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An embargo on Mumbai Indians' bench-strength

An embargo on Mumbai Indians' bench-strength

Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Anil Kumble, Jonty Rhodes and John Wright - one can't ask for better strength on the bench, but it's the non-playing bunch.

Four defeats in a row is not how you expect the trophy-holders to start their title defence, but Mumbai Indians have failed to inflate their deflated tyres despite the presence of cricket's who's who on the bench; the problem, though, is they can't play.

Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Anil Kumble, Jonty Rhodes and John Wright - one can't ask for more strength on the bench, but it's the non-playing bunch.

The team is mentored by Kumble and coached by Wright, with Tendulkar present in the dug out as the inspiring 'Icon', Ponting as an advisor and Rhodes as fielding coach.

One couldn't have asked for more cement to form a solid thinktank, but still the team has lacked the fire it showed last season.

The problem, it seems, lies in the failure of foreign heavyweights imposing themselves. Much hopes were attached to Michael Hussey at the top, Corey Anderson in the middle and Keiron Pollard lower down the order but none have lived up to their big-name reputations.

Adding to the woes is the off-today-on-tomorrow form of skipper Rohit Sharma who was the key to their title-winning form last year by not only scoring big but also bailing the team out whenever in trouble.

"Our batting needs to improve. We have tried things like changing the batting order. It's not working out at all. Our batters need to step up. Hopefully, we would win a few matches when we go back to Mumbai," Rohit said after the team's loss to Delhi Daredevils.

Wright too has made his frustration with continuous batting failure public, saying that it's 'hurting' Tendulkar as much as its giving pain to the rest of the dressing room. And it must add to the Mumbai's frustration as until last year Tendulkar and Ponting were available as players, but having reitred, they can now only share their expertise from the sidelines.