Ever since Sachin Tendulkar was ruled out due to a finger injury in the Indian Premier League (IPL) opener, Mumbai have struggled to find a solid opening pair. Not only have they tried three different openers (Ambati Rayudu, T Suman and Davy Jacobs) alongside Richard Levi, the openers have provided a double figure start only once in the last four matches.
“We have to put some runs in the first six overs. If we get a good start, then any team can get 160-170. This is a wicket (at Wankhede) where if you get a good start, you can put runs on the board. It didn’t happen to us and we have to look at the options,” said Harbhajan after their seven-wicket loss to Delhi Daredevils at Wankhede Stadium on Monday. MI were bundled out for 92 (their lowest total in IPL-V). Delhi Daredevils then chased down the paltry score with 31 balls to spare. Harbhajan is also worried about Levi, who was bowled by man of the match Shahbaz Nadeem for one. “Levi is having a bit of a hard time with the left-arm spinners and we need to reconsider what other options we have (at the top). We will see by the next game what is the best possible XI we can play,” Harbhajan observed.
He is hoping for batting legend Tendulkar to solve their opening blues, as he is likely to play their next game against Kings XI Punjab on April 22 at home. “Of course, it will be nice to have Sachin back. I’m sure he will be back by the next game if nothing goes wrong. If he is batting with any of the foreigners, it makes it easier for them to score runs. He can take a lot of pressure from the other partner,” said Harbhajan.
MI’s opening blues
>> v CSK: 69 (Sachin & Levi)
>> v PWI: 0 (Levi & Rayudu)
>> v DC: 7 (Levi & Suman)
>> v RR: 28 (Levi & Suman)
>> v DD: 2 (Levi & Jacobs)