Former India cricketer, Virender Sehwag lamented Mumbai Indians’ tactics and approach while batting first in their loss to Punjab Kings on Friday in Chennai. The defending champions suffered their third loss of the season and once again it was their batters who are to blame as they posted a below-par score of 131 in 20 overs.
Virender Sehwag was perplexed by Mumbai’s decision to tweak their batting order – after a slow start from Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock, at the score of 7/1 after two overs, it was Ishan Kishan who walked in to replace de Kock, and not Suryakumar Yadav, who has batted regularly at number 3 for MI.
Both Rohit and Kishan refrained from taking risks and were over-cautious in their approach, even against the likes of Moises Henriques and Deepak Hooda, who are completing the fifth bowler’s quota for Punjab. Mumbai hit only a single boundary in the powerplay, ending the six over with only 21 runs.
Suryakumar Yadav Could’ve Taken More Advantage Of The Powerplay: Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag reckons Suryakumar Yadav, who has been in sublime form, was better-equipped to make use of the powerplay restrictions, and that Mumbai erred in promoting Kishan, who had scored 67 runs in 4 games at a strike rate of 94.37 before Friday.
“The kind of form Suryakumar was in, he hit a fifty earlier, perhaps he could have taken more advantage of the powerplay. See, even he could’ve gotten out early but he had better chances,” Virender Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
“You are sending someone who hasn’t scored runs in 4 matches with hope that he will get you runs but you are demoting someone who has scored 2-3 out of your last 4 games. When 2-3 wickets fall quickly then there is pressure on that in-form player too.
“It would have been better had they sent Suryakumar early in the powerplay. He could have given the necessary momentum to the innings,” he added.
The ploy didn’t work for MI, as Kishan was dismissed by Ravi Bishnoi for a struggling knock of 6 runs from 17 balls.
Suryakumar then joined Rohit in the middle, and both the senior batters began the resurrection of the innings with their 79-run partnership. Yadav was also dismissed by Bishnoi for 33 runs off 27 balls; Sharma too followed in the next over, and the finishers could only drag till 131, which was gunned down by smart batting from the Punjab top-order.
“The only good thing for MI was that Rohit and Suryakumar batted till the 15-16th over. They thought their big-hitters would play fearless cricket in the backend of the innings but that didn’t happen,” Virender Sehwag concluded.
Mumbai is placed in the 5th position in the points table with 2 wins and 3 losses. Their batting has been a major concern so far. However, the 5-time champions won’t be panicking as they have earlier been in such situations and will back themselves to make a comeback.
They also move away from the stodgy pitches in Chennai to better ones in Delhi and will meet Rajasthan Royals on Thursday afternoon.