Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma is “timing it” well and “getting some really, really good starts,” but just isn’t able to convert it into something bigger and more substantial, said the franchise’s head coach Mahela Jayawardene after MI succumbed to their fifth defeat in as many games in IPL 2022, and are now on the verge of elimination from the playoff race.
Rohit Sharma had come into the game against Punjab Kings, in Pune, under heavy pressure of personal form – 80 runs in 4 matches at a strike rate of 125 – while his side had been winless as well.
Then, in the chase of 199, Sharma took it upon himself to give MI a brisk start and he did – scoring 28 runs off 17 balls, keeping up with the required rate, however, got dismissed by Kagiso Rabada who he’d just slapped for a six over covers.
Mahela Jayawardene said he’s isn’t much worried about Sharma’s batting form and feels that it’s “just a matter of time” when the opener returned to his absolute best.
“If you look at the way he starts, the way he hits the ball, it’s brilliant. He’s timing it, he’s getting some really, really good starts. Yes, he’s disappointed as well, that he’s not being able to convert them,” Mahela Jayawardene was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
“We’ve seen Rohit batting deep, batting for 14-15 overs and getting those big scores. It’s just a matter of time. He’s a quality player and I am not concerned about the form as such,” Mahela Jayawardene added.
Dewald Brevis’ thunderous 49 off 25 balls and Tilak Varma’s classy 36 off 20 kept the momentum going for MI after the openers fell. After the two youngsters were dismissed, it was Suryakumar Yadav, who kept the game alive for MI who played only 6 specialist batters.
Eventually, not playing a seventh batsman – or an all-rounder – at number 7 cost them as Yadav (43 off 30) got out in the 19th over and MI failed short by 12 runs.
Mumbai now is the only winless team in the tournament. The five-time champions cannot afford more than one slip-up now in their remaining 9 matches to keep their playoff hopes alive. Next, they will take on Lucknow Super Giants at the Brabourne Stadium on Saturday afternoon.