Mumbai Indians in search of perfect eleven as they take on powerful Lucknow Super Giants

MUMBAI: An auction botched up by poor planning, Mumbai Indians will continue to grope in the dark in search of an ideal playing eleven with an aim to end their five-match losing streak against Lucknow Super Giants in an IPL match on Saturday.
This is not the first time that MI have had a losing streak of five matches but this is probably the first time that it seems that the team’s think-tank do not have an idea of how to stem the rot that has set in.
It is certainly not skipper Rohit Sharma’s fault that the five-time champions had bungled big time at the auction table with below-par domestic signings save NT Tilak Varma, which is coming to bite them.
Against Lucknow, in the afternoon Mumbai heat, Rohit and his chosen ten would have to put their best foot forward in order to tame the likes of Quinton de Kock, KL Rahul, Krunal Pandya, Ayush Badoni to name a few.
Krunal and De Kock, in particular, would like to pose some serious challenges for the MI brigade and may be compel them to think whether not putting enough efforts to get them back in their roster was a prudent enough thing to do.
There had been some inexplicable team selections and dropping a million dollar plus buy like Tim David after two games is one of them.
Such has been MI’s plight that they haven’t been able to field their full quota of foreign players in order to have enough bowlers in their ranks.
However, David might be given a go in place of a Jaydev Unadkat, who has once again come short in the highest level of cricket and is an example of the yawning gap between standards in domestic cricket and IPL.
One among Unadkat and Basil Thampi need to make way for David as they don’t have too many options at the table.
In case of Murugan Ashwin, the only plausible replacement at this time looks to be leg-spinner Mayank Markande, who not so many moons back had some decent performances for the five-time champion outfit.
Not having a quality spinner like Rahul Chahar or Krunal, who can at times stem the flow of runs is also hurting MI.
Head coach Mahela Jayawardene had already said and rightly so that Rohit’s performance isn’t a worrying factor.
One of the reasons being his touch which is not out of place but perhaps he needs to curtail down on a few shots and bat deep along with Suryakumar Yadav to put up a challenging score which the weak bowling line-up can defend.
For Lucknow, mentor and brains behind the strategy Gautam Gambhir needs to think whether both Marcus Stoinis and Jason Holder could be a part of same eleven or they would be better off dropping one of them and playing the hard-hitting Evin Lewis in the top-order alongside Rahul and de Kock. —PTI

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