It wasn’t the first time a cricket expert has slammed the Mumbai Indians management for their baffling strategy in the ongoing 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL). The absence of their overseas start for whom MI shelled out a whopping INR 8.25 crore at the mega auction was questioned throughout their winless streak of eight games. And the last two matches, where Mumbai secured consecutive wins, showed why they couldn’t have been more right. And at the end of the Friday night thriller, cricket legends Daniel Vettori and Ian Bishop slammed Rohit Sharma‘s team selection over the season, questioning the absence of Tim David. (Follow IPL 2022 full coverage)
The free agent from Singapore was touted to be one of the finishers for MI in this season after he took Big Bash League by a storm with his death-over strike hitting. However, in their first eight games, where MI won none, David was managed just two appearances where he scored an 8-ball 12 in the opener and 1 off 3 against Rajasthan Royals last month.
Mumbai’s inability to get their combination right left David in the bench for the major part of IPL 2022 season before he was brought back to the XI earlier this week and he once again proved his worth.
Kieron Pollard, the T20 legend who was was of the retained players, struggled throughout the entire tournament. His sluggish 14-ball 10 against Rajasthan gave Royals a hope of a comeback before David stepped up to smash two boundaries and a six in his 9-ball 20 to help MI win by five wickets.
On Friday, a similar scenario unfolded. Even until the 12th over, MI looked well set for a 200-plus total. But Pollard’s horror show of 14-ball 4 left Mumbai with a possibility of 150 only before David’s slog-over act dragged the team to 177 for six where he smashed a 21-ball 44.
“Everybody I know in the circle I worked in asked where Tim David was when he wasn’t playing,” Bishop told ESPNCricinfo after the game. “He’s shown in these two games why he should have been playing. Mumbai Indians, when they reflect, will have to say we didn’t get it right with some of the selections we made in the first half of the tournament.
“David said himself he’d love to bat up the order. He’d love the chance to go early and set himself up. He’s young. He is heading towards the prime of his career. Let us not pigeonhole this guy and let him blossom into something dynamic.”
“It’s such an impressive innings,” Vettori, who was part of the panel, added. “It’s Shami, it’s Lockie Ferguson, he made it all look easy. Not one ball did he slog. It’s a big, tall man using his strength and using his ability. Forty-four off 21 when they were under a little bit of pressure. It would be fascinating to understand why a player of his class was left out when they had two available [overseas] slots.
“David has done this before in other leagues when he sat out a little bit. He’s putting together this resume where he should be the one who’s first selected. Australia are going to be looking at him with the power that he has. There’s a lot going on to be impressed with. You just don’t see such clean hitting with such pure shot making at the back end of an IPL innings.”
Despite two wins, Mumbai are almost out of the race to the playoffs, but with his impressive show in the last two games, David has surely earned himself a spot in the XI in the remaining four matches.