Rohit Sharma admits the need to 'step up' as MI continue to drown
Rohit Sharma admitted he, along with other "senior" men, within the Mumbai Indians (MI) playing unit needs to "step up" as the side continues to face the harsh realities of their transition years in the Indian Premier League (IPL). On Saturday (April 8), the five-time champions suffered their second loss in as many games of IPL 2023 and their thirteenth overall in the last fifteen matches.
Losing out on their core group of players ahead of the mega auction held for IPL 2022, MI haven't managed to retain similar levels of competitiveness since. Their bowling unit has faced a sustained decline in quality and robustness, which has meant extra pressure on the batting unit to put huge totals on the board. This scenario has exposed the chinks in Rohit's armoury.
The famed captain has been a consistent failure at the top of the order for his side over the past six seasons now. Hailed for his grace and timing, Rohit Sharma hasn't averaged minimum of 30 while also striking at 130 and more since the 2017 edition of the IPL. Even as MI have filled their trophy cabinet three times in the given period, their skipper and top-order incumbent is averaging 25.02 with a strike-rate of 126.05 over 87 innings.
In the defeat against arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Rohit, mindful of his team's bowling woes, tried giving them an above par score by opting for an aggressive route. The right-hander blazed 21 off 12 balls but was out on the 13th, leading him to accept after the defeat that the side requires a lot more out of him.
Rohit Sharma on the need to 'step up'
"The senior guys need to step up, starting with me," Rohit Sharma said at the post-match presentation ceremony. "We know the nature of IPL. We need to get some momentum, and if you don't, it is going to be tough. Just two games, not all is lost, but the senior guys need to step up with the bat. That's the nature of the tournament."
"If you win, you can win on the trot. If you lose, it will hamper the momentum. We wanted to do a lot of things right. We have not been able to execute the things that we are speaking about in the change room," he added.
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Rohit also put MI's downfall on other teams raising their games against them over time. The skipper said his team's horrible 4-12 record split since IPL 2022 only reflects on the strenuous nature of IPL as a tournament, adding that to execute their plans versus each team, the five-time champions need to be at their very best now as middling performances won't suffice.
"We have to do those things right. We know we had a very disappointing last season. You always start afresh. Even when we won five trophies, we never thought we won it last year," Rohit said.
"Every opposition is quality and you have to be the best to defeat them. These two games have happened now, you can't change. We have to learn and be more brave in doing stuff out in the field."