Sharma demands Mumbai Indians batters take 'responsibility' after disastrous IPL start

Five-time champions have lost their first eight games to sit bottom of the standings

Rohit Sharma top-scored for Mumbai Indians with 39 against Lucknow Super Giants in another poor team batting display. Sportzpics for IPL
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Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma has called on his team's batting unit to take more "responsibility" after Sunday's 36-run defeat to Lucknow Super Giants stretched their winless run in the Indian Premier League to eight matches.

Mumbai, the most successful IPL team in the tournament's history with five titles, have endured a disastrous start to the current campaign and sit bottom of the table.

Lucknow captain KL Rahul smashed a superb unbeaten 103 off 62 balls to guide his team to 169 at the Wankhede Stadium.

Mumbai's response was poor, with five players dismissed for single-digit scores while Rohit scored an underwhelming 39 and the big-hitting Kieron Pollard could only make 19.

"When you have a target like that, it is very crucial to string those partnerships," Rohit told Star Sports. "We didn't do that, and then a few irresponsible shots including from myself. We couldn't get the momentum when we needed.

"We haven't batted well enough in this tournament. The whole thing goes on the batting unit. Whoever plays in the middle needs to take that responsibility and make sure one of the batters bats long. We've failed to do that."

Rahul said Lucknow's squad depth has helped his game, with the 30-year-old having scored 368 runs in eight matches this season. He has scored two centuries in the campaign - 103 not out twice against Mumbai.

"When you have power and depth in your team, you can play freely and you can take a few more chances. That's what is happening with me in this team," Rahul said.

While Mumbai have been cut adrift in the standings and are in serious danger of missing the playoffs, tournament debutants Lucknow sit fourth having won five of their eight games.

Thursday's match is between another two struggling teams as eighth-placed Punjab Kings take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings, who sit second bottom.

Updated: April 25, 2022, 8:39 AM