We look at the key points that enabled Mumbai's success this past season and how they can keep it going next year.
This is the last in a series of features where we will be taking a detailed dive into the various factors that stood out during the course of the Indian T20 League 2020 season.
Mumbai entered the 2020 edition of the Indian T20 League as the defending champions and they played like one throughout the season. Rohit Sharma and Co. finished right at the top of the table in the league stage, winning nine out of their 14 matches. Out of their five losses in the season, two came in the Super Over against Punjab and Bangalore. Only Rajasthan, Hyderabad and Chennai were able to beat them convincingly in the other three matches.
As far as their nine victories in the league stage goes, Mumbai completely dominated the opposition in those matches. Mumbai were equally lethal in the playoffs and in the final as well. They faced Delhi both in the first qualifier and in the final, and both of those matches turned out to be pretty one-sided. In fact, they won all of their four matches against Delhi in this edition and thus lifted the trophy for the second consecutive time on November 10.
"The cream always rises to the top and we saw that once again as the Indian T20 League 2020 came to an end," Brett Lee said.
"Despite some potent challenges from Delhi as well as Bangalore and Hyderabad, Mumbai proved they still have the edge when it comes to delivering the goods with a degree of consistency higher than anyone else. Mumbai have a solid, well-oiled line-up and retaining their key personnel will be critical to this effort like Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and last but not least, the young Ishan Kishan will certainly be Mumbai's key objective as we approach the 2021 auctions."
Top performers for Mumbai
It was a complete team effort by Mumbai but if we have to point out the individuals without whom this victory wouldn't have been possible, we have to name the likes of Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult. While Kishan (516), de Kock (503) and Yadav (480) finished as the top three run-getters for Mumbai, Bumrah (27) and Boult (25) were their top two wicket-takers.
All three of Kishan, de Kock and Yadav were consistent throughout the season. Bumrah and Boult, on the other hand, broke the back of the opposition with their breathtaking bowling. 15 of Boult's 25 wickets in the season came in the Powerplay overs and that sums up the kind of impact he made with the new ball. Bumrah, on the other hand, was consistent across all phases of the innings but his spells in the middle and death overs were the ones which had the greatest impact on Mumbai's performances.
The key game-changer
Ishan Kishan's excellence at the top of the order was the key game-changer for Mumbai in this season. When Rohit Sharma got injured, things could have gone haywire for Mumbai. But Kishan stepped up and provided exceptional performances as an opener. In four innings at the top of the order, Kishan scored 202 runs at an average of 101 and a strike-rate of 145.32. This included two match-winning fifties as well. His performances helped Mumbai dominate even though they were missing a key player like Sharma. Kishan's efforts ensured that they didn't lose the momentum in the middle of the season.
What next for Mumbai?
With five titles to their name already, Mumbai hardly have anything to prove, but they have already created a legacy which they will want to maintain, and that's why they will want to put together an equally stronger squad in the mega auctions coming up. Their spin bowling department was their only weak area in the last few seasons and Mumbai will look to strengthen that this time around. Also, getting back some of the key players like Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, who have been pivotal to their success, will be important for them in the auction. Retaining the likes of Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah will already be their top priority.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @IndianT20League