‘They missed a trick up front’ – Tom Moody (and Heinrich Klaasen) on Mumbai holding back Jasprit Bumrah


Were Mumbai Indians tripped up by their focus on holding Jasprit Bumrah back for Heinrich Klaasen? After bowling the fourth over of the innings, Bumrah did not deliver another ball till the 13th over, by which time No. 5 Klaasen was batting on eight off three balls and Sunrisers Hyderabad were already well on their way to a record-breaking score. With almost no pressure, the experienced pair of Klaasen and Aiden Markram saw Bumrah off before lifting Sunrisers to 277 for 3, the highest score in IPL history.

On ESPNcricinfo’s T20 Time Out analysis show, former Australia allrounder and Sunrisers head coach Tom Moody said it was “extraordinary” that Mumbai did not course correct earlier. After plundering 81 runs in the powerplay, Sunrisers had raced to 148 for 2 in ten overs and 177 for 3 in 12 before Bumrah returned for his remaining three overs.

“When you’ve got the best bowler in the world in this format – if not all formats – and for him to only bowl one over in the first ten overs… to bowl his second over in the 13rd over is extraordinary,” Moody said, analysing the innings alongside former India opener Wasim Jaffer and New Zealand pacer Mitchell McClenaghan. “By then, the game’s gone, the game’s totally gone.

“I totally get if they want to use a couple of swing bowling options in the first or second over, I understand that. But Jasprit Bumrah has to bowl two overs in the powerplay purely because of what he brings to the table. One of the priorities in powerplay cricket is wickets and he is your best wicket-taker, and he always will be your best wicket-taker. And for him and Mumbai to be starved of that opportunity to try and stem the flow of this onslaught is crazy. It just doesn’t seem right.”

By the time Bumrah arrived for his second spell, Sunrisers’ left-hand duo of Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma had already set the platform for a massive total with their fifties in 18 and 16 balls respectively. Their domination of all Mumbai bowlers, bar Bumrah, had led to four 20+ run overs inside the first ten overs of their innings. Still Mumbai held Bumrah back, the damage the big-hitting Klaasen could inflict clearly on their minds.

“That’s the issue,” Moody said. “They would’ve been planning around a number of challenges for today’s match but the biggest challenge on the batting side would’ve been ‘how do we keep Klaasen quiet?’

“And they had it stuck in their head that they’ve got to make sure they’ve got overs in the bank with Bumrah when Klaasen comes to the crease. But you have to be flexible with your plans. Every chance that Klaasen may not have batted today the way Sunrisers were going at the top.”

Could Mumbai not have changed their plans midway, especially with two strategic time-outs to reassess?

“That was the issue. At six overs [first time out], they were 81,” Moody said. “[As a coach, at the time] you are having a conversation with your captain and key seniors, and you need to say ‘we need wickets. Who is our wicket-taker? You go ‘No. 1 Jasprit Bumrah, No. 2 someone else.’

“[For the] next two overs minimum, those two bowlers [should’ve bowled] and the priority should’ve been wickets. ‘[As coach you say] forget about runs, let’s just take wickets. Let’s set the fields, let’s bowl the lines, let’s bowl the different paces and the right lengths to get back into the contest.'”

Klaasen, who spoke to the broadcasters after his unbeaten 34-ball 80, said Mumbai “missed a trick” in the powerplay by using Bumrah for only one over and credited the Sunrisers top order for the platform he had. He also confirmed that the runs up top helped him face Bumrah without any pressure.

“They didn’t bowl their best bowler in the powerplay… that was our plan,” Klaasen said while collecting the orange cap. “They missed a trick up front. We’ve got incredible strikers up front in our batting line-up. They just set the tempo so our work was basically done.”


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