An auction botched by poor planning, Mumbai Indians will continue to grope in the dark in search of an ideal playing XI in a bid to end their five game losing streak against Lucknow Super Giants in of an IPL match on Saturday.
It’s not the first time MI have gone on a five-game losing streak, but it’s probably the first time it looks like the team’s think tank has no idea how to stem it. the rot that has set in.
It’s certainly not skipper Rohit Sharma’s fault that the five-time champions have missed the bidding table with below-par domestic signings except NT Tilak Varma, who is coming to bite them. Against Lucknow in the Mumbai afternoon heat, Rohit and his chosen ten should do their best to tame Quinton de Kock, KL Rahul, Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni to name a few.
Krunal and De Kock, in particular, would like to pose some serious challenges to the MI Squad and perhaps force them to consider whether not putting in enough effort to get them back on their roster was a prudent enough thing to do. There had been inexplicable team selections and dropping a million-plus buy like Tim David after two games is one of them.
MI’s fate was such that they were unable to field their full quota of foreign players in order to have enough bowlers in their ranks.
However, David could be tempted in place of Jaydev Unadkat, who has yet again failed at the highest level of cricket and is an example of the gaping gap between the standards of domestic cricket and the IPL. One of Unadkat and Basil Thampi has to make way for David as they don’t have too many options at the table.
In the case of Murugan Ashwin, the only plausible replacement at the moment seems to be spinner Mayank Markande, who not too long ago had a decent showing for the five-time champion side. Not having a quality spinner like Rahul Chahar or Krunal, who can sometimes stem the flow of runs, also hurts MI. Head coach Mahela Jayawardene had already said, and rightly so, that Rohit’s performance is not a worrying factor.
One of the reasons being his touch which is not out of place but maybe he needs to pare down some shots and strike deep with Suryakumar Yadav to get a tough score that the weak bowling formation can defend.
For Lucknow, mentor and mastermind behind strategy Gautam Gambhir must be wondering if Marcus Stoinis and Jason Holder could be in the same XI or if they’d better drop one and play the hard-hitting Evin Lewis in the top level alongside Rahul and De Kock.
Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (captain), Manan Vohra, Evin Lewis, Manish Pandey, Quinton De Kock, Ravi Bishnoi, Dushmantha Chameera, Shahbaz Nadeem, Mohsin Khan, Mayank Yadav, Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Andrew Tye, Marcus Stoinis, Kyle Mayers, Karan Sharma, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ayush Badoni, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Jason Holder.
Bombay Indians: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Anmolpreet Singh, Rahul Buddhi, Ramandeep Singh, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Verma, Tim David, Arjun Tendulkar, Basil Thampi, Hrithik Shokeen, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Jofra Archer, Mayank Markande, Murugan Ashwin, Riley Meredith , Tymal Mills, Arshad Khan, Daniel Sams, Dewald Brevis, Fabian Allen, Kieron Pollard, Sanjay Yadav, Aryan Juyal and Ishan Kishan.