In Mumbai Indians’ seven-match losing streak in IPL 2022, the lack of runs from captain Rohit Sharma and wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan have been one of the biggest reasons why Mumbai have been unable to break their winless run.
In this edition of IPL, Sharma has just 114 runs at an average of 16.29 and strike rate of 126.66, including a two-ball duck against Chennai, making him the batter with most ducks in history of IPL (14) when he chipped straight to mid-on off Mukesh Choudhary.
After IPL 2016, Sharma’s average has been in 20s, implying that he hasn’t been at his menacing best at the time when he’s doing well internationally. Sharma has been getting starts but has been unable to convert that into a big score, something which a KL Rahul, Jos Buttler or David Warner and Prithvi Shaw have been able to do.
On the other hand, Kishan had a strong start to IPL 2022, making 81 not out and 54. But since then, he has tapered off, making 14, 26, 3, 13 and a golden duck against Chennai when Choudhary’s yorker knocked him over. It seems that the weight of a hefty Rs 15.25 crores price tag is weighing down the left-handed batters’ attacking nature of play.
Overall, Kishan’s numbers in IPL 2022 are pale for an attacking opener, 191 runs at an average of 31.83 and a lowly strike-rate of 116.46. The lack of runs from bats of Sharma and Kishan means that the middle-order has got to do a lot of heavy lifting in getting a winning total, which hasn’t led them to the coveted ‘w’ in the points table.
“It’s hard to put a finger on that (top order issues). If you lose three or a couple of wickets up front, it’s always going to be tough. You’re always playing that catching (up) game,” was Sharma’s assessment of Mumbai not getting the required runs from top-order.
After the match against Chennai, head coach Mahela Jayawardene was unperturbed by the lack of runs from Sharma and Kishan. “To be honest, it’s been up and down, Ishan did well the first couple of games but has been on a slide. Ro (Rohit Sharma) is hitting the ball well has gotten good starts with 15-20 runs but not been able to convert. When that happens, when you get out early, you feel nothing is going your way.”
Jayawardene, an ace batter for Sri Lanka in his playing days, insisted that the duo have been timing the ball well in practice sessions. “I have been a batter and that’s part and parcel of the game. I will be concerned when they are not hitting the ball well or if they don’t have the confidence but both of them have been batting well out there in the middle and in the nets.”
Jayawardene feels that Mumbai has to back Sharma and Kishan to overcome their bad patch and get back to scoring ways by following their usual processes. “You need to back the ability and give them confidence. These are guys who have played a lot of IPL games, and understand what needs to be done. It will turn around. Get in every day, go through the processes and work hard.”
With a return fixture against Lucknow Super Giants coming at their home ground, the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai will be hoping that it propels Sharma and Kishan to find their groove with them now virtually out of the competition.