Mumbai Indians won the IPL trophy for the second time by beating Chennai Super Kings in the last year final by 41 runs due to some match-winning performance by Rohit Sharma and Lendl Simmons.
We look at the top 5 factors which literally changed MI’s fortune in the tournament back in 2015.
1. The (un)fortunate loss of Finch
Mumbai Indians must have thought that IPL 8 couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start. After the injury to Aaron Finch against Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai suffered it’s third straight loss of the season without opening its account in the points table. But Finch’s unfortunate injury turned MI’s fate on a positive note because of the entry of the solid Trinidadian opening batsman – LENDLL SIMMONS. Simmons’ attacking mindset at the top of the order changed the look of Mumbai’s batting order which at one time was totally dependent on Rohit Sharma . Parthiv Patel also prospered in Simmons company as both of them took the attack to the opposition and gave solid starts to Mumbai which helped them to score big totals. Simmons eventually became the second highest run-getter of the IPL 8 only behind David Warner. Parthiv Patel also contributed to Mumbai’s success by scoring 339 runs in the tournament.
2. Legends in the dugout
If names like Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting , Shane Bond , Jonty Rhodes , Anil Kumble are present in your dugout then you are ought to perform well for the sake of their name . At the start of the IPL season, Ponting was made the head coach of Mumbai Indians and many pundits terming it as a masterstroke . Ponting, a former two-time World Cup winning captain made his presence felt in the team by making Mumbai qualify for playoffs after they lost five of its first seven matches. Tendulkar as the team icon motivated the team by attending all of it’s matches . Kumble as the mentor took them out from bad times through his motivational speeches . Bond was instrumental in guiding bowlers in practice sessions , McClenaghan’s brilliant showing in this tournament is largely credited to Bond because he has worked with him before during his stint as the bowling coach of Central Stags. Ponting is also credited for improving Rohit’s captaincy skills . Ponting who is considered as one of the best captains the game has ever seen knows how to turn an out of form team into a fighting unit and this transformation was definitely seen in the Mumbai Indians side.
3. Young blood showing it’s mettle
Mumbai Indians were blessed with a bagful of talented youngsters who showed courage and delivered match-winning performances at the precise moment especially Jagdeesh Sucith and Hardik Pandya. Sucith a left arm spinner from Karnataka scalped 10 wickets for MI and also displayed some lusty hitting with the bat in the thrashing of Kings XI. He also helped MI beat CSK in qualifier 1 with his all -round performance. With him coming in the team MI got the right blend of spinners in their playing XI . Hardik Pandya was also a very good find by MI who bought him at his base price of Rs.10 lakhs and received dividends from him which they were unable to receive from their high budget players. Pandya a 21-year-old all-rounder from Baroda played a vital role in two of MI’s wins. He struck 3 sixes in succession to hand MI victory over CSK at the Chepauk in a nail-biting finish . Six days later, he struck 61 runs off 31 balls that took MI to a narrow 5 run victory over KKR.
4. Bowling revolution
MI bowlers started the campaign pretty bad as they were unable to take early breakthroughs and put a stoppage on opposition’s run-rate . They bowling was wayward and lacked any sort of direction whatsoever. But since the inclusion of Mitchell Mclenaghan, everything started falling into place for Mumbai Indians . Their bowling which was once looking vulnerable suddenly became their biggest strength . McClenaghan provided the much-needed spark that MI lacked. He was included after the exit of his teammate Corey Anderson who had to go for his national duties to England. McClenaghan who took 18 wickets and revelled in Malinga’s company. Malinga became the second highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 24 wickets . But the most important of all was the coming back to the form of the Turbanator – HARBHAJAN SINGH . Bhajji made full use of the extra bounce on the Wankhede wickets as he ended up with crucial wickets at a good economy rate.
5. Mumbaikars overwhelming support
There is always one domestic team in every country which gets overwhelming support from it’s people like the case of Manchester United, Los Angeles Lakers or the Perth Scorchers to name a few. Similarly in India, it’s the Mumbai Indians who get the best support in the country. Mumbaikars never lose hope and always back their team in every situation. After their team lost 5 of it’s first 7 matches , the crowd still backed them and supported them right till the end. Stands were still always full at the Wankhede. The Mumbai Indians crowd is very much similar to the Australian crowd which becomes hostile for the visiting team and leaves no stone unturned in making sure that they get behind their team.