Kolkata, May 27: Rajasthan Royals owner Raj Kundra called Mumbai Indians as football club Manchester United of IPL and some compared them to Manchester City for the amount of money they spent. Those millions of dollars splashed did work for MI as they were crowned the IPL 2013 champions at Eden Gardens on Sunday night (May 26).
There were various factors for MI's rise to the top and loosening their purse strings at the auction was also one of them. They splurged $1 million on Glenn Maxwell and he was hardly required.
Here are the top 10 reasons why Mumbai Indians won the IPL 2013 title
1. Team effort
Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Smith, Rohit Sharma, Kieron Pollard were the shining stars of MI. Throughout the tournament, MI's collective effort stood out.
2. The rebirth of Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan was quick to lash out at his critics soon after winning the IPL. "They (critics) told me I can't take wickets. First, let them go and check at their records," Harbhajan said at Eden Gardens. The offspinner took 24 wickets, joint highest for MI with Mitchell Johnson. He might have lost his place in the Indian team but he was one of the pillars of success for Mumbai Indians.
3. The arrival of Mitchell Johnson
This is another story of a forgotten man. Just like Harbhajan, Johnson too was discarded by his national team. But he found his rhythm and swing to propel MI to the title. He claimed 24 wickets.
4. Splitting Sachin Tendulkar-Ricky Ponting pair
It was a cricket fan's greatest delight to see two legends Tendulkar and Ponting walking together to the batting crease. But their partnership did not fetch good results. Ponting openly admitted that he and Tendulkar had to score if MI had to win. The Australian made way for others due to poor form and it worked wonders.
5. Rohit Sharma, the batsman and captain
Rohit scored 538 runs in the tournament. He was excellent as a skipper too. The right-hander said captaincy helped his batting. Bowling Lasith Malinga in the first over in the final was a masterstroke by Rohit. It could have been a decision involving the team management too but Rohit, overall was a good leader.
6. Fortress Wankhede Stadium
Rohit said opposition teams should be scared to play at Wankhede Stadium. And the home team did put the fear in the rivals. They made it a fortress and won all their 8 games.
7. Excellent support cast of Anil Kumble, John Wright, Ponting, Robin Singh, Jonty Rhodes and others
MI had an outstanding assembly of support staff. With Ponting not clicking as a player, he slipped into the role of mentoring the youngsters. Kumble, the chief mentor, Wright, the head coach, Rhodes, fielding coach and Robin, assistant coach were all superb in guiding the team.
8. Sachin Tendulkar's presence
In any team, Tendulkar's mere presence is a bonus. Ambati Rayudu called him the "backbone" of the team. The Master Blaster played his part in guiding the players. Tendulkar also scored more than 200 runs with the bat. That was, however, not great by his own standards. It was special for Tendulkar to lift the trophy in his last IPL.
9. Batting quartet of Rohit-Dinesh Karthik-Dwayne Smith-Kieron Pollard
Rohit, Karthik, Smith (418) and Pollard (420) all scored more than 400 runs. Rohit topped with 538 followed by Karthik with 510. Karthik's good form in the initial stages earned him a recall to Indian team for Champions Trophy. These four batsmen played a huge part.
10. The "12th man"
Whenever a cricket team plays, 11 do the duty on the field while there is the crowd which acts as the "12th man". MI received huge support from their fans with the slogan "Akkha Mumbai Khelega" (entire Mumbai will play).