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Five Problems with Mumbai Indians in IPL

The IPL 2024 season saw a familiar blue corner experiencing an unfamiliar feeling – disappointment. The Mumbai Indians, a team synonymous with IPL success, finished rock bottom of the points table, their first such finish in the tournament's history.

Mumbai Indians were in the news for all the wrong reasons even before the beginning of the league. They appointed Hardik Pandya as their new captain and things started to slowly fall for the franchise.

The IPL 2024 has been a harsh teacher for Mumbai Indians. However, amidst the disappointment lies an opportunity for introspection and rebuilding.

Here is a list of 5 aspects which troubled Mumbai Indians throughout the season in IPL 2024.

1) Top-Order Troubles: A Fragile Foundation

The Mumbai Indians' struggles in IPL 2024 can be largely attributed to their top-order woes. While Rohit Sharma, the veteran opener, has been a lone bright spot, the rest of the batting unit has faltered consistently.

Sharma, known for his elegant strokeplay and power hitting, has anchored the innings on several occasions. However, his colleagues haven't provided him with enough support. Big names like Suryakumar Yadav and the young talent Tilak Varma haven't quite found their rhythm, resulting in frequent early wickets.

This lack of consistency at the top has put immense pressure on the middle order, often leaving them with the daunting task of chasing a big total or building a strong foundation. Captain Hardik Pandya himself has criticized the top-order failures, highlighting the importance of early partnerships.

2) Powerplay Pangs: Leaking Runs and Losing Wickets

The powerplay, the first six overs of an innings, is crucial for setting the tone. Unfortunately, Mumbai's bowling attack faltered in this phase.

Jasprit Bumrah, their strike bowler, remained a bright spark, but there was a lack of support from the other end. Pacers like Riley Meredith and Basil Thampi were inconsistent, leaking runs and failing to pick up crucial wickets.

This profligacy in the powerplay put undue pressure on the middle and lower order, making it difficult to post or chase competitive totals.

3) The Pandya Paradox: Captaincy Conundrum

Hardik Pandya's elevation to captaincy was supposed to usher in a new era for Mumbai Indians. However, the added responsibility seemed to impact his batting form. Pandya, known for his explosive batting, struggled for fluency and consistency.

Questions arose about the workload management, with some suggesting the captaincy took a toll on his batting performances. Finding the right balance between leading the team and performing with the bat will be a key challenge for Pandya going forward.

4) Middle-Order Muddle: Lack of Experience and Bite

The middle order, often the glue that binds a strong batting line-up, was a cause for concern for Mumbai. The departures of experienced players like Kieron Pollard and Krunal Pandya left a big void.

The youngsters brought in as replacements lacked the experience and composure to handle pressure situations. There was a clear lack of power-hitting and ability to rotate the strike in the middle overs, hindering Mumbai's ability to build momentum and accelerate the scoring rate.

5) Over-Reliance on Bumrah: A Lone Warrior Amidst Bowling Woes

Jasprit Bumrah, Mumbai's premier fast bowler, was once again their most potent weapon. He consistently picked up wickets and kept the opposition in check with his pace and accuracy. However, his brilliance often masked the shortcomings of the other bowlers.

There was an over-reliance on Bumrah, with the rest of the bowling attack failing to step up consistently. The lack of a reliable pace partner and a dependable spin attack meant the pressure was always on Bumrah to deliver, a burden that proved too heavy at times.

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