The reason for Mumbai Indians’ consistent run of form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) is “strong core of high quality players”, said former India captain Rahul Dravid on Friday. He also credited youngsters like Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.

“What MI has done over the last four-five years is that they have maintained a really strong core of high quality players and mix them up by identifying some really good talented players,” Dravid said at the virtual launch of a book.

“They have been able to spot Jasprit Bumrah or Hardik Pandya at a young age. Then there is Rahul Chahar, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav. The ability to maintain a core of very experienced senior players — world class T20 players — and balance them out with young exciting Indian talents has been the key. They have been able to do that exceptionally well. They have got a good scouting structure in place; a lot of teams are doing it well,” said the former Rajasthan Royals captain.

On Tuesday, Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians to their fifth IPL glory with a 5-wicket victory over Delhi Capitals in the final of the 2020 edition of the tournament in Dubai.

Chasing Delhi’s total of 156/7, Rohit smashed 68 runs off 51 balls. He got generous support from Quinton de Kock (20 off 12) and Ishan Kishan (33 off 19) with whom he shared partnerships of 45 runs and 47 runs respectively. Suryakumar Yadav (19 off 20) was also a part of a 45-run stand with Rohit.

Batting in their first-ever IPL final, Delhi Capitals were off to a poor start. They were reduced to 22/3 inside just five overs. However, a 96-run partnership between captain Shreyas Iyer (65 off 50) and Rishabh Pant (56 off 38) ensured a healthy total for their team.

Dravid, presently Director of Cricket at the Bangalore-based National Cricket Academy of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, said that cricketers are getting more opportunities to showcase their talent through the IPL.

“In the past, when young players were looking for opportunities, they only got that from state associations – and could only play for Ranji Trophy for their state. Now in IPL, you can be from Karnataka and can play for Mumbai,” he said.

“A good example is if you are in a state association like Haryana, where they have some good spinners — Amit Mishra, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jayant Yadav. Someone like Rahul Tewatia probably doesn’t even get a chance in the T20 team. In the past that would have limited him from showing his talent. Today that does not stop him from playing in Royals.”