Probuddha Bhattacharjee ∙ May 24 2023, 8:31 AM

An All-Weather Middle Order: Mumbai Indians - X Factor

image-li1fwyxgMumbai Indians have made it to the playoffs after GT defeated RCB in the last league match (Source: AP Photo)

Mumbai Indians (MI) will be facing the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Eliminator 1 of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2023). The match will be taking place at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday, 24th May, at 7:30 PM IST. 

Mumbai Indians are the most successful team in the history of the tournament. They have won the tournament five times while playing in the final six times. The team will now have to win three more matches to lift the trophy for the sixth time. MI will have to take the challenging route, but given their experience playing in knockouts, we can expect a clinical performance from the Rohit Sharma-led team. 

In this article, we will look at the factor that might give the five-time champions a cutting edge in the business end of the tournament.

An all-weather middle-order 

This season has not been the brightest for the MI openers. While Ishan Kishan has hit form in recent matches, Rohit Sharma has blown hot and cold throughout the season. But it has been the middle-order of the team that has bailed them out in most of the matches. 

One or more performers from the middle order have put up their hands under pressure and have taken them through difficult situations. Now let us look at some match-winning performances in the middle-order of MI. 

Suryakumar Yadav

This dynamic right-handed batter has been carrying the batting of the Mumbai Indians in this tournament. Suryakumar Yadav has scored nearly 600 runs in the tournament and has stood up for the team on most important occasions. 

Tilak Varma

 The young Indian batter has been the go-to man for MI in times of crisis. Tilak Varma bailed the team out of jail on quite a few occasions, the most significant being in the team's opening clash, where he scored 82 runs and was the lone warrior for the five-time champions. However, he has not featured enough in recent matches due to a niggle that he is carrying.

Nehal Wadhera

This Indian middle-order batter was not getting a chance to prove himself in the initial stages of the tournament. But once, Wadhera got to face enough deliveries to make an impact, he played a couple of match-winning knocks and has proven his worth. 

Cameron Green

The Australian all-rounder played a match-winning knock in their last league match when it was the most required out of him. Before this, he delivered even at the top of the order. Green looks like the most flexible batter in the MI line-up, and they can trust him with any job in any situation. 

Tim David

The Australian batter has been entrusted with finishing off matches for the team. On most occasions, David has successfully done the job; one must remember that David hit three massive sixes to Jason Holder and powered MI to a win. 

So, this shows us that MI have a middle-order that is flexible, dependable and can adjust to any conditions. On a slowish and spinning track at Chepauk, they will need the services of players like Surya and Tilak. While, if they do make it past the Eliminator, they will need their power hitters in Green and David to step up at Ahmedabad. Hence, a line-up that can win matches under any condition on their given day looks like the biggest X-factor for Mumbai Indians.