Mumbai: Rohit Sharma, the captain of Mumbai Indians will open in all matches of this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The batsman has said that he has decided to do so as he opens for India and the World Cup follows immediately after the IPL.
“But this year, I will open the batting for all the games, that is for sure. That (World Cup) is one of the factors but also keeping in mind that this is where I bat, that is my position when I play for India and that is where I have got a lot of success of late.
“The team does understand that, and as a team also the composition of the players we have right now, we have got some experience in the middle order so that allows me to go and bat at the top of the order. This season I will try and do that – open in every game possible,” Sharma told reporters.
“I have in the past batted in the middle order and I’ve opened also in a few games so wherever the team requires me to bat I have to bat to get the right balance,” he added. Sharma batted at number’s three, four and five last season for a combined 12 innings and he was able to manage just 286 runs, recording his poorest performance in an IPL season.
Mumbai, once again have Lasith Malinga as a bowler this season and Zaheer Khan, the team’s director of cricket operations said that having Malinga back could back a very big difference to the team. “The kind of experience he (Malinga) brings to the table is immense not only with his bowling but also in the game situation,” Zaheer said. “It’s a relief for Rohit also and for the other bowlers who trust the experience and the valuable advice he brings. Because as a coaching staff you can plan things but when the game is happening and you’re in a real-time situation and someone is pro-active, it makes a huge difference in terms of decision-making,” Zaheer Khan told reporters.
“What is going to be crucial for us this season is to have an emphasis on decision-making which decides the outcomes of matches in the pressure scenarios,” he added. Mumbai acquired Yuvraj Singh for this season and his former team-mate Khan said the addition of Yuvraj will give a boost to the team.
“Bringing in Yuvraj in the squad has been a boost because of the match-winning ability he has. In our discussions leading up to the auctions, we had identified that we need experienced batsmen who can control the game in the middle. Since Rohit has decided to open, we need that experience in the middle order and who’s better than someone like Yuvraj Singh,” Khan told reporters. The three-time IPL winners would look to better their performance in the tournament this year. The team takes on Delhi Capitals in their opening match of the tournament on Sunday, March 24 at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.