make a significant impact on the Mumbai Indians’ scoring in the back end of the innings. The run rate for the Mumbai Indians in the death overs was over 12, unprecedented by any over the years.
One thing to notice though is the non-mention of Rohit Sharma. It had been that kind of a season for the Mumbaikar until the finals. After battling through rough form, injuries, and a string of low scores, the hitter finally got off to a flier. He chose the apt stage of finals to take the team through, perhaps only indicative of what the title meant to him. Suryakumar Yadav’s heartwarming sacrifice was only an apt gesture towards the captain.
Dream11 IPL 2020: The best so far
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) November 10, 2020
Experts have already called this edition of the IPL to be the best ever. The two-month-long tournament marked the resumption of Indian cricket in the grandest style but rather importantly, it brought the entire cricketing nation together, albeit from a far-away land. With the number of close finishes, nail-biting encounters, unparalleled run-chases, sound defenses, the flashes of brilliance in the field as even a few hearth touching and emotional cricketing moments, IPL 2020 has needled every single emotion of sport into one. With the 2021 edition of the IPL predicted to be in about 4 months’ time, as per BCCI Chairman Saurav Ganguly, another cricketing extravaganza awaits.
We here at ICN360 thank each and every one of y’all for the support throughout the IPL and we look forward to bring you more cricketing action, via the India Tour of Australia starting 27th November.