posted on 2019-05-13 15:24:00
posted by Tarkesh Jha
Image Courtesy: DECCAN HERALD
So as the dust settled in Hyderabad, an extremely intense match of 40 overs dusked to a result that had seemed to have swung in either ways whilst still somehow managing to remain in balance. These were two of the best franchises in IPL’s history contesting against each other, and they delivered what one could say a fitting finale to a memorable edition of the Indian Premier League.
Many people have expressed their dissatisfaction upon the fact that the same two teams have ended up battling out to win the coveted trophy most of the times. But, mind you, this isn’t European football where there would be a huge disparity in the amount of money spent by two teams to build a squad. All IPL teams are asked to spend in an equal bracket during the auctions and the trade period, and hence if only two teams have shared the trophy seven times within the 12 seasons, there must be something that they are doing extremely well for now. For now, let’s talk about the Mumbai Indians.
Firstly, consistency is such an understated factor in these high-octane IPL tournaments. At a time and age when entire squads are built upon some immense tactical analysis done by the people in the backroom, the most successful sides are still the ones who rely more on their intuition and belief. Mumbai Indians have built this impenetrable side over the years through a dire process when they have backed their players to the core and ensured that they spend wisely.
Teams like the RCB have been caught off-guard whilst chasing international stars, but Mumbai have done that whilst making sure that the big names that they buy fill in the required loopholes in the playing XI, and not trouble the dynamics of the team instead. For instance, they bought Quinton de Kock with a clear set plan to allow him to open the innings and take the pressure off the likes of Rohit and others to do the scoring in the field restriction overs. The South African ended the season as the franchise’s highest run-scorer this season.
Moreover, the times that we live in are dominated by tactical perusals and stuff, but spontaneity and flamboyance are still the aspects that help a team win those delicate moments on the field. Sport is played in real time and hence no matter how much you have stressed on specific topics before the game, to counter that situation on the field, at that moment, requires special characters; and Mumbai Indians have them in abundance. The likes of Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Krunal Pandya and most importantly Jasprit Bumrah have improved along with the team over the years and this is reflecting in their performances currently.
They know how to identify and seize an opportunity during the course of the game, and winning those critical junctures always provides them with an edge over their opponents. Like MS Dhoni said yesterday, the match yesterday was filled with mistakes but the victorious team eventually committed one less error than their opponents. They have a high-profile coaching staff as well, which certainly helps them in the in-depth preparations before any match.
The duo of Zaheer Khan and Shane Bond are amongst the most intelligent cricketing brains that one could ever come across, and it is visible in Mumbai’s bowling plans against specific batsmen during the whole season. In addition to those plans though, they have the individual talent on the field to execute these ideas to perfection too. The real strength of any IPL team comes through their strong base of Indian players. If you look across the eight teams currently, no other franchise has such a varied, talented group of homegrown players right now.
The trio of Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah are equally integral and irreplaceable in the Indian limited-overs team at present, and this singular factor has a cosmic role to play in their accordant success in this tournament.