Dubai: Are Mumbai Indians making the Indian Premier League (IPL) title, well, almost a boring affair? One may be left wondering at the air of invincibility about the team at the way they wrote the script for their success in the IPL 2020 - becoming only the second team to win back-to-back titles and five championships so far.
Just ponder this - they won nine of their 14 league games to seal a spot in the qualifiers as the top finisher in the table, then wallopped Delhi Capitals by 57 runs in the first qualifier to assure themselves a place in the final four days back. In the final, title aspirants Delhi Capitals tried to put up a fight after a stuttering start when they were reduced to 22 for three when a 96-run partnership for fourth wicket between skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant helped them finish at 156 for the loss of seven wickets.
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However, if the Capitals were nursing a hope of taking the fight to the rival camp, Mumbai’s talismanic skipper Rohit Sharma had other ideas. He scored a classy 68 off 51 deliveries - which saw him cross 4000 runs for MI alone - but more importantly, anchored the innings till deep to ensure that there were no last-minute hiccups in their five-wicket win.
The ‘Mumbai Paltans’ have now won the title in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and this edition in 2020, apart from two Champions League titles. Would they now rate as one of the most successful global sporting franchises across various disciplines? The time may not yet be ripe to pass a judgement on this as one has to wait till the IPL runs it’s course for at least 25 years but for now, they stand head and shoulders above other competitors in the league.
What is the mantra behind Mumbai’s success recipe? It certainly lay in the way the team invested on scouting talents from different parts of the country over the years - which eventually gave Indian cricket the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and the Pandya brothers - Hardik and Krunal.
The team functioned like a well-oiled machine right through, with a versatile batting line-up which saw a young Ishan Kishan emerging as their highest rungetter who also hit the highest number of sixes in the competition. All this - in a batting line-up which boasts of Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Surya Kumar Yadav and the engine room of Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers.
This depth of talent is what makes the blue shirts such an unbeatable outfit over the years in IPL.
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 157/5 (Rohit Sharma 68, Ishan Kishan 33*; Anrich Nortje 2-25) defeated Delhi Capitals 156/7 (Shreyas Iyer 65*, Rishabh Pant 56; Trent Boult 3-20) by five wickets.