IPL 2016: Ricky Ponting wants Mumbai Indians batsmen to pull up their socks

first_imgAhead of their game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians head coach Ricky Ponting on Tuesday said the batsmen need to step up and perform better in the upcoming games.After getting off to a losing start to their campaign against Rising Pune Supergiants, defending champions Mumbai came back strongly with a thumping win over Kolkata Knight Riders, but suffered two consecutive losses against Gujarat Lions and Sunrisers Hyderabad to have them tottering in the seventh position in the points table with just two points from four games.”We have been disappointing so far, the team didn’t play the way we wanted and would have liked to. But obviously we had one very good win against Kolkata Knight Riders. But apart from that our batting hasnt been good enough yet. The guys are aware the way I want them to play and how they should play,” Ponting said at the pre-match press conference.Failure to get their team combination right has resulted in a series of losses for Mumbai.”Our bowling has been pretty good right throughout the tournament. Tim Southee and Mitchell McClaneghan have been good, outstanding and Jasprit Bumrah has also been consistent but we haven’t had enough runs yet. We need to play 40 overs of good cricket but till now e have played only 30 overs, so we need to step up and deliver as a team,” the former Australia skipper said.Ponting also said batsman Ambati Rayudu, who struck a half-century in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, will continue at the No.3 position for the next two games.advertisement”With Rohit Sharma going up to open we did not have a specialist No.3 batsman, as Jos Buttler and Kieron Pollard normally bats at No.4 and No.5. Rayudu has excelled when he had batted down the order for MI. Rayudu also batted well at No.6 earlier with Pollard so we had only option to give Hardik Pandya to bat at No.3,” he said.”But the experiment for us at No.3 did not work. So we put Rayudu at No.3 when Rohit decided to bat at No.4 and Rayudu played very well in the last game. So Rayudu will stay at No.3 for next few games.””In different situations we were been able to fight our way back into the game, but we were not been able to dominate the game, right from the outset and that we are trying to do in the next game. And if we can do that against RCB who are a very good side, then the boys can take a bit of confidence from that,” the World Cup-winning Australian skipper added.Mumbai’s star batsman Lendl Simmons and leading pacer Lasith Malinga have been ruled out of the cash-rich tournament after injury and Ponting believes it is a big blow for the side.”Things haven’t been gone our way so far. Lendl has been ruled out of the tournament who has been one of our leading run-getter in the IPL in past two seasons. His partnership with Parthiv did set up very well for the middle order to bat freely. Malinga being ruled out of the tournament is a big loss to us,” he said.”Pollard also coming after injury and having not played so many cricket matches for long. All those are factors but we don’t use those as reasons. So we have to see what group of players we select and hope those players eventually click for us,” Ponting added.last_img read more