Record Indian Premier League champions MI had a miserable outing in the recently concluded 15th edition of the tournament, losing their first eight matches in a row. The Rohit Sharma-led side struggled to find the right balance in their squad, after losing a few key players as a result of the major reshuffle caused by the mega auction.
They finished last in what was an utterly disappointing campaign given their high standards, behind old foes Chennai Super Kings, who also had a forgettable season altogether. In addition, Sharma had a torrid time with the bat, as he was unable to get a single score in excess of 50. The six-time champion scored just 268 runs from 14 outings at a dismal average of 19.14, while striking at 120.
However, the Indian captain believes that this season was just a one-off and that next season could be their year, as it so often has. Mumbai will also be bolstered by the potential arrival of Jofra Archer, who was unavailable due to injury this season, a known fact at the time of the auction, when the Mumbai Indians purchased the quick.
Sharma hailed the unity in his side and said the the morale in the squad was still very high even after a disappointing season. Mumbai did have quite a few bright stars amongst their ranks, such as the youngster Tilak Verma, who showed outstanding form and maturity this season.
Dewald Brevis was also mighty impressive during the course of the season. Off-spinner Hrithik Shokeen also left a considerable impact, leaving skipper Rohit, and many others, to believe that the Mumbai Indians will bounce back strong after this season.
“It was an unexpected season but we do want to reflect on the learnings and the positives. It was great to see how the team stuck together and backed each other. Now it’s about how we look at the next season and how we prepare. We managed to end on a high and that was important for us. We are gonna come back stronger.
The unity in the team is a good sign. I didn’t see any of them give up. We stayed together as a family. They were trying their best in training and I am proud of that. The camaraderie in the team has been excellent. We had one goal and everyone was working towards it,”said Sharma.
In what was a lacklustre season on the whole, the performances of Brevis, Verma and Shokeen gave many the impression that the future of cricket is in good hands.
Sharma was also of this belief, which he expressed throughout the tournament. The 35-year-old, on one occasion also declared that young Tilak would one day be an all-format player for India.
“Some of them are going to be gun players in the future. Them putting their hand up and giving their best was the most pleasing part of the season.”
Also read 👉 IPL 2022: Top 10 moments of the season