Mumbai Indians face a must-win situation in the Champions League Twenty20 qualifiers to enter the final rounds of the tournament. The man who seems to have taken up the challenge is Mike Hussey. The retired Australian batsman feels Rohit Sharma's absence due to injury has added pressure on the team, but it has opened up opportunities for youngsters. (Match Report | Scorecard | Highlights)
In an interview to clt20.com, Hussey admitted Sharma's absence has put the top order under pressure and the openers had to make good starts. On Sunday, Hussey and Lendl Simmons put on 139 for the opening wicket as Mumbai, chasing Southern Express's 161, won by nine wickets and 22 balls to spare. (Pollard Wants Mumbai to Field Better)
"Losing Rohit is a huge loss. He is such a class player and he was our captain. So it's a huge hole to fill. But it gives an opportunity to a young player. Jalaj (Saxena) has come in and done a good job. It is a great opportunity for him to shine and show how good he is," said Hussey.
Mumbai face New Zealand team Northern Knights in Raipur on Tuesday. Led by Daniel Flynn, the Knights have won both their matches with big margins and Hussey is looking forward to the challenge. With one win and a loss, Mumbai must win to qualify.
"It is going to be a great match. They (the Kiwis) are a fantastic team who are playing confident cricket and that's important in T20. We need to win to go through to the next round. So it is going to be a crack-a-jack of a game and I am looking forward to it," said Hussey.
Hussey hopes to keep his "good partnership" with Lendl going. The West Indian has gelled well with the veteran Aussie star and Mumbai are unlikely to disturb the pair. "I feel we have a good partnership going. We have a good rapport with each other in the middle and we have had some good partnerships together," Hussey said.