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Mumbai Indians Will Have to Start From Scratch, Says Coach Jayawardene

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 7, 2018, 12:15 PM IST
Mumbai Indians Will Have to Start From Scratch, Says Coach Jayawardene

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma and coach Mahela Jayawardene. (Twitter/Mumbai Indians)

IPL defending champions Mumbai Indians will have to start from scratch and will not be favourites to win the tournament, according to coach Mahela Jayawaredene.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday, Jayawardene said that many teams have invested in new players and look stronger.

"Rajasthan, Delhi, Punjab have all gone in for new players and they look good. We all have to start from scratch and take it one game at a time. I do not see ourselves as favourites but at the same time we are equally good as other teams and will try to do one better than the opposition," said Jayawardene.

Captain Rohit Sharma added that the team has all the bases covered and aren't worried about the opposition.

"Mumbai have always been a good team, we are not worried about the opposition. We have what it takes to win the tournament and all are bases covered. We will take only one game at a time and not worry about the final,"

The two heaped praise on Jasprit Bumrah - who is likely to be the pace spearhead for the team in Malinga's absence.

"Bums (Bumrah) doesn't understand the word pressure, he does the role assigned to him very well. This time he has experienced players to support him with the likes of Fizz, McCleneghan and
Cummins. Hardik is also a much improved bowler, so I don't think we have much to worry," said Jayawardene.

Rohit also heaped praise on all-rounder Krunal Pandya, saying he will play a key role for the team but there are other promising spinners as well which will help him do the job.

"Spinners have always played a crucial role for us. They have given us breakthroughs and changed the momentum of innings. We have some great talent, I just hope they deliver for us as they have for their clubs. Krunal hasn't played much cricket off late but he was looking good in the practice. He knows his role and I am hopeful he can deliver for us," the captain said.

The IPL will also see the introduction of DRS and mid-season trading for the first time, and Jayawardene said that these changes are good and that cricket is starting to move the football way.

"Mid-season trading is something we will have to keep an eye on, it's a good opportunity and its something new. DRS has been around international cricket for some time,so its certainly good to see it in the IPL, it will reduce the errors and at the same time give a chance to younger players to know how to go about handling it in the future," said Jayawardene.

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First Published: April 7, 2018, 11:18 AM IST

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