‘Disappointing, Unfortunate, Concerning’: Down and Out Mumbai Indians’ Forgettable Two Months of IPL 2024 – News18

If Mumbai Indians had a magic wand in their possession, they would want to wipe out the IPL 2024 season from their memory. To say that it was a rollercoaster of a season for them would also be a false statement because their journey never actually went uphill.

The five-time champions ended their season at the bottom of the league stage table with only 8 points to their name. They won only 4 out of their 14 matches, making them the only team to not reach the double figure mark in the points tally this season.

A strong team on the paper, MI failed to translate that potential and firepower on the field throughout the campaign.

Rohit Sharma was MI’s highest scorer this season with 417 runs to his name whereas Jasprit Bumrah led the wickets tally with 20 dismissals from 13 games.

Hardik Pandya and team started their tournament with a loss against Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad and finished their season with a defeat against the Lucknow Super Giants at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

What Went Wrong?

If you deep dive into Mumbai’s performances this season, you may find plenty of loopholes. MI’s head coach Mark Boucher summed up this poor season for the team with his reasoning of what went wrong.

“Disappointing, to say the least,” Boucher told the media after the match.

“I thought after the auction that we had, we identified our bowlers as something we wanted to strengthen and we felt that we did that. Obviously at the beginning of the season, losing two of them wasn’t great for us but I still think that we had some great options. On paper, I thought that we’d do a lot better than what we’ve done,” he added.

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Boucher also felt that the batting and bowling department never clicked together which cost the team a lot of matches.

“We just haven’t managed to put our batting and our bowling together in one single match. There’s always been one that’s let the other one down, which is unfortunate. But yes, extremely disappointed,” he said.

‘Not Scared of Taking Big Calls’

Ever since the last mega auctions in 2022, MI have failed to deliver in three consecutive seasons. The expectations from a team which has won five trophies will always be sky high and this team hasn’t lived up to the standards.

Coach Boucher believes that this stat is concerning for the team.

“That is a cause for concern and certainly something that we need to address as a franchise,” said Boucher.

“I’m sure we will address it. Mumbai Indians is a very successful franchise for a reason. When you see trends like that, you sit down and you evaluate every season. You do a review. And if there’s trends that are happening each year, then you do have to sit down and make some changes and make some big calls, which I know that for a fact that we’re not scared of doing,” he added.

Boucher’s Future?

With a performance like this by a champion team, a lot of questions will be raised on the team management as well. Boucher might be in the center of all this considering that he is the head coach.

The MI management has never shied away from taking bold decisions and with the recent results, they might have to take some again.

So, with the limelight now on the leadership group, will we see Boucher saying goodbye to the side? Well, Boucher himself is not sure yet.

“I’m not too sure where I’m going, to be honest with you. It’s quite early days at the moment,” the South African said.

“A lot of people are emotional. There’s probably going to be discussions about all of us. I don’t think there’s only one person. We’re in a high-performance zone, and I think that when you underperform, you need to get looked at. So the only thing I can do is give it my best as a coach, which is exactly what I’ve done. I’ve got no regrets with what I’ve done over the year.

“Could I have done things better? We’ll sit down and evaluate that, as we do with all the players as well,” he added.

‘What’s Next – World Cup’

Four players from this down and out MI camp will be representing India in the upcoming T20 World Cup in June. All four of them will more or less start in the playing XI straightaway including India captain Rohit, vice-captain Pandya, fast bowler Bumrah and world’s top-ranked T20I batter Suryakumar Yadav.

Now that the team has not made it to the playoffs, the focus has officially shifted to the World Cup for them, specially for skipper Rohit.

“I spoke to him (Rohit) last night, just to do basically a little review of the season,” Boucher said of his conversation with Rohit. “I said, ‘what’s next for Rohit Sharma?’ And he said to me, ‘World Cup’.”

Boucher then delivered a one-liner to summarise his thoughts on Rohit’s future in the game.

“He’s a master of his own destiny.”