The nightmare continues for the Mumbai Indians, who were on Sunday night handed their eighth straight humiliating defeat in the Premier League 2022. Zero wins yet. Which means they have already crashed out of the playoffs. This is the team that has won the most IPL championships. 

Or is it? 

The Mumbai Indians this year are a pale shadow of Rohit Sharma’s consistently strong squad that has had big performances even in the years it did not win the championship. It won its five titles in quick succession in the eight years between 2013 and 2020, spotlighting captain Rohit Sharma for the top role in the national team. 

Also Read: IPL 2022: Can a team qualify for playoffs after seven losses?

Sharma continues to lead the Mumbai Indians or MI, but the class batsman has failed to justify his Rs 16-crore salary. Other MI old-timers like Kieron Pollard and Ishan Kishan have also failed to fire. 

MI’s troubles began with the misadventure that was this year’s IPL auction. They ended up overpaying for Tim David, an allrounder from, hold your breath, Singapore. The franchise paid Rs 8.5 crore for David, who they then dropped from the playing 11 after two matches. MI also paid a ridiculous 15.25 crore to bring batter/wicket-keeper Ishan Kishan back to the team. Ishan has given poor ROI (return on investment) so far, scoring less than 200 runs combined in all the matches so far at an abysmal strike rate of 108.  

Compare that to, say, Dinesh Karthik, snapped up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 5.5 crore. Kartik bats way down the order and already has 210 runs to his name in this year’s edition. At a strike rate of 200.

MI is also deeply feeling the loss of players like the Pandya brothers in critical areas, including bowling and fielding. Hardik Pandya, captaining new team Gujarat Titans, is currently number 3 among batsmen who have scored the most runs. The Titans incidentally are at the top in this year’s IPL rankings. No prizes for guessing which team is at the bottom. 

A weak bowling unit has meant that the ferocious Jasprit Bumrah, arguably the world’s best bowler, has been put in a containment role rather than that of hunting. MI has also lost its sharpness in the field, with a number of dropped catches, the latest being Tilak Varma parrying a Quinton de Kock sitter for a 6 in Sunday’s match. 

Also Read: When Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma cursed Ishan Kishan in IPL 2018

MI skipper Rohit Sharma has the unenviable task of explaining his team’s disastrous performance so far. After Sunday’s match he blamed the batting. “We haven’t batted well enough in this tournament. Whoever plays in the middle needs to take that responsibility and go on to play long innings. Some of the opposition players have done that and that is what is hurting us. One guy needs to ensure that he bats as long as possible,” said Sharma, his team’s top scorer at 39 today.  

The Lucknow Super Giants scored 168 for 6 in 20 overs. MI could score only 132 for 8,  handing a 36-run win to their opponents.