MUMBAI: Consigned to their fourth defeat in a row, a dejected Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma said he has tried everything to get the right combination for this IPL season but has not succeeded.
Mumbai were dumped by six wickets by formidable Chennai Super Kings, last night.
"We will go back and see what will be our right combination. We are still searching for the right combination.
We have tried to play five bowlers and changed batting order in the last four games. I don't know what else to do to get the combination right," said a crestfallen Sharma said.
Sharma, who batted well to score a 31-ball 50, said promotion of New Zealand all rounder Corey Anderson to the third spot was one such endeavour without success.
"Whatever we did in the last three games didn't work out. That's why we tried new things, promoting Corey Anderson to no. 3 spot. Last time Corey batted here he got 95 (last season against Rajasthan Royals) and we qualified for play offs. When things don't work out it looks ugly, but strategy-wise it was the best way to go forward," said Sharma.
The MI skipper said the team's think tank was even contemplating playing untested New Zealander Mitchell McGleanagan in the next game.
"Mitchell is a talented bowler. We were actually thinking of getting him in for this game. But we wanted to make batting a bit stronger, especially in the first six overs, and that’s why Lendl Simmons was the best option considering the sort of season he had last year. We thought Wankhede was the best place for him to start again," said Sharma.
Simmons scored 394 runs in only eight games in 2014 to revive the team’s fortunes after it suffered five straight defeats in the first leg held in the UAE.
Sharma defended under-performing Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga who has been a match-winner for the team in the past but is struggling for form this season.
"Malinga is a little down. But a guy like him needs just one game to come back to form. The year we won the IPL (2013), he was not there for the first 7-8 games. We knew what kind of bowler he is – over the years for his country and for Mumbai Indians – and he came up with the winning spell against Chennai in the finals. We believe in him it’s just a matter of one game. We all know his strength," said Sharma.
"Even today he tried his best, got one wicket, but it was just not any bowler’s day today," he added.
The MI skipper also complimented Super Kings openers Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum who put on a breezy 109-run stand in just 7.2 overs to give the run-chase the ideal momentum, chasing 184.
"It was a good score. We have to give credit to their batsmen who batted well. We were trying to take wickets with new ball which didn’t happen. In this format if you don’t take wickets with the new ball it becomes difficult. Their batsmen are good players against new ball.
"In first six overs we tried to swing the ball as that’s where their weakness lies. We tried all variations like slower balls and bouncers, but none worked as they batted well."