Mumbai Indians failed to stage another comeback in IPL © IANS
Mumbai Indians failed to stage another comeback in IPL © IANS

Mumbai Indians (MI) almost staged another comeback in Indian Premier League (IPL), but eventually failed to win a must-win encounter against Gujarat Lions (GL) in their last league match. Rohit Sharma-led brigade never looked in the hunt, putting up ordinary performance in all the departments of the game. MI, as usual, lost a few games at the start and then got back to winning ways. They managed to win only seven out of 14 matches and ended their IPL 2016 campaign at the 5th spot in the points table, hence, failing to reach the playoffs of IPL 2016. They were not able to strike a balance in the team and kept changing the batting order that couldn’t provide fireworks on consistent basis. Moreover, they failed to deliver in crunch situation and lost a few close matches. Here is the report card of MI players:

Rohit Sharma (7.5 out of 10): The skipper tried his best to take the side into the playoffs. Every time he performed, his team emerged triumphant. However, his performance in the first innings wasn’t as effective as in the second innings, as all his five half-centuries came while chasing target. He scored 489 runs at 44.45.

Jasprit Bumrah (7 out of 10): Bumrah didn’t play to his full potential, as he managed to take only 15 wickets in 14 matches at an economy rate of 7.80. Had he produced match-winning figures, MI would have made it to the playoffs before the fag end of the tournament.

Jos Buttler (6 out of 10): Buttler was the man who needed to play explosive innings in the middle order to throw the bowlers off their game. He played a few cameos but failed to convert them into big innings. His high score in the tournament is 41, which doesn’t speak volumes about his abilities.

Unmukt Chand (5 out of 10): Unmukt Chand played only one match for MI. The innings where he remained unbeaten on 0 barely justifies his score out of 10 and also gives him the benefit of doubt.

Shreyas Gopal (4 out of 10): Gopal played only one game and failed to prove his mettle, scoring only 2 runs. However, he bowled 3 overs with an economy rate of 6, but went wicketless.

Harbhajan Singh (6 out of 10): Harbhajan bowled with a decent economy rate of 10 but could take only grab 9 wickets. He had only one unbeaten innings of 45  in the inaugural match against Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS).

Mitchell McClenaghan (7 out of 10): McClenaghan was the only bowler who took wickets at regular intervals. Until the penultimate match of the group stage, he was the owner of the Purple Cap, with 18 wickets to his name.

Hardik Pandya (1.5 out of 10): If there is a list of IPL’s flop players, Hardik will be on top of it alongside Pawan Negi. He was able to score only 44 runs, picking up three wickets in 11 matches. He was eventually dropped due to poor performance.

Krunal Pandya (8 out of 10): At the start of IPL 9, everyone knew him as the younger brother of Hardik. At the end of IPL, he made a name for himself and replaced his brother due to excellent performances. He scored a blistering knock of 86 and had an impressive strike-rate of 191.12 throughout IPL 9. He also took six wickets, with an economy rate of 7.57.

Parthiv Patel (5 out of 10): The wicketkeeper-batsman had only one notable knock in this IPL. Apart from the swashbuckling 81-run knock, he failed to perform in the tournament and has only 177 runs to his name in 10 matches.

Kieron Pollard (5.5 out of 10): Pollard scored only 207 runs in this IPL, which includes one fifty. His bowling figures were nothing but ordinary, leaking runs at an economy rate of 13.50.

Nitish Rana (7.5 out of 10): Rana played four matches but got to bat only twice. He scored a spectacular innings of 70 against GL in the last league match, taking his side to a respectable total. He also bowled an over, giving away just three runs. Undoubtedly, he should have been given more chances this season.

Ambati Rayudu (8 out of 10): Rayudu clearly deserves much more appreciation than he gets. He held one end intact when wickets were falling in quick succession. He scored 334 runs in 13 matches, which includes two match-winning fifties. His strike-rate was a bit below par, but stitched up valuable partnerships to put his team in a commanding position.

Lendl Simmons (3 out of 10): Simmons scored only 3 runs in the inaugural match and was later ruled out due to an injury. His injury posed problems for MI, as he scored 540 runs in the previous edition of IPL.

Tim Southee (6 out of 10): The Kiwi fast bowler took 9 wickets from the 11 matches he played and scored a crucial 25 when his team needed the most. His economy rate read 7.65 RPO.

Jagdeesha Suchith (2 out fo 10): Suchith had a forgettable outing this season. He got hammered for 31 runs from 2 overs in the only match he played this season.

Vinay Kumar (7.5 out of 10): Vinay completed his 100 wickets in the IPL this season. He got the chance to play only thrice in this tournament and bowled at his lethal best. He maintained a decent economy rate of 7.11, taking three wickets. He should have got more chances in this IPL than he had.

Martin Guptill (5.5 out of 10): Guptill was called into the side midway through IPL due to Lendl Simmons’ injury. He remained unsold in the IPL auction. He scored only one half-century in the three matches he played; however, he failed to score runs at a brisk rate.

The players who didn’t get a chance to feature in the playing XI are: Corey Anderson, Marchant De Lange, Kishore Kamath, Sidhesh Lad, Lasith Malinga, Deepak Punia, Jitesh Sharma, Nathu Singh, Akshay Wakhare, Jerome Taylor. Lasith Malinga was ruled out of the IPL due to an ankle injury. Not including Anderson in the side seemed harsh as Pollard failed to perform in the initial stages of the tournament. Anderson would have performed well with both bat and ball.

(Arun Rawal, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a daydreamer, movie buff, and cricket fanatic. He could not play cricket, so did the next best thing, writing for it. He loves to play the flick shot over square leg, and believes Sachin Tendulkar is God. His twitter handle is @ArunRawal93)