From zeros to heroes ”“ Mumbai Indians crowned IPL 2015 Champs



By Gaurav Joshi

No other team copped as much criticism as the Mumbai Indians in the first two weeks of the IPL: team composition, too many high profile owners, the Ambanis being described as ”˜marketing and glamour’ tools rather than logical cricket loving owners.

Six weeks later, the Mumbai Indian had surprised the cricketing world by being crowned the champions of IPL 2015. After losing their first four matches, they did what many thought was impossible. On the way they managed to win 10 out of their last 12 matches.

Truly they went from zeros to heroes!

At half way stage they realised that they had to win all their last six or seven matches to make the finals. In T20 cricket it is so tough to win all matches on the trot because even a single over can change the fortune of the match. So to be able to maintain consistency was a cricketing miracle.

Mumbai’s victorious path also showcased the importance of momentum in sport. Once the team kept generating confidence, it was impossible to stop the Mumbai juggernaut.

Much of the Mumbai momentum was started by team selection. The batting prospered in the early matches but the minute captain Rohit Sharma, discussed with coach Ricky Ponting, another pace bowler was required to strengthen the bowling, it bought a significant change.

That bowler was New Zealand’s Mitchell McClenaghan. His partnership with Lasith Malinga ensured Mumbai had a pace battery up front and at the death to restrict the opposition and capture wickets. McClenaghan hit the deck, his style of bowling was a perfect ingredient for the Wankhede pitch.

The second most impressive part of the Mumbai Indians was their unearthing two youngsters in Hardik Pandya and Jagadesh Suchith. In the past Mumbai tended to rely on stars predominantly so to have such emerging talent play an integral part was also one of the keys to Mumbai Indian’s success.

The much-fancied coaching staff of Ricky Ponting, Shane Bond, Jonty Rhodes and Robin Singh must also be given credit. All of them ensured that despite those early losses they kept faith in all the team members. They barely chopped and changed their line up drastically and the team strategy was very similar throughout the season.

Such confidence and backing allowed Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons to star as the tournament progressed. When a player is backed to the nth  degree, it will eventually show up and that is exactly how the Mumbai pair turned it around.

Not since the inaugural edition of the IPL when Rajasthan won the title as rank outsiders has a team come from behind, from underdogs to champs, as Mumbai Indians did. We all expected them to fail but at the end they never said die and were well and truly deserving champions of IPL 2015.



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