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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

IPL 2018: Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya’s inconsistency hurting Mumbai Indians’ finishing touch

Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya’s poor form is a cause of concern for the defending Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians.

cricket Updated: Apr 27, 2018 22:01 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Pune
Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya has failed to perform well in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL).
Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya has failed to perform well in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL). (AFP)

In a format where crossing the line with swagger has become essential, Mumbai Indians have been way off the mark, one of the reasons why they are reeling at the bottom of the standings. What dented their hopes further is the form of Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya. Known for their cameos in the death overs, both have not wielded the willow as freely as they would have wished to. (IPL 2018 FULL COVERAGE)

After the first six matches, they have notched up mediocre numbers. Hardik has fared a little better thanks to his efforts with the ball but 48 runs in five matches is dismal for a player who made his name with power hitting. Pandya could manage only three in the 19 balls he faced in the last match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, looking out of place.

Agreed, the Wankhede pitch on Tuesday night wasn’t conducive for batting but he could have tried to take Mumbai over the finish line. Pandya struggled in the first match against Chennai Super Kings as well, failing to hit against Dwayne Bravo.

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There are no excuses for Pollard as well. For the last couple of season he has hardly bowled and just 63 runs have come off his bat this time despite a couple of occasions where the stage was set for him to launch Mumbai to a bigger total than what they eventually finished on.

Mumbai reserve wicketkeeper Aditya Tare feels that Pollard will come good sooner rather than later. “He is a big player. He may have not scored yet but he will start scoring soon,” said the Mumbai Ranji skipper on the eve of the match against the Chennai Super Kings.

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In the five matches they have batted first, Mumbai have crossed the 50-run mark only once in the last five overs—70 runs in their win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore. The lowest they have scored was against Rajasthan Royals (32 runs). It shows how important Pollard and Hardik’s knocks are for Mumbai if they have to make it to the play-offs from this situation.

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 20:50 IST