Experience matters, even when it comes to winning in the ficklest of all formats in cricket.
Mumbai Indians’ (MI) fifth IPL title and the first time they won it in successive editions showed that. Since 2010, when Chennai Super Kings (CSK) won the first of their three titles, only two other teams have won in their first final–Kolkata Knight Riders (2012) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (2016). You could say that Deccan Chargers’ winning in 2009 should take SRH out of the equation and you would be partly right.
If MI eased to a victory it’s because apart from their strength in depth, their in-form batsmen and the Boult-Bumrah combination, they also know what it takes to win big games. It is a trait PSG and Manchester City are yet to master in their quest for the Champions League. It is why new champions in the football World Cup come so rarely and it is why Steffi Graf beat Natasha Zvereva 6-0, 6-0 in the 1988 French Open final.
From the off, MI didn’t let Delhi Capitals breathe. Except for the 96-run partnership between Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant, DC were never in the game. And even then, coach Mahela Jayawardene said in a flash interview that MI should have attacked more. MI gave DC a couple of easy overs, he said, typifying the take-no-prisoners attitude that has made them the most successful team in the IPL since their first title in 2013.