Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene said he isn’t worried about Rohit Sharma’s lack of runs in the ongoing Indian Premier League 2022 season. Speaking in the press conference after the defeat to Punjab Kings on Wednesday, he said it’s just a matter of time before the MI skipper finds form.
Rohit has had a number of starts in the five matches he has played this season but is yet to deliver a big score for his team. Mumbai, the most successful team in IPL history, have lost each of the five matches they’ve played so far, with their captain having just 108 runs to his name at an average of 21.60.
“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,” Jayawardene said.
“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.”
Mumbai remained at the bottom of the IPL 2022 points table after their 12-run defeat against Punjab Kings. The five-time champions have little room for error going forward if they want to make the playoffs.
“Today was to try and take the game deep, because we were playing with six batters. And there’s no better person than Suryakumar Yadv to finish a game off,” Jayawardene said.
“In the powerplay, they would swing the ball a bit and all that. So I didn’t want Surya to go into that situation and not be able to play his natural game also. It was just a tactical thing.”
Chasing 199, Mumbai looked good at one stage against Punjab but fell short eventually. Asked about the decision to hold back the in-form Suryakumar, the coach said the idea was to give the youngsters in the team a chance to take more responsibility.
“The two young guys, we know what they are capable of. So gave them a bit of freedom to go and control that situation, so that Polly (Kieron Pollard) and Surya are able to chase that. That was the initial thinking. It’s a call that we will take depending on how we’ve set up tactically against certain opposition,” said Jayawardene.
The former Sri Lanka captain also said the absence of Jofra Archer is hurting the team as the bowling unit has not been able to sustain pressure on oppositions.
“...obviously, one of the best bowlers that we’ve bought in the auction is Jof. So it is tough when you are in that kind of situation, but we are trying to see how best we can manage,” said Jayawardene.
“In terms of the last four-five games, we’ve had some really good spells, we controlled things for a while. But we cannot hold that pressure going on, because in certain times, it’s either two or three overs that we go big and that has hurt us. So that’s something that we really have to nail down and make sure that our execution is better in those situations.”