Former Kolkata Knight Riders cricketer Rajat Bhatia feels that the lack of consistency from Ishan Kishan in this season of IPL 2021 is hurting Mumbai Indians big time. He added that a major drawback of Mumbai's campaign this year is the fact that star all-rounder Hardik Pandya is struggling with his fitness.
Bhatia's remark comes in the backdrop of Mumbai's second successive defeat in the UAE leg of IPL 2021 as they lost to Kolkata Knight Riders by 7 wickets that too with 29 balls remaining in the game on Thursday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Bhatia opened up on his thoughts while talking at SportsTiger Mid-Wicket Live after the game.
Saurabh Tiwary could have been promoted vs KKR, feels Bhatia
Meanwhile, Bhatia also said that the Mumbai dugout seriously need to think Kishan's position in the team and whether he deserves the number 4 position in the batting order. He added that perhaps Saurabh Tiwary, who had scored a half-century against Chennai Super Kings in the previous match could have been promoted instead.
"If you look at Mumbai's middle order, Ishan Kishan is not scoring consistently for them. Even in the first phase he wasn't performing up to the mark. Even in the second phase, with these kind of performances, MI will be forced to think whether they should stick with the left-hander at the same position or promote Saurabh Tiwary," the 41-year-old said.
"The biggest disadvantage for Mumbai is that a power hitter of the stature of Hardik Pandya is missing. He fills the shoes of both a batter and a bowler," Bhatia observed.
Not the best of seasons for Suryakumar Yadav either
While head coach Mahela Jayawardene had clarified that Hardik Pandya's injury is not a serious one, he has now not played in both the matches of the UAE leg for MI. Even if he plays, it is uncertain as to whether he would be bowling his quota of four overs.
For Kishan, the poor form continues and the southpaw has managed just 98 runs in 7 matches so far this season at an average of 14.00 and a strike rate of 88.28. Even Suryakumar Yadav, who was their consistent run-scorer in recent years, has suffered a dip in form and has only managed 181 runs in 9 matches so far at an average of 20.11 and a strike rate of 132.11.
Consequently, the two-time defending champions find themselves at the sixth position in the points tally with five more matches to go.