Abu Dhabi, September 17
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma on Thursday conceded that “incomparable” Sri Lankan tempo legend Lasith Malinga, who has opted out of this yr’s IPL, can be severely missed by defending champions given his “unbelievable” previous performances.
The 37-year-old Malinga, who’s IPL’s highest wicket-taker with 170 scalps to his credit score, has pulled out citing private causes in a significant blow to the four-time champions. MI will tackle the Chennai Super Kings on this season’s lung-opener on September 19 right here.
“I don’t think it is easy to come and fill his boots. He has been a match-winner for Mumbai. I have said it many times, whenever we sort of find ourselves in trouble, Malinga was the one to bail us out from that,” Rohit mentioned in a pre-season on-line press convention.
“His expertise will likely be missed, what he did with MI is unbelievable and it’s unlucky that he’s not part of the crew this yr.
“We have got the likes of (James) Pattinson, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin (Khan) and these are the names that we are looking to replace Malinga with. But obviously what Malinga did for Mumbai, it is not just comparable,” he added.
Talking about his personal function, Rohit mentioned he would proceed to open.
“I opened the complete match final yr and I’ll proceed to try this. Again I maintain all of the choices open, regardless of the crew needs, completely happy to try this.
“Even when I play for India, message from my side to the management has always been the same ‘do not close any doors’ keep all the options open and I will do the same here as well,” he mentioned.
India’s white-ball vice-captain additionally felt that right studying of situations can be essential to his crew’s fortunes.
“The challenge for us will be to adapt to the conditions which probably none of us are used to, because not a lot of cricketers from our group have played here,” mentioned Rohit.
“I think mentally it is about going out there and understanding what the pitch is doing, and based on that, you need to plan your game – whether it is batting or bowling. So we have had a good chat around the group about that,” he elaborated.
According to Rohit, the crew’s previous performances within the UAE in 2014, when it made the play-offs however not the ultimate, will not matter now.
“…eventually the pitches here are going to play a big part and to understand that and adapt quickly and play to your potential, play according to what is being asked of is very crucial here. The past performance would not play a part this time around,” he burdened.
Rohit recalled taking part in the Asia Cup within the UAE and the way the pitches had been behaving in another way originally and on the finish of the match. He expects one thing related this time round too.
“…the first game that we played and the finals that we played, there was a lot of difference in how the pitch was behaving. So we certainly expect the same, as it is going to be a long tournament. The slowness of the pitch will be a big factor,” he mentioned.
Rohit additionally mentioned that not solely the spinners however the seamers would additionally get loads of help when it comes to reverse swing.
“…there will be some reverse swing and we have got some good quality in our line-up as well, who can explore that. We have got balance and variety in our bowling attack, so we can use it depending on the conditions and team composition,” he mentioned.
Rohit is trying ahead to some strong performances from the crew’s spinners.
“All these guys, Krunal (Pandya), Rahul (Chahar), Prince Balwant Rai, there are few options, Anukul (Roy) have been part of the team for a while now, so we have quality spin…,” he mentioned.
“All these guys have experience of playing domestic cricket in India, so I hope they can use the experience and do the same for MI,” he added.
Talking in regards to the opening match towards the Chennai Super Kings mentioned his aspect was prepared for the problem.
“CSK are in all probability one of many profitable IPL groups and you may’t take them as a right…they may come out all weapons blazing. None of us have performed cricket for months now, so clearly all people needs to begin on a excessive.
“So, we will be expecting a great contest between the two and we need to focus on what we need to do as team and all our bases are covered,” mentioned Rohit. PTI