IPL 2020: Mumbai Indians seemed unfazed by moderate total
Mumbai v Delhi is an old rivalry albeit this is a different format and a franchise event. History will always have its own story to tell and Mumbai got Delhi to be defensive and tentative on a sluggish Abu Dhabi surface on Sunday night
When two teams are sitting at the top of the table and playing to get a psychological advantage in the league stage of a tournament, it is a case of who blinks first.
Mumbai v Delhi is an old rivalry albeit this is a different format and a franchise event. History will always have its own story to tell and Mumbai got Delhi to be defensive and tentative on a sluggish Abu Dhabi surface on Sunday night.
Batting first, Delhi lost its aggressor Prithvi Shaw early to some old fashioned swing from Trent Boult and that was crucial in putting the brakes on the momentum of the Delhi innings in the power play.
Shaw can destroy when he stays but when he departs early, there is bound to be a sudden shift of plans by a team that looks to seize an advantage during the crucial power play passage of play.
It was left to Shikhar Dhawan to consolidate and get others to play around him. Consolidate he did but didn't find too many batters around him in the 150 strike rate to take the score to the 180-mark.
Where Delhi went wrong
His unbeaten 69 off 52 balls with a strike rate of 132 may have been a part of Delhi's game plan but sadly, he didn't find too much support in getting his team to that target. When strikers like Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey, who have strike rates of over 150, get only 17 balls between themselves, it tells you Delhi got their sums wrong in terms of giving their key attacking batsmen fewer balls than they would have liked.
A total of 162 for 4 in 20 overs indicates they had the fire but didn't take risks to be fearless about the best use of the 20 overs.
Mumbai have depth and variety in their bowling cupboard. The traditional swing of Boult and James Pattinson and Jasprit Bumrah potency. When Krunal Pandya and Rahul Chahar can bowl their four overs with a tight fist it actually gives the opposition very little options to find whom to target.
Mumbai seemed unfazed by the moderate total and that seemed to work well for them. A fearless approach not keeping in mind targets can often work for or against a team.
This time, it did work. Despite losing their captain Rohit Sharma early, Quinton de Kock with 53 off 36, the classy Suryakumar Yadav with 53 off 32 and the impressive Ishan Kishan with 28 off 15 set up the run chase.
The big difference
Where Delhi had only one six, Mumbai had six and that tells you the difference in their methods. But all these are observations on hindsight. The crux is about getting the game/changers to be playing more balls unless the lesser known faces can do the job on a given day.
The game had its own sub-plots Ajinkya Rahane, a traded player, once with Mumbai Indians, was playing his first game for Delhi;
Ricky Ponting, a former coach of Mumbai Indians against his former team and of course, Mumbai boys Shaw and Shreyas Iyer playing against their fellow Mumbaikar Rohit.
The IPL sub-plots are as important as the game itself. There is an opportunity to relive some memories, some banter and of course, earn bragging rights. Mumbai won all the three quite comfortably in this contest.
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