"He has given it, He has given it. the Mumbai Indians have done it again, 4-time Vivo Ipl champions" said Ian Bishop live on air. Shardul Thakur was dismissed by an imperious slower delivery by the maestro of the art Lasith Malinga. Now in this COVID situation as a MI fan craving for the IPL, a question definately arises that which summer was the one which gave me goosebumps? Was it the resurge of 2015 or the last ball thrillers of 2017 and 2019 or the miracle of 2014? Let's take a look
The summers to forget were of 2009,2016,2018 when MI never really got going and failed to qualify for the knockout stage. The only noteworthy match which I personally distinctively remember is the MI vs KKR where a young and swashbuckling small-town kid with glee and dreams in his vision was trashing bowlers out of the park. Ishan Kishan tore apart world-class bowlers in that game making 62 off just 21. In another game, Mitchell McClenaghan was used as a pinch hitter to turn the game around.
The first season of the IPL, money was being splashed in all departments to start the Richest but the Toughest league. You go ten years down the lane and no one would have thought what this format, would have given to this game. Even though Mumbai did not qualify, but the season was significant. A team, full of stalwarts from the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya to Shaun Pollock and Harbhajan Singh. You could just feel the intensity ask anybody on the streets before the start of the tournament and MI were the clear favorites. But then MI followed the tradition which they have followed to date being the slow starters. No victory in 4 games and following it up 6 victories in 6 but then again the tide turned against Mumbai as they notched only one victory in 4, losing in a nail-bitter against Punjab when a sprinting Yuvraj made a splendid run-out. In that season we saw the Jayasuriya magic, it was vintage Jayasuriya on display scoring 414 at a strike rate of 162, chasing 160 in 14 overs. Or be it the humiliation which MI gave to KKR dismissing then for paltry 67 and chasing it in just 5 overs. Jayasuriya scoring 48 off 17.
From one champion lets jump to the other Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar had a dream season in 2010 leading the team from the very front. This season the lions from Mumbai roared from the very start. The first match was itself incredible after scoring 212, what followed was Yusuf Pathan going berserk bringing up the fastest hundred at that time though he could not take his team over the line yet it was quite a game to remember. The thing which mesmerized me the most was the speed at which Sachin Tendulkar was scoring runs. This was the season when Saurabh Tiwary was in the form of his life. Also, it was this year when MI got the able services of Kieron Pollard who was going to be a part of that trophy-winning core of Mumbai Indians. Mumbai reached the final this year, succumbing to the final step. Sachin won the orange cap, Saurabh Tiwary won the emerging player but the trophy cabinet remained empty which was worth some tears in a young me.
The year 2011
This year MI spent big buying undoubtedly the best buy in the chronicle of the team Rohit Sharma, who had racked up exquisite performance for Deccan Chargers. Till that year I was fond of the team because of Sachin and I got the reason to be with that team for the future in the form of Rohit Sharma. The standout match of this season was against KKR where James Franklin and Ambati Rayudu scored 21 off the last over with Rayudu hitting a last-ball six. Although the IPL ended in a loss to RCB in the qualifier 2, there was something left in the bag, the first trophy was to come in the form of the elusive Champions League. The Champions League produced yet another nail bitter in Mi vs Csk where Lasith Malinga scored an extraordinary 37 of 18 an topping the run charts while chasing 160. In another game against Trinidad and Tobago Malinga hit a six, chasing 10 runs in the last over. while MI was 8 down chasing 99. Then there was that final against Rcb where the bowling unit was at its best.
2012 was a remarkable season for Rohit, who was at the peak of his powers. In terms of the intensity of the games, this season was my personal favorite. Be it the MI vs DC where Rohit chased 18 off the last over or chasing 32 off 2 overs with the help of a cameo from Robin Peterson. Then came low scoring thrillers against PWI and DC. And a not so well known Dwayne Smith, batting down the order chasing 14 off 3 against Ben Hilfenhaus. An incredible partnership between Pollard and Rayudu chasing 43 off 18 balls against RCB. In this season Rohit scored his maiden IPL ton and Sachin and Dwayne Smith chased 163 without the fall of a wicket. In terms of quality of cricket, we have to rate this season highly but at the end of the day, the championship victory is greater than everything else. Highlights available on iplt20.com :)
The trophy season as it should be called, MI grabbed both the IPL and champions league. That was undoubtedly the best MI team to date. Have a look at the squad
It was the first season of a young skinny lad whom to be frank we all criticized at that moment saying what kind of action is this little did we know that it was the birth of a superstar who would redefine Indian pace bowling standards. In came Jasprit Bumrah who impressed with 3/32 against RCB. Being an MI fan victories against CSK, please you the most. MI just deflated Csk that season, once dismissing them for 79 when Mitchell Johnson was in his prime. Then there was a flying Pollard, who took a one-hander at mid-wicket when CSK needed 12 off the last over against Dhoni who was going berserk. Another Pollard masterpiece came against SRH when he chased 62 off the last 3.3 overs. What followed next was the final MI VS CSK, MI managed just 148 but as a fan, you never leave hope I still remember me being at my uncle's house and as the youngest kid you have to serve elders, that serving started as a 5 min deal but as Csk's wickets were tumbling my uncle told me if I continue doing this CSK will lose and I ended doing the entire body massage for 2 hours. :( But in the end, you are still joyous that your team won the championship following up with a dominant champions league victory too.
This season showed what we had never seen before probably we would never like to see again Rahul Dravid throwing his cap. But things unfolded that way Aditya Tare hitting that last ball six. MI came back after 0 wins in 5 matches. Corey Anderson playing the innings of his life chasing 190 off 14 overs is freakish it has to blow your mind. This has to be the best match that Mumbai Indians played.
Same old stories 0 victories in 4 games, 1 in 6 games and then began the revival Harbhajan Singh played a splendid knock against Kxip.
Then there was a special 209 vs Rcb by the team, Rohit Sharma was on fire scoring 42 off 15, the shot which stood out was him sitting on one knee and sweeping a ball outside off over square leg still that shot still leaves me in awe. It went above David Wiese the tallest man on the field. Throughout the season there was Lendl Simmons to MI's rescue. This was Hardik Pandya's debut season putting up an impressive performance against KKR and scoring 30 off 2 against Csk hitting Pawan Negi down the ground for three sixes in the 19 th over. There was a drubbing by Rcb, ABD tearing apart bowlers, but all is cool if your team dominantly wins the final.
The standout games this season were Pollard snatching away a game from RCB after Samuel Badree produced magic. MI was 7-4 but still, Polly took MI over the line. This season young Nitish Rana looked imperious at number 4. Then there was Jasprit Bumrah showing his class, he made Brendon McCullum and Aaron Finch look silly in that super over against GL. MI faced RPS in low scoring final Krunal Pandya showed his composure and his worth, The bowling unit rose to the occasion against a quality batting lineup to win their 3rd title.
As I mentioned earlier a win against CSK hit different this time it was 4 in 4 matches every MI fan enjoyed boasting about this feat while having a word with his CSK mate. An exceptional final, Alzarri Joseph incredible 6-12 while defending 138. Kieron Pollard's run heist against KXIP. Bumrah's just being Bumrah in the super over vs SRH and Hardik Pandya late blitz against KKR scoring 91 off 34. It was brilliant how everyone put their hand up in each match Rohit, Surya chipping in, and Quinny leading the batting charts.
THE FINAL VERDICT
The final decision is something very personal, everyone has their preference this blog gave you the standouts of each season if you ask me it was very close, between the surge of 2015 and the team of 2013 full of my childhood heroes. For me, the 2013 season has to be my favorite from Pollard's blinder to dismiss Dhoni to Pollard leaving 3 consecutive catches of Mike Hussey at point. Also winning it for Sachin Tendulkar in his last season was remarkable. From the debut of Jasprit Bumrah to twin title victories, it has to be 2013.
Do watch the highlights suggested above from iplt20 and Hotstar all youtube links have been provided. Happy Quarantine :)