Former India cricketers Virender Sehwag and Ajay Jadeja were highly critical of Mumbai Indians’ approach and tactics in their 9-wicket loss against Punjab Kings in Match 17 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 in Chennai on Friday.
Rohit Sharma’s MI were restricted to 131 for 6 in 20 overs which PBKS comfortably chased down in 17.4 overs to end their 3-match losing streak in the IPL 2021.
Not only did MI’s batsmen, barring Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav, failed to fire once again, their top-order struggles continued to haunt the defending champions and was one of the main reasons behind their third defeat in 5 games.
Sehwag felt MI’s decision to promote the out-of-form Ishan Kishan ahead of the in-form Surya made no sense as the latter has been the best batsmen in their side so far this season.
Kishan came in at No. 3 but could only manage to score 6 off 17 balls whereas Surya made 33 off 27, the second-highest score in the team after captain Rohit Sharma’s 52-ball 63.
“The kind of form Suryakumar was in, he hit a fifty earlier, perhaps he could have taken more advantage of the powerplay. See, even he could’ve gotten out early but he had better chances.
“You are sending someone who hasn’t scored runs in 4 matches with hope that he will get you runs but you are demoting someone who has scored 2-3 out of your last 4 games. When 2-3 wickets fall quickly then there is pressure on that in-form player too.
“It would have been better had they sent Suryakumar early in the powerplay. He could have given the necessary momentum to the innings. The only good thing for MI was that Rohit and Suryakumar batted till the 15-16th over. They thought their big-hitters would play fearless cricket in the backend of the innings but that didn’t happen,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
PBKS rode on superb knocks from their skipper KL Rahul (60 not out), Chris Gayle (43 not out) and opener Mayank Agarwal (25) to cross the finish line and end their 3-match losing streak in IPL 2021.
Jadeja meanwhile, questioned MI’s intent after yet another flop-show with the bat.
“We were saying that MI are not playing well but they were scoring 150 at least but today they played well but got only 130. This was beyond me. You can play poorly, get out early but they came out today with their shutters closed, which is not their style of batting,” Jadeja said.