IPL 2023: Rohit Sharma urges MI teammates to 'get used to playing without Bumrah'
Familiar bowling woes came back haunting Mumbai Indians (MI) in their IPL 2023 campaign opener versus Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) this Sunday (April 2), leading skipper Rohit Sharma to ask his teammates to prep up better for life without ace speedster Jasprit Bumrah.
Rohit urged the rest of the playing XI to get used to life without Bumrah and the umbrella he provides to the other end with his exploits just as much as he has gotten used to his absence with the Indian team. The India and MI captain said his men can't keep dwelling on the Bumrah-size hole to its attack and must take more responsibility to produce the goods themselves.
Even the debut of prominent seamer Jofra Archer provided no balm to Jasprit Bumrah's absence as MI were hammered left, right and centre in a sorry defence of a competitive 172-run target, where RCB coasted home with nearly four overs remaining and eight wickets still intact.
None of the bowlers, bar wristspinner Piyush Chawla (0/26), looked in control when greats Virat Kohli (82*) and Faf du Plessis (73) started blazing it away to all parts. It was a worrying reminder of MI's bowling troubles, which have plagued the wings of the five-time winners since last year in what happens to be their transition years as a side.
Rohit on Bumrah's absence for MI
"From the last six to eight months I am used to playing without Jasprit Bumrah," Rohit Sharma said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
Watch: RCB's Virat Kohli slams MI pacer Jofra Archer for two swashbuckling sixes
The MI captain was obviously at pains not to have his four-over bank available to him due to persistent back injury troubles but said it's important for the MI set-up to get used to the man's absence just as he has made sure the Indian team has over time.
"Of course this is a different setup but someone needs to put their hand up and step up," he added. "We can't keep dwelling on it. Injuries are not in our control, we can't do much about it. The other guys in the setup are quite talented as well. We need to give them that support."
Bumrah was ruled out of this year's IPL last month after finally undergoing surgery for his lower-back strain, which has sidelined the cricketer from all forms of competitive cricket since September last year.