Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma on Wednesday said they will have no “added advantage” of playing their IPL matches in the city’s three grounds as many in the “relatively new team” have not played a single game in last two years.
The IPL-15 begins at the Wankhede Stadium with a clash between Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday. “I hope you saw the auction, relatively new team, lot of new guys have come into the team, so I don’t believe in added advantage because these guys, like lot of the guys 70 (or) 80 percent of the squad has not played in Bombay before,” Rohit said at a virtual press conference.
“So there is no such thing as added advantage,” the five-time IPL winning captain added. The league phase of the IPL will be held in Mumbai and Pune. Mumbai have been playing their home games at the Wankhede Stadium since the start of the tournament in 2008.
“Only myself, Surya (Suryakumar Yadav), (Kieron) Pollard, Ishan (Kishan), (Jasprit) Bumrah have played in Bombay a lot. Others have not played, so there is no such thing as added advantage,” he reiterated.
“We all are playing in Bombay after two years, we have not played a single game in Mumbai, in fact the other franchises have played in Bombay last year, we didn’t get to play, so no advantage,” Rohit maintained.
Suryakumar to join after getting clearance
Rohit also said that batter Suryakumar is still undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and would join the team after getting clearance from there. “Surya is at NCA at the moment, he is recovering well, he will be here soon and I can’t give you his availability now, whether he will be available for first game or not, but we are trying to get him as soon as possible, once we have the clearance from the NCA,” said Rohit.
Rohit also made it clear that he and Ishan Kishan would open the batting for the five-time champions. “I will open the batting. (I have) been doing that in the past, so I am looking forward to open (the batting) with Ishan (Kishan),” he said.
Welcomes extra DRS
Rohit welcomed the move to have two DRS per innings in the forthcoming season. “Look, that (Mankading) has become legal, so batters will need to pay more attention, when to come out of the crease and when not, so it is very simple, the rules have come and we need to follow them.
“Secondly, I think it is a good rule, the new batsman should face (the ball) if the batsman gets out, it is important that a bowler is bowling in good rhythm and he gets a wicket, a new batter faces him, especially when he catches out.
“It is a good opportunity for the opposition to keep up the pressure.” He added, “And having two DRS is also a good rule, because fewer mistakes in the game, the better it is. In international cricket we play with two DRS, so it should be there in the IPL, so I think it is a good move to bring two DRS by the IPL,” said Rohit.
With the IPL being a 10-team affair this time, the franchises will be playing a different format, but Rohit maintained that nothing changes for the team in terms of planning. “It’s a format that we played in 2011. To be honest, nothing really changes in terms of planning. You have to play the opposition — some you will play only once or some twice.
“There’s not too many changes that we need to make, it’s just that you will be playing certain teams only once, so you need to be prepared because there is no coming back. You need to plan well against those guys, ensure that your bases are covered,” he signed off.
Meanwhile, head coach Mahela Jayawardene heaped praise on MI’s young recruit, Dewald Brewis. “We haven’t finalized (the top order), it is too early for us to give that information. But very excited to see him (Brewis) in the nets, he is a very committed young man and he is quite keen to learn and that is a good sign to see,” said Jayawardane.