MI have broken their odd-number jinx as ruthlessly as Bumrah has been breaking toes – and they’ve done so fittingly by lifting the IPL 2020 trophy – the only side to win consecutive IPL trophies since CSK in 2010 and 2011. It’s been as clinical as it gets – even without Rohit and half an all-rounder in Hardik Pandya, MI’s young batsmen came of age; Boult and Bumrah, their BB gun bowling attack blew oppositions apart, and of course, Pandya and Pollard turned stadiums into slaughterhouses in the last five overs. There was simply no beating them this year – perhaps the most invincible side in competitive men’s cricket since, I daresay, the Australian side of 2007, whose captain ironically sits glum-faced in the opposition’s dugout today. Mumbai Indians, fittingly, have retained the trophy in a mismatch of a final.
Mumbai Indians | The final feeling: It was quite clear Mumbai were familiar with the final feeling. QdK and Rohit just came at the DC bowlers, who didn’t know what hit them right at the beginning. They hit them where it hurt – their express-pacers. And from thereon, other than the melodrama in that Suryakumar runout, it was all Mumbai Indians. Their captain broke yet another jinx today, that of not scoring in finals, and took them home with a helping hand from young Ishan Kishan, who has truly come of age this IPL. As for Jasprit Bumrah, who’s out for an interview right now – he did mention he’d gladly trade his purple cap for the IPL trophy. The IPL final has been little more than a formality in the recent past, though seriously, who doesn’t like a good ol’ underdog story? It wouldn’t have been right if a performance that clinical didn’t bear the sweet fruit of victory.
Delhi Capitals | The almost-Cinderella story: My heavily duct-taped heart breaks for DC. With a solitary win in six games until Q1, every experiment magically worked out in Q2 – the lamb was cooked so well it came clean out of the bone. We should have known then, that it was all too good to last. It’s not quite the Cinderella story we needed. It’s as close to an effective cure for mind-numbing monotony, as it can possibly get. 13 years, a change in their moniker, jerseys, countless auctions, a rookie captain, and finally – they had an appearance in a final to show for it. One step further? Nah, after a solitary win in six matches, it was a little too good to be true – surprisingly, it’s been their quicks who took some serious stick and let them down today, as opposed to their spinners, who were economical. Kudos to Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant to put up a good total on the board after early setbacks – but it wasn’t quite enough on the night. They were simply out-muscled by However, in a universe where Chris Gayle is still churning out sixes, and Tahir still running marathons after every wicket, there was always hope. Fairy tales do exist – but not in 2020…
Jasprit Bumrah: Very happy, we have worked very hard, we started preparing much earlier before other teams, we worked through process, all of which has got us a lot of results. We wanted to break the jinx of winning every alternative years – the goal has been achieved now. It means a great deal (about playing the IPL), the pandemic has been such a shock, everyone have been stuck at home. We are just grateful to come back and play cricket, something we love. We are just happy we could bring back some smiles to the people back home, give them some entertainment (for people watching at home), it’s been a tough few months. From the first game, I felt my rhythm was up but the last piece in the jig-saw puzzle was missing. When I bowled the super over here (against RCB), there was some anxiety going on towards the end, but when I bowled that superover, I felt I could execute against AB and Virat. Since then, my confidence went up, I just wanted to keep things simple and repeat the basics every time.
Kieron Pollard: It’s a great feeling, means a lot. Fifth trophy.. Have been here for 11 years. We have a quiet celebration. He is a different West Indian. He goes at 6am to the gym. The amount of trophies, the amount of talent that’s there, you can say MI is the best T20 team going around. The management, the support staff, the effort they put in to make. Dwayne Bravo you are behind me now (about number of T20 titles), I have to say that on camera (smiles).
Trent Boult | Man of the Final: Some days I do like the powerplay. It’s been a good few months, giving the franchise a good start. With everything going on, I’ve been welcomed in the side. To have made it across the line, it’s been worth it. I wasn’t aware of the talk, but I did have a niggle coming into the match. I wanted to be on the stage and happy I came through. I’d like to say I’m relatively experiened. Just another match, and I was clear what I had to do. Tried to take a few early wickets, swing the new ball a little bit, that’s been my role in the side.
Jofra Archer | Most Valuable Player (20 wickets, 175 dots, 5 catches, 10 sixes): Really grateful to receive the award. It didn’t go as well for the team, and hopefully this has shown what I can do and I hope it helps the team a little more later.
KL Rahul | Orange Cap (Most runs: 670, Avg: 55.83, SR 129.34, 58 fours, 23 sixes): A big thank you to all the supporters. Winning the orange cap feels nice, but it would’ve been nicer if we had gone further in the tournament. However I got to learn a lot about being a leader this tournament.
Kagiso Rabada | Purple Cap (Most wickets: 30, ER: 8.34, Avg: 18.26, SR: 13.13)
Trent Boult is the “Powerplayer” of the season, for his incredible performance within the powerplay overs, winning the award five times this season.
Ishan Kishan wins the award for the most sixes this season – he’s clubbed 30 of them across the boundary!
Kieron Pollard is the super-striker of the season, with the highest strike-rate of 191.42 this season. Another award into the MI kitty.
KL Rahul is the “game-changer” of the season – Hardik Pandya receives the award on KL’s behalf.
Mumbai Indians win the Fairplay award too – Rohit Sharma comes and collects the award. MI have looted everything this season!
Devdutt Padikkal | Emerging Player (473 runs, 5 fifties, SR: 124.8) Ishan Kishan proxies for young Devdutt, receives the award on his behalf: It’s a really great achievement for me and gives me great confidence for whatever lies ahead.
Shreyas Iyer | DC (runners-up) captain (collects a cheque of INR12,50,00,000): Ricky, the amount of freedom he gives us is outstanding. The way he motivates players is simply amazing. His team meetings and motivational speeches it quite incredible. The IPL always amazes you, it’s one of the toughest leagues to play. I’m overwhelmed to be part of it, and I’m really proud of my boys, the way they have played to reach the final, it’s not easy. Winning the IPL would have been better, but we will see to it that we lift the trophy next year. I would like to thank our fans, and we’re thankful for all the support that has been showered on us throughout the season.
Rohit Sharma | MI (winning) captain (Receives a cheque of INR 20,00,00,000) I’m quite happy with how things went the whole season. We said at the start that we need the winning habit. We couldn’t have asked for anything more, right on the money from ball 1 and we never looked back. I think a lot of credit goes to the people who worked behind the scenes – often they go unnoticed. Our work started long before the IPL started, and we wanted to make sure we filled the gaps in previous seasons. I had to find the balance to get the best out of them. I’m not someone who can run behind them with a stick, and it’s important to instil confidence in the players. Krunal, Hardik and Pollard have done their job for a long time, they know their roles. Rahul missed out today, and we need to make sure we put an arm around him and assure him that he didn’t do anything wrong and that it was a tactical move. We made sure Ishan and Surya had confidence – just have to let Ishan loose, and Surya is a more matured player. The kind of form he was in, I should have sacrificed my wicket for Surya. But throughout the tournament he has played some incredible shots. Unfortunately we couldn’t have the fans at the stadium. We missed playing at the Wankhede and hopefully we can get back there next year.
BCCI President, one SC Ganguly hands over the IPL trophy to Rohit Sharma, who carries it to his team. Rohit has disappeared into the background, and the younger members of the side have occupied the front row. And off go the pyrotechnics in the background! My colleagues remind me that these are actual flames going off in the background and not fireworks. I’m sure it’s not a fire hazard. (Fireproof) Confetti of gold all over the place and all manner of frivolity as Mumbai Indians bask in the glory of another title!