The 2016 IPL season is over! For four teams. While the other teams get ready for the play-offs, the Mumbai Indians, Delhi Daredevils, Rising Pune Supergiants and Kings XI Punjab instead are left to look back and try to work out what went wrong this time around.
Let’s help them out, shall we?
Record: Won 7. Lost 7. Finished 5th.
Post-mortem: After triumphing in the 2015 season, the Mumbai Indians will be bitterly disappointed with not even making the play-offs in 2016.
Coach Ricky Ponting and captain Rohit Sharma did their best to emulate their successful 2015 campaign, stumbling to just two wins out of their first six matches (very much in line with their one win from their first six games in 2015).
But despite such a strong start - a hundred percent more victories than at the same time in 2015! - things fell apart from there and the Mumbai ended up falling just one win short of the play-offs. In retrospect, being thrashed by cellar-dwellers Kings XI Punjab in their third-last game was a poor strategic move.
How can they fix things for next year: They should probably revert to that ‘win just one of the first six games’ tactic. After all, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Record: Won 7. Lost 7. Finished 6th.
Post-mortem: After an embarrassing first match where they were dismissed for just 98 off 17.4 overs against the Kolkata Knight Riders, the Delhi Daredevils recovered brilliantly, winning their next three games and five of their first seven to be one of the form teams of the competition at the halfway mark of the season. They then lost five of their final seven games to just miss out on the play-offs.
Their entire 2016 IPL season was the equivalent of batting first and making, say, 191 from your twenty overs and then bowling sufficiently poorly in the second half of the match that you end up unable to defend such a strong total. Which is, of course, exactly how Royal Challengers Bangalore lost to Delhi Daredevils the first time they played them. And not at all like what happened the second time those teams played.
How can they fix things for next year: They should try really, really hard to avoid going into their final must-win game against a team led by an unstoppable Virat Kohli in career-best batting form. Daredevilry is one thing. Cricketing suicide is quite another.
Rising Pune Supergiants
Record: Won 5. Lost 9. Finished 7th.
Post-mortem: The Rising Pune Supergiants seemed beset by rising levels of Kryptonite as they lost four of their best international players to injury - Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Faf du Plessis and Kevin Pietersen.
Still, if there’s one thing MS Dhoni is legendary for, it’s his finishing prowess in the limited overs forms of the game, no matter the odds against him. How many times have we seen him stare down the prospect of defeat and then strike killer blows when all seems lost? Impressively, he pulled off this feat on a tournament level here, guiding his team to victories from the last two matches the Supergiants played to ensure they avoided finishing last. Classic meta-Dhoni move.
How can they fix things for next year: It’s right there in the name. The Pune Supergiants just need to keep on rising. There’s plenty of room before they hit the top of the table.
Also, maybe give Adam Zampa more than five games.
Kings XI Punjab
Record: Won 4. Lost 10. Finished last.
Post-mortem: Perennial under-performers Kings XI Punjab once again missed out on the semi-finals, as they’ve done virtually every year since the IPL began.
This season, the rot began at the top, with new captain David Miller making just 76 runs in his first six games, only one of which his team won. He was then stripped of the captaincy, with Murali Vijay taking over.
But despite the new captain’s best efforts, the tone had been set, and with his international players being struck down by such diverse ailments as food poisoning-induced back injuries (Shaun Marsh), the pressures of captaincy (Miller), indifferent bowling form (Mitchell Johnson), being Glenn Maxwell (Glenn Maxwell) and only showing up for the last six games (Hashim Amla), the Kings XI Punjab team never had a real shot at making an impact on the 2016 IPL season.
How can they fix things for next year: Surely there’s enough evidence now that the Kings XI Punjab experiment doesn’t work. For next year’s IPL, they should surely be going with at least Kings XII or even Kings XV Punjab if they want to be competing with their opponents.
Updated Date: May 23, 2016 14:21 PM