IPL 2017 final: Mumbai Indians - A peek into their strengths and weaknesses
Mumbai Indians have entered the IPL final for the fourth time and they’ll seek to become the first team to win the tournament thrice.Updated: May 20, 2017 22:27 IST
Mumbai Indians continued their dominant run in IPL 2017 as they entered the final for the fourth time. They will be aiming to defeat Rising Pune Supergiant and become the first team to win the tournament thrice. However, they have lost three consecutive games against Steve Smith’s team and will be desperate to break the losing streak. ahead of the final. Here are the strengths and weaknesses of the team:
Parthiv Patel solid at the top: The left-handed wicketkeeper batsman has been the lone shining star for Mumbai Indians in the batting in this IPL. Parthiv is the eighth-highest run-getter in IPL 2017 with 391 runs at a strike-rate of 136.23. His quick starts have set-up the game nicely for Rohit Sharma’s side. He was the only batsman who made an impact in the first qualifier against Rising Pune Supergiant and will once again be the key.
Depth and experience in batting: From Parthiv at the top till Kieron Pollard at No.7, Mumbai Indians have depth and experience. Almost the entire core of players has tasted success in the IPL finals of 2013 and 2015 and they will be determined for the third title. If the top order fails, Rohit Sharma’s class in the middle order could make this batting line-up intimidating.
All-round bowling strength: Mitchell Johnson provides hostility and intimidation at the start. In the four games he has played for Mumbai Indians, the Australian left-arm pacer has provided crucial breakthroughs and restricted the flow of runs. In the death overs, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya are two bowlers who can fire in the yorkers at will. Bumrah’s performance against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday, in which he picked up 3/7, makes him the bowler to look out for. If Mitchell McClenaghan becomes fit for the final, Mumbai Indians have a problem of plenty, which is not a bad situation.
Strong spin department: Karn Sharma’s performance in the second qualifier against KKR on Friday, where he picked up 4/16, helped him win the Man-of-the-Match award and has bolstered Mumbai Indians’ spin department. With Harbhajan Singh as back-up, bowling is Mumbai Indians’ strongest suit heading into the final.
Rohit Sharma’s poor form: Mumbai Indians have a problem in their batting and it is the form of their talismanic skipper. Rohit has not enjoyed IPL 2017, scoring just 309 runs at an average of 23. His inability to convert starts into big scores could hurt the two-time champions in the final. If Rohit can come back to form on the big stage, then Mumbai Indians will be potent.
Lasith Malinga, no longer the deadly Slinga: The Sri Lankan pacer is the leading wicket-taker in IPL history but in IPL 2017 he has struggled for penetration. In 11 games, Malinga has taken 11 wickets at an economy rate of 8.84. The worrying thing for Mumbai Indians is that he has been ineffective in the death, putting pressure on the likes of Bumrah and McClenaghan.
Inconsistent top order: Barring Parthiv Patel to a certain extent, the rest of Mumbai Indians’ batting has failed to contribute on a consistent basis. Lendl Simmons has struggled at the top while the likes of Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya and Rohit have not converted starts into big scores. Another top order failure in the final could prove to be disastrous for Mumbai Indians.
First Published: May 20, 2017 21:40 IST