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  5. IPL Rising Star: Nehal Wadhera makes Mumbai Indians management look silly after being benched for 7 matches

IPL Rising Star: Nehal Wadhera makes Mumbai Indians management look silly after being benched for 7 matches

Punjab batter Nehal Wadhera, who has had a special 12 months or so with the bat in the IPL and the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy picked up from where he left off for Mumbai Indians in his first appearance in the 2024 edition. Wadhera was benched for first seven games and showed what he can do against RR.

Edited By: Anshul Gupta @oyegupta_ New Delhi Published on: April 23, 2024 10:04 IST
Nehal Wadhera continued from where he left off in the IPL
Image Source : AP/INDIA TV Nehal Wadhera continued from where he left off in the IPL as he played his first match of the 2024 season after being benched for first seven games

Mumbai Indians suffered their seventh loss of the 2024 edition of the IPL and their campaign is on the verge of becoming dust despite the quality of personnel. The team hasn't come together as expected in the tournament and some of the selection calls have to take the blame because of their baffling nature. Monday's (April 22) clash against the Rajasthan Royals was a prime example of how wrong MI have been with their selections as they brought back Nehal Wadhera, the Punjab batter, who had a brilliant first season with the franchise last year and he continued from where he left off.

With Suryakumar Yadav unavailable for the first three games, Wadhera's Punjab teammate Naman Dhir got the opportunity. Even after four losses in the first six games, Mumbai Indians didn't go in with Wadhera, who made everyone sit up and take notice with a 100-metre six on his IPL debut last year against the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB). Wadhera has had a brilliant 12 months as apart from the IPL, he shone in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well smashing a 61* off 27 in the final in a winning cause for Punjab.

Despite all of that promise and form, Wadhera who struck at 145 last year, was benched for seven games. With the struggling bowling attack, MI finally pulled the plug on Romario Shepherd and brought in Nuwan Thushara which meant that they needed a pure batter and hence the opportunity opened for the 23-year-old left-hander.

Wadhera was slow to start off with Mumbai Indians losing three wickets inside the powerplay but recovered brilliantly to smash a 24-ball 49. Wadher smashed four sixes, including a couple off Yuzvendra Chahal and a one-handed off the bowling of Avesh Khan as his strokeplay and intent was on show and hence the question begs itself, why was he sitting out all this while.

But like everything else, the management would be better placed to answer this question but if they knew, they might have been in a less dire situation than they are currently. For Nehal however, it was a golden opportunity and he grabbed it with both hands.

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