Kieron Pollard has had plenty of chances by the Mumbai Indians this season for his effective power strikes but his skills seem to be declining in IPL 2022. On the other hand, there is Tim David who has shown his finishing skill in the last two matches and has shown he can step in to play a similar role to Pollard.
After getting off to a torrid start to IPL 2022, Bombay Indians are out of the playoffs. The IPL 2022 was one of the most shocking turnarounds in the sport as two teams that share most of the titles between them are placed in the bottom two positions of the points table. The team has always been known to be a dominant force in the league and nothing less was expected of them this season. The team has come through the worst but they have shown improvement in their last two games by winning against strong opponents like Gujarat Titans and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The problems for MI first started with the unavailability of a second wicket take option with Jasprit Bumrah. Even Bumrah failed to take consistent wickets for the team. He scalped only five wickets in 10 matches with an economy of 7.93. The second problem they faced was form collapse Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard. Rohit was unable to give the top team starts while Kieron Pollard struggled like never before in the middle.
With the Pandya brothers not in the squad this time, the onus of providing a finish fell to Pollard. He is known for regularly crossing the fence with ease in franchise cricket. With vast experience of playing as a finisher in various leagues around the world, he was now an established. However, the season has been a series of low scores for the West Indian power hitter.
Pollard has scored just 129 points in 10 games at 14.33 in IPL 2022 so far. His finishing qualities seem to be declining and he is struggling massively against the effects. Pollard has a strike rate of only around 70 against the spin this season. In his prime, Pollard used to choose length, but now he seems to be in a dilemma between going forward or playing from the crease. Ian Bishop also commented on his form and also said Pollard should reinvent his game.
“He’s struggling, he really is. He tries everything, and there are weaknesses that show up every time. Someone is holding back some wrist twist to throw at him, and it’s not the first times this season,” Bishop said. said on Star Sports.
“He either has to reinvent his game because Mumbai has given him a very long time this season. So he has to try to reinvent himself. I don’t like catching up, but the minimum you have to go for is a run a ball. Four out of 14 , 14 out of 24 is too many. You can’t do that.
While Pollard is going through a difficult period, a transition is necessary. MI might need another finisher who can provide them with clinical and explosive finishes, just like Pollard did back in the day. Tim David has hinted in the last two games that he can be a strong finisher for MI in the future and they should believe in him.
The Singapore cricketer has now established himself as a quality T20 finisher playing in different leagues. David has 558 runs from 14 T20Is at 46.50 and a strike rate of 158.52. Also, he has 2042 runs from 93 T20 with a strike rate of 160.28. David has only played four games in the season so far but he has left his mark in those games. He played his first game against DC and scored 12 points on eight balls including a brilliant maximum. He was only able to score one point in the next game against RR and then rested for a few games.
However, failures of down-the-line batters led to David’s return to the team. One of the Mumbai Indians’ costliest picks has then proven himself so far in the tournament. It was the same opposition he played against last time, Rajasthani Royals. The team was chasing 159 in the game and they were on 122/4 and they needed 37 runs from 28 balls. He played a 20-point cameo from nine balls to end the game with four balls to spare. The most recent match came against GT where his shot was a game changer. The team were heading for 165 but David dragged them to 177.
He broke an unbeaten 44 runs from 21 balls including four sixes and helped MI to a decent tally. He established a solid base around the middle and smashed the ball into both parts of the floor. If the situation calls for it, David can also play during the break, just like Pollard sometimes did. Bishop also praised David for his clinical striking.
“Everyone I know in the circle I worked in asked where Tim David was when he wasn’t playing,” Bishop said. “He showed in those two games why he should have played. The Mumbai Indians, when they think about it, will have to say that we didn’t do it right with some of the selections we made in the first half of the tournament.
The team will now have to look to the future and they won’t have the option to trade players as the mega auction will take place after a long gap. Pollard is in the final stages of his career and MI can hand over his role as a finisher to Singaporean dynamite.
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