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IPL-8: Mumbai Indians' top flop must stop

Mumbai Indians’ inconsistent top order must fire if they are to have any chance of beating Sunrisers Hyderabad at Wankhede today

One of the prime reasons for star-studded Mumbai Indians lying on the bottom of the Indian Premier League-8 table is the top order’s failure.1 With just one win in six matches, MI are in a tight spot to keep their play-offs hope alive. For MI to bounce back today against SunRisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium, their top order must contribute in a big way.

MI skipper Rohit Sharma
MI skipper Rohit Sharma

The MI batters have not been able to capitalise in their Powerplay, losing too many wickets in the first six overs of the innings. A poor show by the top order against teams like Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan Royals, Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils resulted in defeats (see box).

Harbhajan Singh plays football while training at Wankhede yesterday. pic/suresh KK
Harbhajan Singh plays football while training at Wankhede yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK

When they actually got going, MI registered their first and only win of the tournament in six matches — against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 19. MI lost only one wicket and scored 47 in 5.5 overs against RCB, and the opening partnership set the stage for them to score 209-7 in 20 overs. The bowlers, who have been wayward and inconsistent so far, were then able to restrict RCB to 191-7.

Poor starts
However, despite these poor starts, Mumbai Indians have been able to post competitive totals. Had the top order contributed, MI would have at least an outside chance of
winning some of these games.

MI skipper Rohit Sharma stressed on the importance of doing well in the Powerplay.

“We need to bat well in the first six overs. Despite batting badly (in the Powerplay), we scored 160-plus in all matches. It’s a concern and we are addressing this issue,” he said recently.

Rohit was disappointed for not capitalising on the start against Delhi Daredevils on Thursday as MI lost four wickets for 18 runs in the end.

IPL on tv
Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad: Sony Max, Sony Six & Sony Six HD, 16:00

MI’s scores in Powerplay overs
>> Vs Kolkata Knight Riders: 37-3
>> Vs Kings XI Punjab: 17-3
>> Vs Rajasthan Royals: 31-1
>> Vs Chennai Super Kings: 31-3
>> Vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: 48-1
>> Vs Delhi Daredevils: 48-2

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