Making the playoffs for IPL 2022 is now “too big a jump” for Mumbai Indians, feels former England off-spinner Graeme Swann after the five-time champions slumped to three-wicket loss to Chennai Super Kings at DY Patil Stadium on Thursday.
The loss in the ‘El Clasico’ clash is also Mumbai’s seventh defeat on the trot in the tournament and keeps them on bottom of the points table. “I wasn’t shocked because they (Mumbai Indians) are in a panic state. Now we can say that they are not going to qualify now. It’s too big of a jump to make for them,” Swann was quoted as saying by cricket.com.
Mumbai made three changes for the match, giving their bowling attack a new-look. The changes worked well as off Hrithik Shokeen (0/23), right-arm pacer Riley Meredith (1/25) and left-arm quick Daniel Sams (4/30) were crucial in keeping Chennai in check during the middle overs. “They bowled brilliantly. They almost won the game but they were 20 runs short,” observed Swann.
The 20 runs short, as said by Swann, was caused by captain Rohit Sharma, wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan and number three Dewald Brevis falling in quick succession to Chennai’s left-arm pacer Mukesh Choudhary in the first six overs.
Sharma fell for a two-ball duck, chipping straight to mid-on in the opening over. IPL 2022 has been a below-par tournament for Sharma the batter, with just 114 runs at an average of 16.29 and strike rate of 126.66 to show. His predecessor as the captain of the Indian team, Virat Kohli, too has been enduring a lean run in the IPL with 119 runs in seven matches.
Swann expects both Sharma and Kohli will get out of their lean patch soon. “Both are world-class players and all players go through this. It’s just that we are not used to it and it is happening for both of them at the same time. If you are an Indian fan, it is a long time for World T20, so don’t panic.”
Another batter in Mumbai line-up who has been in lean patch is Kishan, who had a strong start to IPL 2022, making 81 not out and 54. But his form has tapered off, making 14, 26, 3, 13 and a golden duck against Chennai when Choudhary yorked him in the opening over. Swann opined that the weight of a hefty INR 15.25 crores price tag may not be reason behind Kishan’s poor form.
“I can’t see how price tag can weigh on your mind when you are a player good as this. There is not the pressure of being an overseas player and there are only four spots. He is just terribly out of form.”
Swann signed off by saying that India should wait for the IPL 2022 to end to decide on their batting line-up for Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia later in the year.
“On the current form, if India are playing England, I have to pick Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan. There is a lot of cricket to be played in the IPL. For example, everyone’s talking about DK (Dinesh Karthik) and rightly so. What if he doesn’t have a good tournament later on? Who knows if Badoni might score two hundreds and he is in the team or Rahul Tewatia might win more games with last-ball sixes.”