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IPL 2024, SRH vs MI: If you are a batter, come in Hyderabad and just hit a six

IPL 2024: Hyderabad needed to hold their nerve even in a 278-run chase

Life can be crazy and it can come at you at a rapid pace. Hardik Pandya was putting his feet up leading a side in two successive finals of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Suddenly, he decided to find a different route by getting traded to Mumbai Indians (MI). The whole fanbase got altered with his captaincy announcement.

He became the villain. At the first toss of a new season in IPL 2024, he was booed by close to one lakh spectators in his old home ground in Ahmedabad. In the second outing, in a humongous run chase, he walked off with dropped shoulders in the final over. Just like everyone blames Tillakaratne Dilshan’s 33 of 36 balls in RCB’s record 263 in IPL 20213, even though it was a victory, Pandya’s 24 of 20 in that 278-run chase, rightfully, will get all the criticism.

And he will return to his present home at Wankhede, on the back of two back-to-back defeats, against a team who have been giving them inch to inch fight since the last four IPL seasons.

IPL 2024: If you are a batter, come in Hyderabad with you bat and hit a six

It was just that kind of a game. The Uppal Stadium keeps on giving flat tracks in the recent time. Shubman Gill notched up an ODI double century at the beginning of last year. Pakistan successfully chased a 340+ score against Sri Lanka in the World Cup. And then it gifts 277 in an IPL game!

What will the bowlers do? Have you ever felt emotional for the ball. The amount of beating it has got is stupendous to even imagine. When Bengaluru managed that 263 back in 2013, when it was a winning score even in ODIs, hardly anyone thought of going past it in the IPL history.

The way they were smashing the balls, everyone in their dressing room perhaps decided to look at their bat and thought, ‘geez, I can hit that long enough too!.’ The outcome of the game for the health of the bowlers is just pathetic, one must admit.

Every time the batters could play shots on the up, and smack the balls in all the pockets of the ground, it gets explained at the best track. However, when the bowler suddenly starts to get the ball swing or spin, it’s being addressed at the worst pitch. Make sense of it!

246/5 from Mumbai is now the highest second innings total in the IPL. The phase they lost the game was the four overs from 13 to 16, where they strolled for 25 runs for loss of Tilak Verma. 523 aggregate runs in this IPL game is now the most runs scored in a Men’s T20 game, going past 517 in 2023 between South Africa and West Indies at the Centurion.

As it has been said multiple times, it was a game of cracking sixes. 38 sixes have flown all around the park, which is too the most in a Men’s T20 game going over 37 in a Afghanistan Premier League game in Sharjah in 2018. However, believe it or not, 20 sixes by Mumbai in this game is still one six away from being most sixes hit in a team innings in the IPL.

If one counts both the boundaries and the over boundaries, the 69 of them were smashed in this IPL game, which is now the joint most with CSK and RR game in the former’s den back in 2010. And a record that everyone knows by then. The Sunrisers Hyderabad now holds the record for the highest team total in the IPL with 277/3 going past RCB’s 263/5.

IPL 2024: Mumbai and Hyderabad, please spare the bowlers

How many times a 150-strike rate stands as a blame point for a potential defeat, or an economy rate of 9 or 8.75 gets worshiped. When Tim David dropped an easy chance of Travis Head, he hardly calculated the next 30 minutes. His countrymen just made him pay.

Head smashed everything. He drove, pulled, cut, used his feet and drilled everything for his 24-ball 62-run knock. Mayank Agarwal played that Dilshan role for his 13-ball 11-runs. When Mumbai broke the opening stand of 45-runs at the start of the fifth over, they never realized of inviting a thunderstorm.

Tilak Verma kept MI in the chase in the IPL 2024 game against SRH
©- Mufaddal Vohra/ Twitter

Abhishek Sharma walked in and muscled the opponent bowlers for 23-ball 62-run knock with seven sixes and three boundaries. You though it was enough? Then came Heinrich Klassen, fresh from his onslaught at the Eden Gardens, which resulted in an unsuccessful chase. The Protea wicket-keeper sparked the ground with a 34-ball unbeaten 80-run knock with seven sixes and four boundaries. In between there was Aiden Markram who stood there for 42* in 28 balls. Ahh, quite slow!

The best bowler? The same guy of the IPL and international cricket, Jasprit Bumrah! His 13-run penultimate over put the figures of 0/36 in four overs. The other MI bowlers went for 3/241 in 16 overs at more than 15.

Then came Mumbai with the bat. Could have easily put their guns down. They didn’t. Ishan Kishan cracked 13-ball 34 with Rohit’s 12-ball 24. But the story of the evening’s chase was Naman Dhir’s 14-ball 30, who wasn’t familiar with the league and most T20s coming into this IPL, and the 34-ball 64-run show from Tilak Verma.

If someone told Mumbai, that opting the toss, they would be smashed for 277, they wouldn’t have believed. If the same guys said them, they would lose the same game by 31-runs, with their captain getting out in the 19th over, and Tim David and Romario Shepherd still being unbeaten, they would have perhaps laughed a little.

IPL 2024: Bengaluru’s royal destruction to Mumbai’s bottling the chase among top moments of the first week

IPL captaincy of Mumbai’s Hardik and the peculiar decisions

By the time, he was leading Gujrat Titans in last two seasons, all of his decisions seemed to be a masterstroke. And suddenly what happened? Bringing your and the world’s best bowler, Bumrah in the fourth over of an IPL game or any format is the most dull decision.

After his five run over, making him wait for another six overs, when the opponents were smashing everything was more surprising. To give a spinner the last over raised eye brows. And the spinner not being your veteran spinner in Piyush Chawla was madness.

In a high scoring game, when both teams keep on smashing, the difference comes down to the leadership duties. Captaincy, to my understanding, is like a fashion show from the outside. It can be glorious from faraway, and looks to be happening in a smooth way, but if one doesn’t get it right, it can be dark at times too.

The blame would be on Hardik’s batting too. But perhaps Tim David is a bit of a culprit to an extent. All his runs came when the game got out of their hands, but not to forget that at one point at the end of 16 overs, David was on 4 of 7. It’s never on when you are getting paid heavily for one specific role in the franchise. IPL offers to the stage, and David has failed in successive chases too.

It’s time for Hardik’s homecoming. Sweet or sour. It’s long time for the Mumbai Indians at home, five back-to-back games, and if they don’t get it right in the next game against the Royals, it will be for sure a long tournament for Hardik Pandya and the whole franchise in this season of the IPL.

That Mad Writer
Author: That Mad Writer

Someone who loves how Steve Smith from being Australia's future Shane Warne has become present Don Bradman, gets inspired by Anderson's longevity, gets awed with Kohli's drive and Southee's bowling action. Never gets excited with stats and records, and believes in instincts, and always questions spinners bowling with the new ball.

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