Akash Ambani was on the flight back home from UAE after successful IPL 2020 which Mumbai Indians won literally flying over the moon considering what the Mumbai Indians had just accomplished when he happened to check Michael Vaughan‘s tweet on the phone.
Mumbai Indians won IPL for a record 5th time which is followed by Chennai Super Kings who have won 3 games.
Michael Vaughan: Mumbai Indians Can Win T20 World Cup
Michael Vaughan tweeted that Mumbai Indians can win the T20 World Cup if they play the tournament where countries fight to win against each other, not franchises.
MI looked completely dominant this season, becoming the first team to reach playoffs, but also finishing at top in the league stage. MI were also the first team to reach the final winning against Delhi in Qualifier 1 and looked completely unbeatable in the summit clash against the same opponents who were playing their first IPL final.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) November 10, 2020
“That was the best comment I saw the whole day,” Akash Ambani said, speaking to TOI soon after landing in Mumbai.
“Potential world beaters, are we? “
“Why not?” he laughed, thoroughly overjoyed with his team’s fifth, most dominant and defining title win.
“This was an incredible tournament, held against all odds. A special mention to the BCCI and Hon Secy Jay Shah for pulling this off,” he added.
Mumbai Indians won IPL four times previously in 2013,2015,2017 and 2019 and successfully defended the title.
Aakash Ambani: IPL 2020 Season Was Incredible In Terms Of Quality Of Cricket
Mumbai Indians finally managed to win the title in even year after their last four titles – 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 – had all come in odd years.
“Ha ha, yes, that ‘odd’ narrative was going around for a long time. That’s been set right in 2020,” he quipped. “We had set out on this task of doing it back-to-back years. To win it in an even year is such an added thrill”.
Akash Ambani said Mumbai was focused was on playing 16 matches (14 league, one playoff and the final) as they executed plan to perfection.
“Our record in terms of wins and losses are the same as last year. But in terms of the quality of cricket played, this season was incredible. From what our plan for the season was and what we managed to execute on the field, I’d say we were in the 95 to 98% range,” he says. “This is the best we’ve played in 13 years”.
At 29, Akash Ambani has literally grown up with the franchise. Akash Ambani was in his teens in 2008 when he was told that a new T20 league would be coming up soon and his parents bought a cricket team.
“It was in 2008, I still remember, we were playing football and my father came and said, ‘we have bought a cricket team’. None of us knew what the IPL would be at that time. All I remember is that there was a glimmer of excitement around,” he says, crediting his mother, Nita, for how Mumbai Indians have shaped up over the years.
“When the team was bought, the one clear question that MI asked of itself was ‘What would the city of Mumbai want? What would our supporters want? The city’s history was soaked in cricket. The clear focus was to have a good team and play to the best of our ability,” he says.
“A good team is when we see all the parts come together and we move like the best car on the road,” he says, talking about the various levels at which strategies get laid out during the exercise.
“I would say the auction and the release list are really the toughest things to work on ahead of an IPL season. The first process of any auction is to go according to what you want to do with the squad you had last season,” says Akash.
MI has always stuck to its core unlike most of the other franchises, which started with Kieron Pollard coming to the Mumbai Indians in 2010 and staying back performing every time the team needed him to finish close contests.
“Since season six, Hardik and Krunal and Bumrah have been part of that core. We stuck to that core because continuity amongst players, we realised, was very critical. Then we tried to add players to extend this core.”
“Surya Kumar Yadav has been there for the past three seasons. Players like Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock – they’ve all fit the proverbial puzzle very well, which as I said, had to be an extension of the core that’s been in place,” he added.
Mumbai Indians haven’t changed their team much and won IPL 2019 and IPL 2020 playing only 15 players of squad. In IPL auction 2020, Mumbai Indians added 6 new names to their squad that included Chris Lynn, Nathan Coulter-Nile , Saurabh Tiwary among others.