Pune, April 13: Record IPL winners Mumbai Indians are off to a horrid start in the Indian Premier League 2022 and are languishing at the bottom of the table with 4 losses on the trot. Former South African captain Graeme Smith feels that the pressure of leading India in all formats of the game, may have taken a toll on skipper Rohit Sharma’s performances in the ongoing season.Also Read – IPL 2022: Mumbai Indians (MI) vs Punjab Kings (PBKS) Match 23 Live Streaming: When and Where to Watch Online and on TV, Disney+ Hostar, Star Sports Network
IPL 2022 is also the first season Sharma is captaining Mumbai after taking over as the India skipper across all formats. He has so far scored only 80 runs in 4 matches for the Paltans. Also Read – Dale Steyn’s EPIC Reply to Fan’s ‘Jasprit Bumrah Better Than You’ Tweet Goes VIRAL
“Rohit is the energy at the top of the order. Gets them off to a start, sets up the game that allows everyone else to play. When he is scoring runs MI are going to win a lot of the time. This is the first tournament he is captaining MI since becoming India’s white-ball captain. Does that mental strain take a toll in the IPL? It’s something to consider,” Smith was quoted as saying by cricket.com. Also Read – PBKS Spinner Rahul Chahar Throws Challenge At Rohit Sharma & Suryakumar Yadav, Says Long Association With MI Doesn’t Matter
Smith, currently commentating in IPL, thinks if Sharma finds form, then it makes for a very powerful Mumbai batting line-up. “He’s just such a key player. If you look at the line-up, Rohit, an outstanding player, hasn’t found form. You’ve got Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav injured for a couple of games. He has now come in and is looking good and then Pollard as the power finisher. You’ve got Brevis there but he’s a young man. That’s a very strong batting line-up.”
In Mumbai’s all four losses, the batting had some brilliant individual performances but didn’t click as a unit. The same script has panned out for the bowling attack, who have been far from convincing. Smith has called for the inclusion of West Indies all-rounder Fabian Allen, who bowls left-arm spin apart from England’s left-arm pacer Tymal Mills.
“I’ve got for Tymal Mills to try and show some support to Bumrah. I’ve gone for Fabian Allen as well. My reason for that Punjab have a largely right-handed batting line-up and I like the fact he can spin the ball away from them and that will provide Rohit Sharma with another useful option and lengthens the batting line-up slightly.”
Smith signed off by saying that he would still stick with young Brevis and experienced Pollard in the batting line-up. “I’ve picked Brevis at No. 3 or 4, depending on where Suryakumar Yadav is going to bat, just because it’s his third game and deserves a bit of opportunity. I’ve stuck with Pollard. He’s shown glimpses of his power and form. Whether he should come up slightly in the order is another question.”
(With Inputs From IANS)