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Bumrah: Mumbai Indians will back their new faces in this transition phase despite four straight losses

Fast bowler says the five-time IPL champions need not "panic and make a lot of changes"

Ashish Pant
12-Apr-2022
With four defeats in as many matches, the start of IPL 2022 has been far from ideal for five-time champions Mumbai Indians. However, their experienced quick, Jasprit Bumrah, believes that in T20 cricket, anyone could have a bad game and "to quickly move on" is all that matters.
"This is T20 cricket, anyone can get targeted, anyone can have a good game or a bad game," Bumrah said ahead of Mumbai's match against Punjab Kings. "But, in this game, it is very important that you do not carry baggage going forward because there are a lot of matches on the go and you have to quickly move on."
As is the case with all teams, Mumbai are dealing with a major reshuffle following the IPL 2022 mega auction, with plenty of new names slotting in. While the likes of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have done their bit at the top, the inexperience in the middle-order has brought about Mumbai's downfall on more than one occasion.
In their second game of the season, against Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai collapsed from 121 for 2 to 136 for 6 in the space of 15 balls to fall short by 23 runs. Then, in their most recent outing, against Royal Challengers Bangalore, they crumbled from 50 for 1 to 79 for 6.
While middle-order collapses are not ideal, Bumrah insisted that they needed to show faith in the people they have. "This is a transition phase," he said. "We have got some new faces in the middle who are learning about their game and will only get better. So, I don't think we need to panic and make a lot of changes. We just need to be a little patient and back their talent, which we are going to do.
"That is what I feel the plan going further would be. We have the belief in their talent, that is why they are in the squad, so we give them enough games and we back their talent."
"I don't think we need to panic and make a lot of changes. We just need to be a little patient and back their talent, which we are going to do."
Jasprit Bumrah
But how do the players pick themselves up after such an underwhelming start? Bumrah says that there is no inspiration required when playing cricket at such a high level, and that the team is doing everything in their capacity to turn things around.
"You don't need to reinvent the wheel, right? You don't need to bring new inspiration. Everybody enjoys the game, that is why you play cricket. No other inspiration is required," Bumrah said.
"We are trying to find new ways. There have been a lot of discussions on how do we make an impact on this current situation that is going on. We are focusing on that and have come up with a few plans, so let's see if that works, and we will try to use it in the next match."
Mumbai play their next game at the same venue as their last two matches: the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. When asked what the team needed to succeed on the Pune surface, pat came Bumrah's reply: "I would say win the toss. That really helps as well."
Mumbai have been on the wrong side of coin tosses in three out of four instances so far this season. And with dew having a substantial bearing on the proceedings, defending a target hasn't always been easy.
"So far in the four games we have bowled second three times, so it is a little different when the dew settles in, and how the wicket reacts from the first innings," Bumrah said on the nature of the surfaces in the tournament.
"It is interesting to see how the wickets will go after midway of the tournament. We'll be keeping an eye but right now we are just focusing on what is the current scenario and if at all we bowl second, what are the options that we can bring to the table and what are the options that we should use when there is dew on the wicket."

Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo