Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma and the team’s Director of Cricket Zaheer Khan spoke about the team combination, the areas of concern and more surrounding their string of losses in Indian Premier League 2022.

With the seven-wicket loss handed to the Mumbai Indians by Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday, the five-time champions suffered their fourth defeat on the trot to remain without any points so far this season.

The team received a slight overhaul in their middle-order and bowling department in the mega auction and have struggled to find their best XI. As problems with both bat and ball continued to plague their performance, Suryakumar Yadav played an extraordinary knock against RCB to lift his team singlehandedly from 79/6 to a total of 151.

Skipper Rohit on Saturday explained the reasoning behind going in with only two overseas players against RCB – Dewald Brevis and Kieron Pollard.

He said, “(We) just went with the combination that we felt would be ideal on certain pitches and against certain opposition. We wanted to strengthen our batting, unfortunately we had few overseas guys who were unavailable, so we wanted to get the best from whatever we had.

“I wanted to bat as long as possible but got out at the wrong time. We had gotten off to a 50-run partnership, but got out at the wrong time. That is hurting us a little bit.”

Following another underwhelming performance by the batting unit, the skipper admitted that the 151-run target was below-par. He said, “Definitely not a 150-run pitch, Surya showed us you can do that if you bat sensibly. Credit to Surya, but we knew it wasn’t going to be enough.”

He also added, “I have always spoken of collective performance both from bat and ball, that seems to be missing at the moment. Once that comes through, I think we should be good.”

Meanwhile, Zaheer Khan was optimistic about the team’s chances in the remaining games if they fixed some areas of concern, “It’s a long season, so we have to keeps things tight, keep things together There are still 11 league matches to go. We’ve got to get on a roll. You’ve seen in this tournament teams get on a losing roll or winning momentum. It’s just a matter of (getting the) first win.”

At the post-match press conference after MI’s defeat to RCB, the former India pacer said, “You’ve got to be able to close those moments of the game where the momentum is shifting. We’ve, as a team, not been able to do that. So that is something we have to focus on.”

Asked what advice he gives to the players, especially the bowlers, Khan said, “I’ve always been endorsing one thing – in this format you’ve got to express yourself freely and stay with the game as it unfolds.

“You have to have situational awareness, and act accordingly when the partnership is going on, as a bowler, who is the aggressor and who is going to have a certain option. At times you get tight as well, you start doubting yourselves in situations where the pressure is highest. So that is something we have to be aware of and look for that spark in the group.”

Quotes courtesy: PTI