Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Five time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) bowed out of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 after facing a thumping 62 runs defeat from Gujarat Titans (GT) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday.

In-form Shubman Gill (129, 60b, 7x4, 10x6) scored a scintillating century to be the main architect of GT’s win. Gill was earlier dropped on 30 by Tim David which turned out to be a huge let off for GT as the 23-year-old smashed his third century this season. The incident happened during the last over of the power play when Chris Jordan was given the ball by MI skipper Rohit Sharma.

David gave away a massive lifeline to Gill as he failed to complete the catch while diving to his right. It was a fuller-length delivery, right in the slot, as the GT batter played a lofted on-drive. However, despite the diving effort, David couldn’t complete the catch.

Moreover, David also failed miserably with the bat. MI faced a batting debacle and they relied a lot on explosive Australian cricketer to take them through with his swashbuckling batting. But, coming to bat at No.7, he was adjudged LBW while pulling a good length delivery of Rashid Khan.

Following MI’s loss, fans slammed David terming him responsible for MI’s loss. Several fans missed West Indies explosive all-rounder Kieron Pollard, who has retired from IPL, as the big hitter has bailed MI out in many similar kinds of situations in the past.

Several fans took a dig at David and remember the utility of Pollard over various social media platforms. “Dropped crucial catch of gill when he was on 30 failed in batting also thank you tim david,” wrote a fan.

“Match would have been different if Pollard had played, tbh Mumbai Indians really need to move on now from Tim David, next season give this guy the chance that he desrtves, Tim David really is overrated,” tweeted another fan.

David’s indifferent form this year forced Rohit to send young and inexperienced batter Vishnu Vinod ahead of him in the batting order. Though several experts slammed Rohit for the decision, the MI skipper defended his strategy.

Vishnu, who came on as a concussion substitute to keep wickets after Ishan Kishan was accidentally hit on his head by teammate Chris Jordan, could only score five runs off seven balls at a crucial juncture. The batter was sent to bat ahead of big-hitter David after Cameron Green (30) fell in the 12th over.

Cricket experts felt that David should have come out to bat instead as it would have allowed the Aussie to settle down and go for his big shots in the death overs. David came to bat in the 15th over instead as Suryakumar Yadav (79) and Vishnu were dismissed in that over by Mohit Sharma.

Rohit, however, said he had faith in Vishnu and is not going to judge his performance.

“We have given David a role throughout the season and in certain situations he has to bat. Vishnu is a good player and I have seen that personally and I am not going to look at anything in judgement,” said Rohit.