Mumbai, April 18: Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Anil Kumble - three legends of the game in the same side - Mumbai Indians (MI). But still the team cannot manage a win so far in the Indian Premier League 2015 (IPL 8).
IPL Special; Points Table
Despite the presence of this legendary trio, MI have failed to lift their game. Last night was another forgettable day at office as they were thrashed by two-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
Apart from Tendulkar, Ponting and Kumble, MI also have South African fielding great Jonty Rhodes and New Zealander Shane Bond (bowling coach) in support staff. Tendulkar is the "icon" of the side while Kumble is part of the owners group and Ponting is the head coach.
With so much depth of knowledge, MI players are still struggling in the current edition. They are at the bottom of the Points Table with 4 straight defeats. All three former cricketers watched in disappointment as CSK won by 6 wickets at Wankhede Stadium on Friday.
During yesterday's match, coach Ponting was seen delivering a long lecture to his players. The Australian was very animated during the strategic time-out of CSK innings.
Some of the TV commentators questioned as to why Ponting was talking to the team when captain Rohit Sharma should have been doing that.
However, Ponting's tough talk was nothing wrong at all. He is one of the greats of the game and his voice is respected. He, like Tendulkar and Kumble can inspire any team. But it has not happened till now with this current MI outfit.
One of the main reasons for MI's slump is their bowling ace Lasith Malinga's poor form. Many feel he has lost his old touch. So far in 4 games he is not the same as in previous years.
Though he has 4 wickets, his economy is 8 plus. Bowling department has failed to click. Only Malinga and Harbhajan Singh (5 wickets) have the bulk of wickets with others nothing much to show.
One more worry for MI is the opening combination. All 4 matches so far have seen the first-wicket partnership not doing much. Looking at this many fans felt Tendulkar-Ponting combination would still be better.
Former India captain and Mumbai man Ravi Shastri, when asked about why MI is failing despite the legends in the dug-out, he mentioned of the intimidating factor.
According to Shastri, some of the young players might have been intimidated by the presence of so many big stars.
Intimidating or not, cricket is played by 11 individuals who are on the field and the support staff can only guide.
It is time for Rohit and his men to be inspired by Tendulkar, Ponting and Kumble.