Mumbai, April 17: Since the IPL 5 opener against Chennai Super Kings, Mumbai Indians have been struggling for a solid start but skipper Harbhajan Singh hoped the return of veteran Sachin Tendulkar could solve the problem.
Mumbai Indians suffered a humiliating defeat against a dominant Delhi Daredevils in front of their crowd at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.
"Of course, it will be nice to have Sachin Tendulkar back. I'm sure he will be back by the next game if nothing goes wrong by the net session. If he is batting with any of the foreigners it makes it easier for them to score runs. He can take a lot of pressure from the other partner," he said.
Tendulkar has missed all the games after being hit on the finger during the IPL opener against Chennai, but has been receiving throwdowns during training sessions.
Speaking about the absence of ace bowler Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan said Sri Lankan speedster was given a break after having a sore back, but said Malinga would be available for the home game on April 29.
"He's OK, but his back is not the same as it was in the last game, so we wanted to give him a break for this game as it's a long tournament. We don't want him to get hurt in playing all these games. Hopefully he will be fine for the next game," said Harbhajan.
Harbhajan expressed his concern over opener Richard Levi's poor form after being dismissed by left-arm spinners in three consecutive home games.
"Levi is having a bit of hard time with left-arm spinners and we need to reconsider what sort of other option we have. We will see by the next game what is the best possible eleven we can play," Harbhajan observed.
Harbhajan feels West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard has to bat up the order to play his natural game.
"We want Pollard to go and play freely. Even though he got out (early) today, I don't mind (it) as he was the guy who got us out in the last game. I don't want Pollard to change his game and at the same time we need someone who can hit big in the end. So I will keep myself down in the order but if we need to chase 170-plus I might as well go up."
Mumbai Indians take on Kings XI Punjab at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday, April 22.