T20 2018: Mumbai should push Kieron Pollard up the order
The unpredictability of the T20 format continues to amaze me. What could have been a terrific start for Mumbai in T20 ended up being a cause for worry and the pressure will test their belief, unity, resolve and strategy
The unpredictability of the T20 2018 format continues to amaze me. What could have been a terrific start for Mumbai in T20 ended up being a cause for worry and the pressure will test their belief, unity, resolve and strategy.
Strategy is where I think Rohit Sharma's captaincy will be tested most. I thought he missed a couple of tricks in all the three games played so far. From a rousing 102 for none in the ninth over, Mumbai couldn't manage to reach 200. And anything under that at the Wankhede is going to be tough to defend given the effect the dew has on the pitch.
This was undoubtedly a must-win for Delhi. A third loss in a row to start the tournament would have meant that it would have been rather impossible to claw back. Losses at the start of a tournament are bad, and more so for a franchise who know that they have been underperforming since the inception of the tournament. Gambhir's reaction at the end emphasised this. He now knows that he has a side which believes that they can beat the best.
Some pivots in the game:
It was a surprising strategy by Mumbai to send Suryakumar to open with Lewis. They look great together and it's the piano playing from both the ends — Lewis bludgeoning away and Yadav playing like a smiling assassin. Mumbai will continue with them.
Pollard will not get better if he's kept in the freezer. He should have batted at No. 4 given the situation. Mumbai need him to be feeling good. He's key to their plans, he's hungry... just look at him in the field!
Mumbai will be tempted to leave Mustafizur out. They are missing Cummins big time! It's back to McCleneghan I think.
Roy should have been Delhi's first choice and he showed why. He is strong on both sides of the pitch and both sets of lengths. If the pitch has no lateral deviation, he'll massacre you, which is essentially what he did to Mumbai.
Add to this, the cold-blooded butchery of Pant. Surprisingly again, Krunal Pandya did not complete his quota of overs. He is batting and bowling with such confidence and Rohit needs to leverage this confidence for the team. I felt Roy would have struggled against Krunal at the start of the innings.
Mumbai need to get their bowling formation right. Delhi have a few days off now, which comes at a bad time because they would have rather kept playing now that they have tasted blood.
Jatin Paranjape, the former international and national selector, tweets @jats72