On the surface, nothing appears to be working for the Mumbai Indians as well as the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2022, which has run nearly one-third of the league’s 70 planned matches over four sites.
The luck of the Irish has not been on their side.
These two have been the bellwether teams of previous leagues, stamping their class in the early rounds; the Reliance Industries-owned squad has been slow to start but has made quick turnarounds.
It may appear strange, yet both teams are in the bottom half of the ten-team league. Both have played four matches and have been outwitted by skilled and ambitious opponents in each of them.
Hardik Pandya, a key figure in Mumbai’s past success, was let go (92 matches, 1476 runs at 9.23 and 42 wickets, and 408 runs in seasons 13 and 14).
South African Quinton de Kock (43 appearances, 1329 runs at 7.88 and 800 runs in seasons 13 and 14) and New Zealand left-arm seamer Trent Boult was also ruled out (38 wickets in seasons 13 and 14).
Apart from Bumrah (48 wickets), MI’s biggest wicket-takers in seasons 13 and 14 were Boult and Rahul Chahar (28). Mumbai won 18 of 30 matches in the Gulf area, including the final two years ago.
While fans are still expecting a comeback after Mumbai won the IPL title in 2015 from a similar position, former MI player Mitchell McClenaghan appears to be thinking ahead, as he wants the franchise to sign England all-rounder Ben Stokes in the next auction.
McClenaghan, who played for Mumbai between 2015 and 2019, feels that the franchise should go after England’s Ben Stokes in the next auction.
“Do Mumbai take a pop at Getting stokes next year? How much would you need in the kitty to secure his services in the auction?” he tweeted.
MI skipper Rohit Sharma admitted that Saturday’s loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) was a difficult pill to take. Meanwhile, the Mumbai Indians aired a video on Instagram in which franchise owner Mrs. Nita Ambani delivered an encouraging message to the MI players.
“I have full faith and belief in all of you all and I’m sure we’ll pull through. Now, we’re only going to be onwards and upwards. We need to believe in ourselves that we’re going to conquer this,” Nita Ambani said.
This is not the first time the franchise has started an IPL season with a string of defeats. Back in 2014, the Mumbai-based squad lost their first five games before finally winning over the Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
With 14 points, they finished fourth that season.
MI also lost their first four games in the IPL 2015, but went on to win the championship, defeating Chennai Super Kings in the final.
Despite a shaky start in 2022, Nita Ambani urged the MI players to keep their heads up and make a successful comeback!