MI Express’ rare screeching halt
Mumbai Indians have won the IPL title five times to become the most successful team in the history of the league.
The way they performed in IPL 2020, they were looking like an indomitable force. However, the defending champions could not keep their momentum in IPL 2021 and failed to qualify for the playoffs.
They were having trouble coming to terms with the conditions with the IPL being played at limited venues in the first half of 2021. Mumbai had to play their home matches in Delhi in conditions that did not suit them at all.
Understandably, they had picked their side for the Wankhede Stadium where the ball came onto the bat nicely. When they did gradually begin to create some momentum, the tournament was postponed midway.
The team could not start off on a good note in the second leg of the competition in the UAE and kept slipping down the points table. However, the champion side that they are, they still were in with a chance till their last match despite needing an unrealistic 175 plus run victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad to make it to the Eliminator.
The team did not lose hope though and treated the fans with a cracker of a match. A win was always a stretch too far.
“When you play for a franchise like Mumbai, you are always expected to go out and perform. I wouldn’t call that pressure. More than anything, it’s expectations. It was very tough to drop big players. I want to back the players and keep the same squad going. We have had an on and off season this time around. We have had a fabulous run as a franchise. It was wonderful to be part of this set-up, we can be very proud of that. We were getting momentum in Delhi and there was a break, that didn’t help the team. It was a collective failure of the group.”
“Very happy with the win today, we gave everything, I am sure it was entertaining for the fans as well. They have always been supportive, they have always stood by us. Little disappointed we didn’t go through. Ishan Kishan is a very talented player, just the right position for him to bat is very crucial. Today was a perfect game for him. That is the situation he likes. It was wonderful to see from the other end,” MI captain Rohit Sharma said in his last post match comments of IPL 2021.