It is beyond cricketing logic. Somethings are immune from logic in our cricketing world, why Pakistan does Pakistan like nobody else does it? or why Virat Kohli struggles in England despite having a game to excel there? and more pertinent to this today, "Why Mumbai Indians, despite having a squad to completely destroy their opponents, start slowly every year?"
Mumbai Indians are the most successful Indian Premier League franchise, having won the title most number of times across the decade. They had the squad to go all the way this year too but didn't. Why? Nobody has an answer to this. It doesn't make sense.
The Rohit Sharma led side is a team that was built on the prowess and depth across all departments of the game in this season, what went wrong is perhaps the execution of their best in crucial games right at the start of the season.
MI lost 4 of their first 5 games, all last over encounters. They had the players to bail them out from those situations and win the game but it just didn't happen. Their late resurgence this year was just not good enough in the end, unlike previous years.
But it would be insane to overreact if you are Mumbai Indians, having the core to come back hard next season. And yet, there is a need to remove the chinks.
Hence, team COC gets down to analyse and list out five players who are unlikely to feature for the franchise next year.
1. Keiron Pollard
Historically the Mumbai Indians family has come across as a team that adores its old players, but if cricketing sense is to prevail, Keiron Pollard may well have played his last season for them. At his best and dare it would be said, in his prime Keiron Pollard played some of the most amazing innings with the bat for his team on the most important days but if this season is to go by he is not the player he once was. You could see, Rohit Sharma can't go to Pollard for an over or two like he used to, his fitness and athleticism in the field is in decline and while batting he doesn't seem to inflict the same fear into the bowler he once did.
2. JP Duminy
Now that's another fine player who is on his last leg. Knowing fully well that people perceive him as underachieving talent but at his best JP Duminy played some absolutely memorable knocks but he is surplus to Mumbai Indians' requirements. He has an innate weakness against the spin and it is one virtue that separates the successful from the failing in the Indian Premier League.
3. Mustafizur Rehman
It has to be said, Wankhede has always come across as a very true surface where the ball, can turn big once it does but, has a consistent bounce all times. Maybe, that's what didn't quite go the way of Mustafizur Rehman. His slower balls and cutters are not as strong when he has to bowl on truer pitches. His unique action, the ability to excel in the death was supposed to be Mumbai Indians' strength but he, very tellingly, only played 7 games in the whole season for the Rohit Sharma side.
4. Akila Dananjaya
Sri Lankan Cricket is going through a never-ending struggle, there aren't too many exceptional talents coming through but he is one. Akila Dananjaya is a player who is showing a lot of heart while playing for his country. He would be invaluable to a team but he just doesn't fit into the MI scheme of things. They have a fine wrist spinner in the form of Mayank Markande to build their future around and have backups for him too. You feel for him but Akila Dananajaya has to leave this camp. Perhaps because he is too good a player to be sitting on the bench.
5. Pradeep Sangwan
Pradeep Sangwan has always come across as a talented young Delhi fast bowler, who has something about him. There has always been more wickets in him than what he's picked. There has always been something about him that hasn't, very sadly, unleashed and deliver performances. The issue is you can live by the perception for only as long. Mumbai Indians should show no interest in having him unless he becomes a better bowler.