Is 2022 the year of a New IPL Winner?
The 15th season of the IPL is going on in full flow with two new teams added to the league. The games so far have been high scoring and nail-biting affairs. The two news teams although have not set the league on fire, are doing quite well considering it’s their first season. Teams like RR and GT have won all of their games so far pointing towards a good showing this season. As expected, teams like KKR, DC, RR and GT are doing well based on their buys in the auction.
One thing however that was not expected from anyone is the poor showing of both Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. Both of these teams have lost all their matches. MI has played two and lost both of them. CSK of course did one better and lost 3 of their matches so far.
Why is Mumbai Indians doing poorly in IPL 2022?
Mumbai’s poor showing could be attributed to their poor auction buys or rather inability to buy their own players. Payers like de Kock, the Pandya brothers, Boult and Chahar have been the backbone of MI’s team helping the Mumbai based team win multiple IPL trophies as well. In 2021 however, they were all let go into the auction and not bought again.
Everyone thought Mumbai’s superior squad depth would balance out the exclusion of their star players but the first two games tell a different story altogether.
Mumbai are struggling, primarily in the bowling department and it looks like this won’t be their year.
Another potential reason for Mumbai Indian’s current woes would be the injury of Surya Kumar Yadav. He has been instrumental in MI’s success in the past couple of seasons so naturally, his unavailability is causing concern for the team. Mumbai have looked 20 odd runs short of a defendable total in the first two matches. Had SKY been in the team, they would have certainly got those 20 runs
Why is Chennai Super Kings struggling in the IPL 2022?
CSK and MI operate on a totally different template altogether. While Mumbai go all out with a costly and young squad, CSK have paid much importance to experience. Every year, people raised concerns about CSK’s ageing squad and every year they are proven wrong by CSK’s performance. This year however age seems to have finally caught up with the team. Dhoni having played decently in the first two games showed the signs of his struggling past with 10 runs off of 20 balls when the required rate was close to 15.
Jadeja’s shoulders have been laden with captaincy and that seems to be the reason behind his uncharacteristically bad performance. So far he has not made any contribution with the bat and gone for too many runs with the ball.
To say that captaincy corrupts individual performance would be an understatement.
Just because players like Dhoni, and Ponting were not devoured by the pressure of their captaincy does not mean it’s not taxing for others. Just look at Kohli! He has forgotten the art of batting altogether ever since he was handed the captaincy for the national team. It is too early to be sure but it looks like Jadeja is struggling with the same pressure.
The third reason for CSK’s poor form in IPL 2022 is their mediocre bowling lineup. Chennai’s bowling was glued by Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar both of whom are not in the team at the moment. Thakur was allowed to go to Punbaj and Chahar has been out with an injury. Their new bowling lineup consists of Shivam Dube a newbie in Mukesh Chaudhary and other support bowlers. None of these are wicket-takers and hence they are taken to the sweepers in every match.
Opportunity for other teams?
CSK and MI have hogged the IPL trophy. In the 14 seasons so far, CSK and MI have combined won the IPL trophy 9 times. In the past, no matter how good other teas were, one of MI or CSK was always better than all of them.
This season however this isn’t the case anymore. Teams like RR, PBKS, DC, GT and KKR genuinely look good enough to win the IPL. If there was a time for a new IPL winner other than CSK and MI could win the IPL, this is it.
It is the first time since 2016 when it looks like a new team other than CSK and MI would be the winner of the IPL and we’re all for it. Competition is the bread and butter of any sport and domination by a team or two often takes away the excitement (just ask an RCB fan). If a new team wins the IPL 2022 it would certainly shift the power dynamics of the league and there would be renewed interest from not just fans but also teams who would think that they can win the coveted trophy as well.
A new IPL winner is certainly a huge possibility this year and I am all for it.