With five losses in as many matches in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, Mumbai Indians are enduring their worst start to any season till date.
Only once before have MI suffered five back-to-back losses, making this their joint-longest losing streak in IPL history. The other instance was way back in 2014, where they also faltered in their opening five fixtures.
Back in 2014, MI began their campaign with a 41-run loss to eventual champions Kolkata Knight Riders. Four back-to-back defeats at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils and Sunrisers followed, leaving the Rohit Sharma-led outfit struggling at the bottom of the IPL points table.
The season, however, didn’t end in doom and gloom for the Mumbai team as they managed to win seven of their next nine league matches and made it to the eliminator, where they were knocked out by MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings.
This wasn’t the only time MI showed an aptitude for recovering from a poor start – a quality which has established Mumbai Indians as the most successful team in IPL history. The very next year, Mumbai Indians lost their first four matches but ended up winning the title.
This year, Mumbai Indians lost their opening match to Delhi Capitals by four wickets. Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab Kings also recorded fairly straightforward victories over the five-time champions.
Knowing Mumbai Indians’ past record, a late resurgence and a charge for a title cannot be ruled out yet. However, MI do have a lot of issues to address if they are to succeed.
With the team undergoing a major overhaul and experienced campaigners like Hardik Pandya and Quinton de Kock moving on to new shores, the current MI squad is a team in transition.
While there’s little question over the talent of new recruits like Ishan Kishan and Dewald Brevis, they will need time to be integrated in the team. Captain and talisman Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, have got off to decent starts but failed to convert them into big scores, adding to Mumbai’s batting woes.
In the bowling department, meanwhile, Jofra Archer’s injury and spearhead Jasprit Bumrah (4 wickets from five matches) struggling for form has been Mumbai’s major worries.