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MI Hits & Misses In TATA IPL 2023: Reasons Behind MI ’s Failure This Season & What They Can Improve For Next Year

What went wrong With MI?

The Mumbai Indians made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2020. They fell short on NRR in 2021 while in 2022 they finished in the last spot. It appeared the script might play out similarly for them this year but MI made a commendable turnaround. They finished fourth in the league stage.

MI went on to win the eliminator while eventually losing out in the second qualifier. It was only the second time that MI lost in the playoffs since 2017. But MI would happily take this result considering how they were placed at the start of the season.

The pre-tournament expectations:

Mumbai Indians had picked Jofra Archer in the 2022 mega auction knowing fully well that he will be available to play only in 2023. The mere visual prospect of Archer teaming up with Jasprit Bumrah was a fine one. But both Bumrah and Archer were plagued with injuries this year. Archer played a couple of games while Bumrah didn’t even play one. Their absence meant MI fielded a very lean-looking bowling attack. It appeared as if another bottom-placed finish was on the cards for MI.

What were the hits for MI?

#1 The comeback in the second half

MI’s inexperienced bowling lineup cost them games in the first half of the season. They clearly lacked someone who could rip through the batting order. Teams easily scored 200 runs against the 5-time champions. MI’s death bowling especially was a major cause of concern as they leaked 80+ runs in the last 5 overs far too often.

But MI slowly managed to find their way through. Their batting bulldozed opponents into submission. The duo of Akash Madhwal and Piyush Chawla was a revelation. MI on the back of these factors stormed their way into the playoffs after a not-so-promising start.

#2 Suryakumar Yadav 

MI’s change in fortunes coincided with Suryakumar Yadav’s timely return to form. The world’s number 1 T20 batsman could hardly score a run in the lead-up to the tournament. SKY even struggled in the first few games of the season. But he made a scintillating comeback that greatly helped MI’s cause. He scored in excess of 600 runs at a strike rate of 180+. SKY even scored a majestic century in the game against the Gujarat Titans. 

#3 A rookie and a veteran

MI’s bowling was largely built around two unheralded stars. One was a veteran who had no point to prove but played for the joy of his son and the other was a newcomer who waited for a chance. Piyush Chawla was MI’s highest wicket-taker in IPL 2023 deceiving batsmen with his skill and guile. Akash Madhwal on the other hand picked 9 wickets in 2 decisive games to help MI breeze through to the second qualifier. 

#4 MI’s engine of scouting talents

There is a big lesson that other teams could pick from Mumbai. It is their ability to identify, groom, and back talents. If Dewald Brevis and Tilak Varma stole the limelight in 2022 then it was the turn of Nehal Wadhera and Madhwal this season. Even Vishnu Vinod played a handy knock in a crunch game. MI’s batch of 2023 is the one to look out for in the future.

What were the misses for MI? What went wrong With MI?

#1 Rohit Sharma

He continued to disappoint in this season of IPL too. Rohit Sharma’s IPL returns in the last 5 years don’t sit well with the reputation that he carries. Sharma hardly made a contribution of note throughout the season. His intent to score from ball one was visible but Sharma appeared shaky, scratchy, and hardly in control. Sharma’s aura might bring him more games and a couple more seasons but his IPL form is slowly becoming their major concern.

#2 Fancy batting order

If at all MI’s think tank needs to recalibrate is to understand the need for fancy batting orders. MI didn’t stick with a familiar batting lineup across most games. This lack of role clarity meant players mostly batted out of position and with limited match awareness. 

Cameroon Green who is primarily a top-order player in T20s was handed the role of a finisher. He showed what he could do when he batted at number 3 scoring a century against SRH. But this decision was taken at the business end of the tournament. MI would have been better served if they maximized their batting muscle handing over memos to their star batters.

What is next for MI?

MI was just a win away from making it to the finals of IPL 2023. They were potentially two wins away from lifting the trophy for the record sixth time. The fact that MI could think about these possibilities at the end of the season shows how far they came during the season. MI’s batting might is scary. If only their bowling resources pull up they could once again become the unbeatable force they once were.

Vignesh Rajagopal
Vignesh Rajagopalhttps://stumpsandbails.com/
I am a passionate cricket lover, who likes to express his views on the beautiful game and share insights and analysis about the finer aspects of the sport.

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