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Mumbai losing it under pressure

The biggest problem for the Sachin Tendulkar-led side has been the tendency to lose games from winning situations. They lost to Kings XI Punjab by three runs and on Wednesday, Deccan Chargers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, reports G Krishnan.

cricket Updated: May 08, 2009 00:45 IST
G Krishnan

Struggling at the bottom half of the table with just seven points from eight games, for Mumbai Indians the only positive now is their net run rate. Chennai Super Kings lead the pack with a run rate of +1.361, but seventh-placed Mumbai are not far behind with + 0.516

The biggest problem for the Sachin Tendulkar-led side has been the tendency to lose games from winning situations. They lost to Kings XI Punjab by three runs and on Wednesday, Deccan Chargers snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. With JP Duminy leading the chase, Mumbai seemed headed for a comfortable win. But then, Rohit Sharma triggered a collapse and Mumbai lost the game by 19 runs.

The team is scheduled to play six games in the next 12 days and with travelling consuming most of their time, it is not going to be easy for Mumbai from now on. “There is no real time to regroup,” said mentor Shaun Pollock after Wednesday’s defeat. “We had a chat about the defeat.”

Compounding their problem is they don’t have alternate plans. Against Chargers, Pinal Shah gave them the start before Duminy took over, but the lower middle-order, especially Abhishek Nayar, failed to capitalise. Nair, who lost his wicket to good friend Sharma, only knows how to slog and that did his team again.

Searching for answers to the team’s problems, Pollock said: “Without Zaheer Khan, I was happy with the way we bowled. The other guys stepped up and did a good job of restricting the opposition to 145. In batting, after Sanath (Jayasuriya) and Sachin (Tendulkar) fell cheaply, others like Pinal Shah and J. P. Duminy did well.”

Mumbai are also banking on the marginal difference between teams in the table. “That is a lucky situation for us. We still have a chance and the ability to qualify. There is a lot of congestion in the points table,” said Pollock.