Mumbai Indians continued their brilliant run in the Indian Premier League, winning the IPL 2020 crown with a comprehensive five-wicket triumph over Delhi Capitals at Dubai on Tuesday. After losing the toss, MI put up a thoroughly professional bowling display to restrict Delhi to 156/7 despite half-centuries from skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. MI then chased down the target without much trouble, courtesy of skipper Rohit Sharma’s half-century, to recapture the IPL title for the second year in a row. With Mumbai celebrating yet another title triumph, we look at the top five reasons for MI’s victory.
1. Lethal duo of Boult and Bumrah
The exceptional performances of MI pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult were pivotal to Mumbai’s win in IPL 2020. Not only did the duo run in and bowl fast, but produced a number of unplayable wicket-taking deliveries. Jasprit Bumrah’s yorker to send back Shikhar Dhawan in the first Qualifier or Trent Boult’s brute to dismiss Marcus Stoinis in the final after cases in point. There was no respite for the opposition from either of the two Bs as they claimed 27 and 25 wickets respectively and led the bowling charts for Mumbai.
2. Sensational death overs batting by Pollard and Pandya
That Mumbai had the strongest batting line up in IPL 2020 was a given. And the champion side proved why. Even on days when they lost early wickets, Mumbai managed to pull things back thanks to their batting might towards the end of the innings. Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya’s monster-hitting stood out here. While the West Indian smashed 268 runs in 140 balls at an amazing strike rate of 191.42, the Indian blazed his way to 281 runs in 157 balls at a strike rate of 178.98. On their day, they were unstoppable.
3. Quinton de Kock’s terrific form at the top
Mumbai Indians opener Quinton de Kock did not enjoy great success towards the end of the tournament. But, he had an exceptional run in between, which went a long way in ensuring Mumbai sailed through the league stage without too much trouble. Overall, de Kock was the sixth highest run-getter in IPL 2020 with 503 runs at a strike rate of 140.50. He got the team off to some terrific starts. He smashed four half-centuries in all and kept contributing with breezy cameos otherwise.
4. The Surya-Ishan show
Mumbai Indians were blessed to have two terrific match-winners in the middle-order. While Suryakumar Yadav continued to do what he does best, pile on the runs, young Ishan Kishan won a few tiger stripes with his defiant performances. Yadav finished IPL 2020 with 480 runs in 16 matches at a strike rate of 145.01 and four fifties. He was reliable as ever, pulling the team over the line more than once. For Kishan, it was his breakthrough season. He smashed 516 runs in 14 games, shedding all inhibitions, and performing like a pro.
5. The versatility factor
This is something only rare sides can possess. Imagine, Mumbai rarely missed Rohit at the top of the leader when he was injured. Ishan Kishan stepped in almost seamlessly and was an instant hit. Further, Pollard took over the leadership and impressed with his proven skills. Leg-spinner Rahul Chahar put up a fine show for the majority of the tournament. Yet, when off-spinner Jayant Yadav was asked to step in for him in the final, he answered with the major scalp of Shikhar Dhawan. Most things Mumbai touched turned to gold. And hence, it was least surprising to see them recapture the crown.