Mumbai Indians (MI), the most successful Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise so far, are officially out of the tournament. MI attained their first points of the tournament after a streak of eight uninterrupted defeats. With an incredibly inconsistent performance, MI accomplished a new down this season.
MI has had an appalling run throughout the IPL 2022. Whether it’s been batting unit or bowling, the team seemed to be extremely inconsistent. They won their first match in the tournament against Rajasthan Royals (RR), a couple of weeks ago. Kumar Kartikeya, Suryakumar Yadav, and Tim David aided the five-time winners, to add the first points of the tournament. After RR, MI beat the best in the tournament so far, Gujarat Titans (GT). MI registered their third victory against their traditional rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK), winding them up for 97 runs.
For Mumbai, nothing has been right, this season. MI has tried several different playing XI combinations, in the season. Despite this nightmare of 2022, MI should be looking for a more balanced combination for the IPL 2023. Although the five-time champions found some gems like Tilak Verma and Tim David, some concerns are still barring them from performing well. So, let us have a look at three areas Mumbai needs to improve ahead of next season.
3 areas Mumbai Indians need to improve ahead of next season
1. Reliable Spinner
MI this year, has been missing an experienced and reasonable spinner. They started with Murugan Ashwin but the right arm leggie couldn’t carry the cargo as a foremost spinner in the unit.
Among others, Kumar Kartikeya, the left-arm spinner has impressed the management with his variations and could be the one to carry on. Hrithik Shokeen, the other right arm off-spinner too, has done a decent job for MI. By way of playing a persistent string of matches, Kartikeya and Shokeen can showcase what they have.
With these two special talents, it shouldn’t be a hard job for Mumbai to find a steadfast and proficient spinner for the next season; an Indian spinner would be the demand considering the overseas combination. Otherwise, MI has Fabian Allen, the spin bowling all-rounder in the squad.
Besides, Tilak Verma is a batting all-rounder and can bowl off-spin. But this year, the 19-year-old has bowled merely two overs, conceding 13 runs. If he doesn’t bowl in next season too and if MI releases two of Ashwin, Kartikeya, and Shokeen, they can look for a spin bowling all-rounder as well.
2. Reliable Indian Pacer
This year, the bowling unit, especially the pace one, became a headache for MI as they lacked a reasonable pacer alongside Jasprit Bumrah. MI pined for a second pace leader of the bowling unit, who would share some burden off Bumrah. Jaydev Unadkat and Basil Thampi were supposed to play this role both together or unaccompanied, as MI were playing Daniel Sams since the beginning; but both of them botched to deliver that kind of bowling.
Although there will be Jofra Archer next year, the team has got to maintain an overseas combination. So, MI will have to gaze for a reliable Indian pacer. MI can play two overseas pacers, as they have been doing it for a long time now; but an Indian pacer would be more helpful as always. And if they get an Indian pace-bowling all-rounder, it would be the cherry on the top.
3. Reliable Middle Order Batter
MI has a destructive middle-order consisting of Verma, David, and Kieron Pollard. This year, considering Pollard’s poor run, MI needed a decent middle-order batter. Dewald Brevis could have been a perfect replacement for Pollard but the team refused to do so.
This position of the middle order batter depends on a lot of other combinations. If Tilak Varma and Pollard bowl consistently (which doesn’t seem to be happening incoming), Mumbai Indians will need one more middle-order batter, Indian or overseas. But if MI plays a third pacer or pace all-rounder, then this position will be just for a backup.
Written by Prachi Pisal