IPL 2020: Rohit Sharma confirms Mumbai Indians’ opening combination; speaks on Lasith Malinga’s absence
Dubai: Mumbai Indians’ (MI) captain Rohit Sharma has revealed the opening combination for the team ahead of their first match in the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020). Defending champions MI will face Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on September 19 in Abu Dhabi.
On Thursday (September 17), Rohit and MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene spoke to the media in an online press conference from the UAE.
When asked about MI’s opening combination for the tournament, Rohit confirmed that he will partner Quinton de Kock at the top of the order but added he will keep all options open.
“I opened for the entire tournament last year and will continue to do that. As a team, we keep all options open. I’m happy to do what the team wants. I enjoy batting at the top of the order and I’ve been doing it for a while. But even when I play for India, the message to the management is to not close any door and keep all the options open, so I'll do the same here,” Rohit said.
MI had bought Australia’s Chris Lynn for Rs 2 crore in the players’ auction but he will have to wait for his chance. Jayawardene said Lynn is a “great addition” to the squad.
“Lynn is a great addition to the squad, but the combination of Rohit and Quinton did a phenomenal job for us last season. They complement each other well, they're consistent and both of them are experienced. They’re good leaders as well, so why would you want to fix something that isn't broken? We will continue to go with that,” Jayawardene said.
“Lynn as an option gives us flexibility in the squad and that’s what we’ve always done. We try and add more value to the team, give more options so that we can be unpredictable when it comes to tournaments and big matches. Quinton and Rohit as a combination have been brilliant,” he added.
MI will be without Sri Lankan paceman Lasith Malinga. He opted out of the tournament due to personal reasons.
When asked about his absence, Rohit said, “For anyone, it’s hard to fill his boots. What he has done for MI and Sri Lanka is remarkable. He has been a match-winner for MI, whenever we were in trouble, Malinga bailed us out. His experience will be missed and what he did for MI is unbelievable. Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson and Dhawal Kulkarni are some of the names who can be his replacement. What he did for MI cannot be compared and he cannot be replaced.”