Where was Loots, Mumbai?

The Mumbai Indians failed to make the semi finals of the IPL, after a last ball fumble on Monday, and their season has come to an end. After a poor start, followed by a great run of form that saw them within striking distance of a semi final place, they limped out of the competition with some very poor fielding to blame more than anything else. They will now have time to look back at their campaign and answer some very tough questions, like why didn’t they make full use of the resources available to them? By this I mean why was Loots Bosman not used, not even for a single game?

While some may claim that perhaps Loots was an unknown to the Mumbai Indians staff, unknown to the degree that they were not fully aware of his capabilities, but this is a poor excuse. The number of Australian players who aren’t involved in the Australian team, players like Marsh, Thornely and Pomersbach to name a few, who have been bought and played by their teams shows that the homework done by the teams extends past international cricket and into domestic cricket of non Indian teams. So they should have been fully aware of what Loots had to offer. Failing that they had Shaun Pollock in the team and he would no doubt have informed them of the big hitting batsmans record in this form of the game.

In international T20 matches Bosman has played 3 matches, has an average of 38,5 and a strike rate of 135. Which shows that he is comfortable at the highest level in this form of the game. But its in the domestic Pro 20 Series that Bosman has really excelled. In 30 matches he averages 34,66 at a strike rate of 146,7 and is the only player in Pro 20 Series history to have scored a 100. He has been the top batsman in the competition basically from its inception and he is the type of swash buckling, big hitting, no fear, risk taking batsman that T20 cricket was made for.

Loots opens the batting and this may have hindered him with the likes of Tendulkar and Jayasuriya occupying those births it would have been hard to plead a case for Loots, but with Tendulkar missing the opening half of the series and Mumbai struggling, Bosman should have been given a chance at some stage. Even with Tendulkar in the team the nature and style of Bosmans batting means that he can bat anywhere in the top order, and would have been a far better bet then Dwayne Smith for one of the foreign player roles.

A batsman as destructive and experienced in T20 as Bosman was wasted at the Mumbai Indians and the people in India missed out on some very entertaining, explosive batting, and some good fielding. If Bosman returns next season lets hope the same mistakes aren’t made.

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