It’s just two wins from their first five matches for defending champions Mumbai Indians so far, proving that winning three IPL titles in a row will be no easy feat. Here’s where they’re struggling.
Mid-table spot tells its own story
It’s early days yet but already Mumbai don’t look top be the team they were last year.
Currently on four points after wins against Hyderabad and Kolkata, Mumbai will already feel they’re under pressure when it comes to securing that all-important top-two spot.
It was by finishing at the top two in the two previous editions that the Mumbai Indians were able to easily book their place in the final rather than having to do it the hard way in the Playoffs.
But a comprehensive defeat to Punjab on Friday means CSK, Delhi, and RCB are all in a much better position to secure that top finish.
It’s a disappointing turnaround because Mumbai mostly kept the same players from last season.
Mumbai batsmen struggling badly
That they didn’t bat well as a unit in their two previous games is obvious enough but a look at some individual performances so far over five games suggests there are some players really struggling out there.
Quinton de Kock has scores of 2, 40, 2, and 3. Ishan Kishan has just 63 runs in five innings and Hardik Pandya has been even worse: 36 runs in five knocks.
Kieron Pollard has been good on occasion and sluggish on others and even top-scorer and skipper Rohit Sharma has got out at just the wrong time.
They’ve been much better with the ball. Only Pollard is going at over 8 an over, Jasprit Bumrah is going at just 6.36 an over and Rahul Chahar has taken nine wickets already, suggesting it’s the batsmen who are letting the side down.
Changes on the horizon
It would be no surprise if Chris Lynn comes in for Quinton de Kock. Lynn was good in his only match to date and can open, leaving the (also) out-of-form Ishan Kishan to take the gloves from the South African.
Other options are to bring in either James Neesham or Nathan Coulter-Nile as overseas all-rounders to come in for Adam Milne. That would still give them a bowling option and a handy batsman in the lower middle-order.
Mumbai certainly need to freshen things up because right now, a title defence is looking unlikely.