We all know how Mumbai Indians have a history of being sluggish at the start of their campaigns before somehow coming alive before the business end of the season. They can never be ruled out of playoff contention until they are actually out of playoff contention.
The start to their 2021 campaign wasn’t as bad but their results in the UAE leg have pegged them back, even though they won their last game, which was against Punjab Kings. Still, that win came after a run of three straight defeats in the desert.
With three games left to play, Mumbai, who sits in the fifth spot, have little room for error. But then if anyone can maneuver out of this tough spot, it has to be them.
They owe their last match’s drought-ending win to a team effort, although Kieron Pollard was named the man of the match. A bunch of their bowlers did well against Punjab, and Hardik Pandya was among the runs – all good signs for the defending champions.
Delhi Capitals are just one spot away from the summit of the points table, needing just one more win of their remaining three fixtures to seal their playoffs spot.
They can’t afford to relax though, as they were in a similar situation last year, having been quick off the blocks before losing steam towards the end of the round-robin stage and facing a desperate fight for survival in their final game.
Besides, their next two games after this are against top-ranked sides, which means they must take their chances right now and here.
The Capitals could be the neutrals’ favourites tomorrow as their fellow title aspirants would love to see the back of Mumbai – serial winners whose mere presence in the playoffs leaves little room for others to eat.