What Went wrong with Mumbai Indians?
Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, Image Source: Twitter

What Went Wrong With Mumbai Indians? Was It Hardik Pandya’s Captaincy? With their star all-rounder Hardik Pandya returning as captain, fans had high hopes, but Mumbai Indians, 5 time IPL champions, were the first team to be knocked out of the 2024 season. Unfortunately, things did not go as expected.

They had Rohit Sharma, India’s captain, leading the team. Suryakumar Yadav, the No. 1 T20I batter, was also there, although he missed the first three games due to fitness. Jasprit Bumrah, fully fit after missing the last IPL due to injury, strengthened their bowling. Plus, they got Hardik Pandya back, India’s top seam-bowling all-rounder, through a trade.

Having strong Indian players, many in the Mumbai Indians camp had expected to at least feature in the playoffs. But they were the first ones to be eliminated from IPL 2024. It is now four years since their last title, the longest wait since they lifted their first one in 2013.

With only 4 wins in 14 matches, this was one of Mumbai Indians’ worst seasons ever. Before the tournament began, Mumbai Indians caused a commotion by suddenly making Hardik the captain instead of Rohit, which upset many loyal MI fans. A few wins could have eased the situation, but that didn’t happen. So, what’s gone awry for a team that’s usually strong in the IPL, with a good squad, management, and scouting system?

Also Read: IPL 2024 Qualifier 1 KKR vs SRH: Time, Venue, Head To Head, Weather Report, Squad, Playing XI And Live Streaming Details

What Led to Mumbai Indians Downfall?

Hardik Pandya

No one doubts Pandya’s talent, but his performance this season was below par. He averaged just 18 with the bat and, although he took 11 wickets, he wasn’t economical or consistent with the ball. A bigger concern was his captaincy. His tactics for creating a balanced batting and bowling lineup were often flawed.

Hardik made several mistakes, like not giving Jasprit Bumrah the new ball, sending Piyush Chawla to bat before Tim David, and being unsure about his batting position. Throughout the 14 matches, he couldn’t find the right team lineup, constantly changing the batting and bowling order without success.

Also Read: IPL 2024 Playoffs: Teams, Schedule, Venues And Other Details

Rohit Sharma

As the senior-most player, Rohit Sharma had a big role. Understandably, he was upset about being removed as captain, but he never seemed to support Pandya. Although he often talked with Hardik on the field, he didn’t address the rumours of a rift in the dressing room, which many expected him to do.

Besides his performance off the field, Rohit’s on-field performance wasn’t impressive either. He scored over 400 runs, but most of them, 173, came in just two innings. Although his strike rate in the powerplay was good, he often struggled to score more than 6 runs in an over.

Mismanagement from the MI management 

One big reason for Mumbai Indians’ failure this year was their management. They traded Cameron Green and made Hardik Pandya captain instead of Rohit Sharma before the IPL 2024 season. This caused problems in the team and weakened their middle order. Green had scored more than 450 runs and taken six wickets in 2023.

They also released Tristian Stubbs and Ramandeep Singh, two players who did well this year. Instead, they kept Dewald Brevis, who only played 3 matches and scored 69 runs. Their bowling wasn’t strong, and they didn’t have much money left after spending big on Ishan Kishan (15.25 crores), who hasn’t scored more than 500 runs in a season since 2020.

Struggle Without Jasprit Bumrah’s Bowling

Even though Dilshan Madushanka and Jason Behrendorff couldn’t play in IPL 2024, Mumbai Indians shouldn’t be excused for their bad bowling. Except for Jasprit Bumrah and Gerald Coetzee, to some extent, no other bowler seemed reliable. Luke Wood, Romario Shephard, Nuwan Thushara, and Kwena Maphaka aren’t even some of the best bowlers in their own countries, let alone in the IPL. Anshul Kamboj played and did okay, but relying on Piyush Chawla as your second-best bowler isn’t a good sign.