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Rohit Sharma out of CLT20; Kieron Pollard could lead Mumbai Indians

Rohit Sharma captained Mumbai Indians to victory in the last CLT20 © IANS
Rohit Sharma captained Mumbai Indians to victory in the last CLT20 © IANS

New Delhi: Aug 29, 2014

Star batsman Rohit Sharma’s finger fracture is not only a blow to the Indian team but a big setback for Mumbai Indians (MI) as well, who will be playing in the qualifiers of the Champions League T20 starting September 13, in Raipur.

With Rohit sustaining a fractured middle finger during the second ODI against England at Cardiff, it is unlikely that he will play any part during MI’s qualifying round matches in Raipur, which kicks off with a match against Lahore Lions. As of now, dashing West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard looks a likely candidate to lead the popular T20 franchise.

“While Pollard is an automatic choice in the MI set-up, his success as the captain having led the Barbados Tridents to title triumph in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) will go in his favour. But Harbhajan should also be sounded out,” a source in the know of things told PTI.

Among the senior players, there is Harbhajan Singh, under whom Mumbai Indians won the Champions League T20 in 2012 but according to reliable sources is not too keen on leading the side. Harbhajan, who is fighting to make a comeback is more interested in performing well for the Mukesh Ambani-owned team.

Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga is also one of the senior players in the side and had also led Sri Lanka to ICC World T20 triumph after being handed over the captaincy mid-way due to sudden dip in Dinesh Chandimal’s form. Aussie great Michael Hussey’s place in the playing XI is not assured, which can be a reason that he won’t be considered for the hot-seat.

If fit and available, the four first-choice overseas players are likely to be Lendl Simons, Pollard, Corey Anderson and Malinga. The MI will certainly be seeking a replacement for the injured Rohit, who incidentally also sustained a finger fracture during 2011 tour of England.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (c), Harbhajan Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Pragyan Ojha, Praveen Kumar, Aditya Tare, Jalaj Saxena, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, Michael Hussey, Kieron Pollard, Corey Anderson, Lasith Malinga, Marchant de Lange, Lendl Simmons.

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