Former India pacer Ajit Agarkar has blamed the Mumbai Indians' middle order for their devastating display in the ongoing 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
However, Mumbai has won Friday’s (4 May) IPL encounter against the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by 6-wickets in Indore, but their chances for the IPL 2018 playoffs are still in danger after losing six matches of 9 matches that they have played so far. Now, the defending champions have to win their remaining matches to keep alive their hopes for the IPL 2018 playoffs.
Since the start of the 11th season of the tournament, MI has faced a terrible response from the middle order and their poor show was the major factor of their series of defeats in the IPL 2018, believes Ajit.
As per reports in Press Trust of India, “Their (MI) bowling attack is quite potent, (but) they haven't again delivered. Their batting has kind of let them down - their middle order. They just somehow have missed the important moments in a game and have probably let themselves down.”
On MI's batting order, Agarkar said, “They need to start getting their batting right. Rohit, for me, needs to bat at number three, if he is not opening, and not lower than that. They need Rohit to play well. Others have to chip in. Suryakumar Yadav has been good for them. Apart from that, they haven't had too many match-winners in their batting, which is a bit of worry.”
He further said that the West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard's poor form is also disappointed the MI, Agarkar noted, “More than me Mumbai Indians are disappointed. They obviously trust him (Pollard) a lot; rely on him a lot, so they want him in good form. He is in bad form, the confidence is not there. They depend a lot on his power at the end of the innings and it has not happened this year.”
On being asked about Mumbai’s chances in the IPL 2018, former Indian pacer stated, “It's been one of those seasons, T20s you can have a tough season, especially the first two games were very close. Sometimes when you don't get victories, it makes life difficult. Before (earlier) they have started slowly, not as slow as this year, and then caught up. Whether they can do it, I have my doubts this year. But mathematically they have a chance, so you can't rule them out.”
Agarkar signed off by saying, “Sunrisers at the moment looks the strongest, (because) not only they are defending runs, but in spite of losing Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Billy Stanlake, two important bowlers, they have managed to get two new bowlers in and still been as difficult to score off.”