Sports, Cricket

Mumbai Indians slump to bottom of table


By AFP
Published : 16 Apr 2022 09:22 PM | Updated : 16 Apr 2022 09:22 PM

The Mumbai Indians are the richest and most successful side in IPL history with five titles to their name, but they currently sit at the bottom of the table after losing their first five games this season.

Their dire start in the world's most valuable cricket competition -- despite being owned by Nita Ambani, wife of India's richest man Reliance Industries billionaire Mukesh Ambani, and being led by national team captain Rohit Sharma -- already means they face not making the playoffs.

They even enjoy the bonus of being the only side in the tournament with home advantage. The coronavirus pandemic forced organisers to limit league matches in the IPL’s 15th edition to just two venues, Mumbai and Pune, with the latter not having its own team.

Pundits say the Ambani billions have been badly deployed, with poor purchases at the player auction ahead of the Twenty20 tournament and selections that have not paid off.

Mumbai paid nearly $2 million to buy back wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan, who started the season with two half-centuries but followed up with scores of 14, 26 and three.

The team's move to buy England’s Jofra Archer at $1.06 million also copped criticism, with the pace bowler unavailable this season due to an elbow injury.

“Those who followed their confused, flawed strategy at the auction table a couple of months back would not be surprised that MI are lying at the bottom of the 10-team table with zero points,” The Times of India newspaper said on Friday.

Old warhorses, including captain Rohit, who made 28 in their most recent defeat to the Punjab Kings on Wednesday, and West Indies big-hitter Kieron Pollard have struggled to convert starts into bigger scores.

Pundits believe the move to drop Singapore batter Tim David -- known for his big hitting -- from the XI after the first two losses has also hurt the team’s batting.