IPL 2020: Despite slow tracks, MI coach Mahela Jayawardene happy to persist with pace trio
I cannot say that right now because the fast bowlers still have a bigger role to play in this competition - be it in the Powerplay, middle overs and the backend," Jayawardene said
MUMBAI Indians (MI) head coach Mahela Jayawardene is keen to persist with a pace heavy-attack despite pitches in the United Arab Emirates getting slower. MI's pace trio Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult (11 wickets each) and James Pattinson (9) are among the top 10 wicket-takers of IPL-13. MI spinners Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya have claimed seven and five wickets respectively.
"It's something we need to see how they [the conditions] evolve. Last year as well, we made the adjustment at the backend of the tournament when we played on certain pitches that suited spinners. I cannot say that right now because the fast bowlers still have a bigger role to play in this competition—be it in the Powerplay, middle overs and the backend," Jayawardene said on the eve of MI's game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday.
"So, we are trying to keep that balance as long as they [fast bowlers] are making contributions, penetrating through the opponent's batting line-up. It does not matter what kind of surfaces we play on. The quality of fast bowling we have, is always going to create opportunities. We have very good spinners. There are a few guys who are on the wings, who we might look at giving certain positions and certain match-ups. If the conditions suit, we will look into that but right now, I am happy with the combination we have and the way they have operated," explained Jayawardene.
The former Sri Lankan captain also revealed how MI skipper Rohit Sharma played a vital role in bringing Pattinson as a replacement for death overs specialist Lasith Malinga, who made himself unavailable.
"I have to be honest...there were quite a few names that we discussed [to replace Malinga] but Rohit was the one who put his hand up and said Patto will be someone who will add value to the attack. What he brings is pace, accuracy, bowls the hard ball and has that wicket-taking ability, which we always look at. Jimmy [Pattinson] hasn't let us down from the day he arrived. He adapted really well and formed a good partnership with Boulty [Bolt] and Boom [Bumrah] and these three guys have been good and so far it's brilliant," added Jayawardene.
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