With the availability of Herschelle Gibbs, everything seems to have fallen in place for the Mumbai Indians. Finally, they are looking like a well-set combination, worthy of the billing as one of the pre-tournament favourites.
But, is sport all about winning? Being a top team comes with an added responsibility. The global audience is watching, impressionable young minds are following your every move.
The Brazilian and Spanish football teams are darlings of the masses, not just for the beautiful way they play the game, but because they also play fair. With the 2010 World Cup title, Spain were awarded the fairplay trophy too, which they shared with Brazil in 2006. Match talk
With 18 point from 14 games, the Mumbai team management should be proud of its players, but one is not sure if they are happy with the disciplinary record. Harbhajan Singh’s boys have provided the most ugly moments of the IPL this season.
Good work undone
A superb chase on Monday was marred by Ambati Rayudu getting involved in a spat with Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler Harshal Patel. MI’s victory was immediately followed by the official release of the disciplinary committee that Rayudu had been fined 100% of his match fee for using obscene language against Patel.
If it was Rayudu this time, Rohit Sharma crossed the line last week when he kicked the stumps in frustration after MI’s loss. It was like rubbing salt into the wounds of their supporters when Rohit, after delivering the final ball of the game, vent his ire at the stumps.
It’s a crucial time for Rohit. Seen as the next big thing in Indian cricket, his every move is being closely monitored. He’s done well in the opportunities he’s got but the ultimate test still awaits him. Rohit will do well to remember that the heat is even more at the highest level and temperamental guys are always easy targets of smart opponents, who are looking at opportunities to wind them up and play on their concentration.
MI’s biggest problem has been the temperamental Munaf Patel. The hot-headed pacer is proving to be a captain’s nightmare, time and again blowing his top and getting into altercations with umpires and opponents.
In the away game against the Chargers, he got into an argument with the umpire over a decision against Kumar Sangakkara.
As a senior commentator remarked, MI are getting away because the umpires are powerless to take action on the field. If it was football, the players would have straightaway got the marching orders. With the fines being small change for the cash-rich franchises, a football-style card system might act as a deterrent as such behaviour would affect performance.Mumbai would do well to understand that great teams let the bat and ball do the talking.