IPL: Mahela Jayawardene’s faith in pace
Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene feels his fast bowlers still have a “bigger role” to play in the IPL despite the slow pitches in the UAE.
The franchise has a pace-heavy line-up and with fast bowlers like Jofra Archer, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje troubling the batsmen, Jayawardene said he is “happy” with their combination.
Mumbai Indians’ pace trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult and James Pattinson have a tally of 31 wickets in the seven matches so far.
“We need to see how it (the conditions) will evolve,” Jayawardene said on the eve of their match against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.
“Last year as well we made some adjustment at the back-end of the tournament when we played on certain pitches (in Delhi and Chennai) that were suited for spinners. I cannot say that right now because still the fast bowlers have a bigger role to play.”
Pattinson has been a surprise package and Jayawardene said it was captain Rohit Sharma’s idea to bring him in as Lasith Malinga’s replacement.
“I have to be honest, there were quite a few names that we discussed but Rohit was the one who put his hand up and said Patto will be someone who will definitely add value to the attack,” Jayawardene said. “What he brings is pace, accuracy, bowls the hard ball and has that wicket-taking ability which we always look at.”
Jayawardene, who thinks “the tournament will always get tougher and tougher at the back-end”, said the presence of several top-notch players in the line-up has made for some good and healthy rivalry. “We monitor everyone’s attitude and focus, whether they’re prepared for every game…”