Mumbai Indians have now lost their first five games in IPL 2022. The team’s latest loss came against the Punjab Kings at the MCA Stadium, Pune. While skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Mahela Jayawardene have already spoken about the team’s shortcomings, it seems like they’re missing an important jigsaw piece – Jofra Archer. 

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The English pacer, who was bought by the franchise for a whopping Rs 8 crore in the IPL 2022 mega auction, missed the season recovering from an elbow injury. The 27-year-old had said that he will return to the IPL next year. 

Talking after Mi’s 12-run loss to the Punjab Kings, Jayawardene admitted that the team is missing Archer. He said that the injured pacer’s absence is hurting the team as the bowling unit has not been able to sustain the pressure.

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“It’s a call that we will take depending on how we’ve set up tactically against certain opposition….obviously, one of the best bowlers that we’ve bought in the auction is Jof (Jofra Archer) – Jof is not here. So it is tough when you are in that kind of situation, but we are trying to see how best we can manage,” the head coach said. 

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“In terms of the last four-five games, we’ve had some really good spells, we controlled things for a while. But we cannot hold that pressure going on, because in certain times, it’s either two or three overs that we go big and that has hurt us,” he added. 

Archer and Jasprit Bumrah – two of the best white ball bowlers in the current scenario – would have made a formidable pair for the five-time champions. The English player represented the Rajasthan Royals from 2018 to 2020. In 35 IPL games, he picked 46 wickets at an economy rate of 7.13 rpo. He is also a proven pich hitter down the order. 

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Against Punjab, Mumbai Indians were chasing 199 runs. Their bowlers have not been able to restrict the opposition for below 150 in the five games. While Bumrah has been holding up four overs, skipper Rohit Sharma has struggled to distribute overs between the likes of Tymal Mills, Basil Thampi and Jaydev Unadkat. 

MI face Lucknow Super Giants on Saturday.