After the Indian Premier League 2020 season started, there were only a few voices who believed that Mumbai Indians will go on to retain their title. While MI is a strong team, the level of competition in IPL has always been high – and it was expected that MI will have to do something incredibly special to lift the trophy this time around with all the franchises building solid squads at the auctions last year and their ‘odd-even’ jinx.
But MI went on to do incredible things throughout the tournament, first finishing at the top of the table in the league stage, then becoming the first team to reach the final, before winning the trophy once again – for a record-extending fifth time.
In a video uploaded on his YouTube page, former Chennai Super Kings star Shane Watson, who retired after CSK’s campaign came to an end, explained what worked for MI this season.
“Congratulations Mumbai Indians for winning their 5th IPL title. There is no question that Mumbai Indians had the strongest team all the way through IPL 2020. As the IPL continued to evolve, it confirmed to me more and more that Mumbai Indians have no weaknesses. That’s internationally as well, let alone in the IPL. The more the Mumbai Indians played in the tournament, more and more, it felt they had no weaknesses,” Watson said.
“They had world-class opening batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock. Suryakumar Yadav, he continues to bat so well, it’s not going to be too long before he plays for India. And he had a brilliant tournament. And then Ishan Kishan who came in and set the IPL alight as well. Whether he was batting in the middle-overs or opening in the absence of Rohit, he provided so much impetus,” he added.
No one dominated this edition of the IPL more than MI. After losing to CSK in the opener, MI did not put a foot wrong and ransacked the opposition along the way. In terms of domination, MI’s campaign comes close to the one CSK had in 2011 when they were hardly challenged and won the title second year in a row.
If Mi’s top order was batting heavy, the middle-lower order produced fireworks thanks to the big-hitting duo of Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard. “And then two best finishers in world cricket at the moment right now… Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard, just for a bit of back-up there and also Krunal Pandya,” Watson added.
“In the end, they were too hard to beat, if they continue to put this team on the field over the next few years, they are going to be incredibly hard to beat.”