The Mumbai Indians' hopes of defending their Champions League T20 title took a bit of a battering with skipper and talisman Rohit Sharma ruled out of the upcoming tournament due to injury.
Rohit has been one of the most important players in the Mumbai Indians squad over the last few years and played a big role in taking MI to the CLT20 title in 2013.
The India right-hander was forced to fly home from England after the 2nd ODI due to a fractured finger, and now, according to ESPNCricinfo, Rohit will not be available to play in the CLT20 with a shoulder problem also causing him worries.
The report suggests, Rohit has been advised four weeks of rest after consultation with the physios at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.
The loss of Rohit will be a big blow for the Mumbai Indians, who will now have to pick a captain for the 2014 edition of CLT20. Harbhajan Singh has experience of leading MI in this particular tournament, and successfully as well, having guided the team to the title in 2011.
Lasith Malinga is another option, with the fast bowler now captaining the Sri Lanka T20 team while also leading Southern Express to the domestic T20 title back home. Kieron Pollard is another possible candidate, after the big Trinidadian impressed with his captaincy skills during the Caribbean Premier League T20, leading his Barbados Tridents side to the title.
The experienced Michael Hussey is also an option, but with the Australian's place in the playing XI far from assured, it is unlikely.
Whoever the Mumbai Indians management select to take over from Rohit as captain, one this is certain -- the India international's on-field presence in the team will be missed.
Rohit has the ability to turn a game in the blink of an eye, while his captaincy has come on leaps and bounds since taking over from Ricky Ponting in IPL 2013, after the Australian legend decided to bench himself owing to poor form.
The Mumbai Indians, after sneaking to fourth place in IPL 2014, will be forced to go through the qualifying stages of CLT20 2014 to make it to the main draw, with their first match set to be a cracker of a contest against Lahore Lions in Raipur on Saturday.