Mumbai went on top of the Indian T20 League standings on net run rate after a 48-run win against Punjab (their biggest win over Punjab by runs) at Abu Dhabi on Thursday. The four-time champions’ skipper Rohit Sharma led from the front with 70 from 45 balls and was well supported by Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya, who strung together a 67-run partnership – the highest in the match – off 23 balls to propel Mumbai to a match-winning total.
Here’s a quick glance at some of the talking points that emerged from the contest.
Another bad day at the office for de Kock
Quinton de Kock’s poor run with the bat in the Indian T20 League continued after the Mumbai wicket-keeper was dismissed for a duck against Punjab. A major reason behind why Mumbai haven’t managed to enjoy solid starts with a good foundation at the top has been de Kock’s failure to launch in any of the defending champions’ games so far.
His scores of 33, 1, 14 and 0 tell a sad tale and if things don’t change soon, then once just cannot blame Mumbai if they begin to consider alternatives at the top. With 48 runs from his first four innings in this year’s tournament, de Kock is averaging 12 and is yet to hit a six this season, which interestingly happens to be one of his strengths. Unless there is an upturn in his fortunes in the next few games, Mumbai could look at replacing him as an opener or even drop him from the team.
Mumbai Indians' next game is at Sharjah, so they should definitely try Chris Lynn there ahead of Quinton De Kock. He's vast experience playing the T20 league, plus the Sharjah pitch will suit him. Ishan Kishan can handle the wicketkeeping job.— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) October 1, 2020
Neesham’s nightmare in the 2020 Indian T20 League continues
James Neesham has had a forgettable 2020 Indian T20 League so far and that will soon need to change if he wants to keep his place in the Punjab team. The New Zealand all-rounder was smashed for 40 for 1 in Punjab’s last match against Rajasthan and went for 52 from his four overs against Mumbai – the most runs he’s ever conceded in an inning in an Indian T20 League innings.
He didn’t deliver with the bat either and was dismissed after making seven from just as many deliveries. That said, he isn’t alone in underperforming for Punjab when it comes to their batting, in particular, as far as their foreign players are concerned. Even though Nicholas Pooran managed 44 against Mumbai, he, Glenn Maxwell and Neesham haven’t covered themselves in glory in the 2020 Indian T20 League thus far.
Pollard powers Mumbai in death overs again
After uncharacteristically quiet outings in Mumbai’s first two games, Kieron Pollard has well and truly come into his own in their last two matches. The hard-hitting all-rounder from Trinidad powered Mumbai to 191 with some help from Hardik Pandya. Pollard scored a 20-ball 47 and Hardik remained unbeaten on 30 from 11 deliveries as the duo helped Mumbai make 89 in the last five overs.
Pollard's Last 5 innings vs KXIP— 𝑺𝒉𝒆𝒃𝒂𝒔 (@Shebas_10dulkar) October 1, 2020
Pollard’s unbeaten 47 comes after he scored 60 from 24 balls at a strike rate of 250 to help Mumbai to a Super Over win against Bangalore along with Ishan Kishan. The powerful all-rounder’s innings against Bangalore may have gone in vain, but his knock against Punjab proved to be crucial and set up a win for the reigning champions.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter