Home > Features >

IPL 2014: Lendl Simmons has turned out as unlikely foreign success for Mumbai Indians

IPL 2014: Lendl Simmons has turned out as unlikely foreign success for Mumbai Indians
After playing two IPL matches, Lendl Simmons has scored 106 runs and his average is 53.00 © IANS

Lendl Simmons’s past two scores in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 are 38 and 68 for Mumbai Indians. These are scores any team would be glad within back-to-back T20 matches. Many questioned Simmons inclusion in the Mumbai squad as he is not a typical T20 batsman. Simmons, though, has outshone contemporaries for Mumbai like Michael Hussey and Ben Dunk, feels Shrikant Shankar.

Michael Hussey was considered a good buy for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 auction. He was the Orange Cap winner from IPL 2013 for Chennai Super Kings. Although, less slam-bang than Dwayne Smith, Hussey is more consistent. Smith went to Chennai and there was a belief an equal trade occurred. But Smith has gone on to be in contention for the Orange Cap this term and Hussey has flopped. The gritty Australian played the first four matches for Mumbai in IPL 2014. His scores were —  3, 16, 1 and 10 — clearly not good enough.

Ben Dunk was bought after being named the Big Bash League 2013-14 Player of the Tournament. He started off with a good looking 20, but followed them with scores of five and 15. The two foreigners did not click for Mumbai. While the duo’s form is not the reason for Mumbai’s terrible start to the IPL 7 season, it certainly did not help. The Mumbai hierarchy might have realised their blunder during the IPL 7 retention and auction early in the season, but were left with the players they chose. They needed a foreign batsman at the top of the order to score runs and they turned to Lendl Simmons.

Simmons will not be at the tip of the tongue for many, if someone is asked to name devastating T20 batsmen from the West Indies. His buy was even seen as a nothing. The West Indies’ batsman and occasional wicketkeeper made his IPL debut against Chennai at Wankhede Stadium on May 10. He scored a run-a-ball 38 while opening the innings. In one innings, Simmons out-scored Hussey and was two runs shy of Dunk’s figures. Mumbai lost the match, but that was down to other reasons.

He was given another chance against Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 12. After Hyderabad posted a competitive 157 for three, the challenge was for Mumbai to get the runs against one of the best bowling attacks in the IPL this season. Simmons opened the batting and was up against the in-form Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He batted himself in without taking too many risks. He was on seven runs after facing 15 deliveries. Things didn’t look great. But he then tore into Irfan Pathan in the fifth over of the match.

Two sixes and a four then set Mumbai on course. Later, Simmons hammered a six off Amit Mishra and then a four and six off Karn Sharma. Simmons was compounding belief. He even whipped one from Steyn over short fine-leg for a four. In the process, Simmons scored a half-century. His strike-rate at the time was above 128. He was eventually dismissed for 68 off 50 deliveries. Simmons struck five fours and four sixes. When he got out, Mumbai were the favourites to win. Captain Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard finished off the match as Mumbai beat Hyderabad by seven wickets.

Not many expected such heroics from Simmons, but he has shown the will and grit required to play at a high level. Hussey and Dunk have far better numbers than Simmons, but for now, it is the West Indies batsman who has outshone the bigger names in the star-studded Mumbai line-up.

Click here for IPL 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule: Match time table for IPL 7

Click here for IPL 2014 Schedule & Results

Click here for IPL 2014 complete coverage

(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 19, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Ross Taylor’s crucial knock against Pakistan will boost his sub-par subcontinent record

Stuart Binny — can the all-rounder be a trump card for India in ODIs?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI at Chittagong Preview: Hosts look to build on winning start

Colin Ingram joins Glamorgan under Kolpak ruling

Assad Fudadin replaces Darren Bravo in West Indies Test squad for South Africa tour

George Bailey does not expect Test recall for series against India

Kumar Sangakkara asked to review retirement plans: Reports

Has Umesh Yadav cemented his place in India’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

The Melbourne Cricket Club is formed

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Sabbir Rahman fires explosive 44 on debut

World Cup 1979: Mike Hendrick blows Pakistan away

Shakib Al Hasan becomes 12th player to hit ODI century and take four wickets in same match

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat among the most unsecured mobile messaging apps out there

International programme in Animal Husbandry

NGOs pursue education for all

Here’s how Gautam Rode injured himself on the sets of Mahakumbh – Watch video!

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

The Importance of Food Labels

Microsoft Lumia 535 likely to launch in India on November 26

Has Umesh Yadav cemented his place in India’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

Shahzil Amin: Inspiring Entrepreneurs one Venture at a Time

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here