Former Mumbai Indians player Chris Lynn has stirred a hornet's nest by claiming that there could be 'factions' within the five-time IPL champion side as he noticed '11 individuals' rather than a 'team of 11' in its disastrous campaign this season.
MI suffered a three-wicket defeat to defending champions Chennai Super Kings on Thursday night to virtually find itself out of reckoning for a play-off berth. MI also became the first team in IPL history to lose its first seven matches in a season.
"Winning is a habit and losing is a habit...Mumbai have got issues with the bat, with the ball, and in the field and mentally. It just seems like there are factions everywhere in the set-up," Lynn said on ESPNcricinfo's T20 Time:Out show.
The 32-year-old Lynn, a former Australia batter, played just one match for MI during his two-season stint in 2020 and 2021.
Lynn suggested that he did not see senior players helping the captain and calming him down in pressure situations, which normally was the case when he was in the MI team.
"When you are down at the bottom of the table, guys like your captain, but also Kieron Pollard - he will be normally running in from deep mid-on or mid-off, helping out, calming him down."
"We haven't seen that with Mumbai yet because they are starting to sort of break off into little groups and they just want to get off the field. And it's not a great sign. And I think the change room right now wouldn't be a great place to be in."
Lynn, who played four ODIs and 18 T20Is for Australia between 2014 and 2018, was part of the Mumbai squad that won the IPL title in 2020. He said the environment then was a complete contrast to what it appears to be now.
"When they won the tournament two years ago, there were conversations happening all the time -- how can we get better, how can we get out of the over. All those little organic conversations were happening without coaching staff telling them to do that because blokes were up and about wanting to win."
"So we are not seeing that, we are seeing the complete opposite: it seems like instead of a team of 11, there's 11 individuals out there."
Lynn is hoping that things will get sorted and MI will start playing good cricket.
"So hopefully they can sort that out soon because when Mumbai is playing good cricket it is good for IPL, it's good for world cricket, and they are a very, very impressive side when they are doing well."