By Gautam Bhattacharyya
Senior Associate Editor
Dubai: Mumbai Indians’ domination throughout the league stages of IPL 2020 in the UAE was, well, almost boring. They only extended it with arguably one of the most one-sided victories in the play-offs when they mauled Delhi Capitals by 57 runs in the first Qualifier and be the first team to make the final on November 10.
It could well be possible that these two teams can still meet in the final, but then Shreyas Iyer’s Capitals – which was one of the most consistent teams in the league barring a brief dip – will be scarred after their humbling experience in Dubai today.
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It's not for nothing that Mumbai have become the most successful franchise in recent years – and they now look well in line to be only the second team in history to win back-to-back IPL titles. Chennai Super Kings were the only team to have achieved it in their peak in 2010-11.
They had registered nine wins out of 14 group league matches to be perched on top of the table with 18 points – while others had been trying to play catch up with them all along. It was a campaign when their captain and a pillar of their batting, Rohit Sharma, did not have a memorable season by his standards – not to speak of sitting out four matches with a controversial ‘hamstring injury.’
However, the depth and versatility of the side is such that they had a new hero in every other outing – with Quinton de Kock coming to his own after a few matches, Surya Kumar Yadav having an outstanding season at number three and young Ishan Kishan resurrecting his career with the franchise at the vital number four position with some gamechanging efforts - including a much-needed 55 off 30 balls on Thursday evening.
The ‘engine room’ of the team, comprising of Kieron Pollard and the Pandya brothers, hardly failed to give that final push in the last five overs to throw a gauntlet to their rivals. In bowling, Jasprit Bumrah (now owner of the Purple Cup with 27 wickets) just keeps up turning up and doing his job - having made an awesome pair with Trent Boult this season.
Now that they have made the final, the ‘Mumbai Paltan’ look well-equipped to make it two in a row. Let's wait and watch till next Tuesday!