Mumbai, May 4: In IPL 5, so far, Sachin Tendulkar is yet to unleash big scores, which has come as a huge disappointment for his and Mumbai Indians' fans. Whenever the Master Blaster walks out to bat, expectations soar and it is no less in Twenty20 format.
Having missed four games due to a finger injury, Tendulkar has struggled to produce attacking stroke-play and the team in turn has been hampered by poor opening partnerships.
Before the start of the Thursday's night game against Pune Warriors, Tendulkar had only 94 runs. He scored 34 against Pune to go past the 100-run mark. Now he has 128. By his standards, it has been a poor performance.
The 39-year-old's strike rate is 104.06 and an average of 25.60. It is the lowest among Mumbai batsmen who have scored more than 100.
Tendulkar gave up captaincy before the start of this year's IPL. Without the burden of leadership, he was expected to play freely but that has not happened.
For 128 runs he has taken 123 balls. He is yet to register a half century. His highest is 34. In six visits to the crease, Tendulkar has managed only two sixes and added 13 fours.
With openers failing time and again, Mumbai were forced to try out new combinations at the top of the order. On Thursday, it clicked. Tendulkar and James Franklin raised 50 runs for the first wicket. But that platform was wasted by the rest as they posted 120/9 in 20 overs.
With six more matches to play and Mumbai are third in the points table with 12 points. They need their icon, Tendulkar to provide a blazing start.
Will the Master Blaster oblige?