Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma will continue to open along with Quinton de Kock for the upcoming IPL, head coach Mahela Jayawardene confirmed on Thursday. Mumbai also have Australia’s Chris Lynn in the squad this season but given record of the Sharma-de Kock combination, Jayawardene said there was no need to “fix something that wasn’t broken”.
“Lynn is a great addition to the squad, but the combination of Rohit and Quinton did a phenomenal job for us last season,” Jayawardene said in a virtual press conference from Abu Dhabi. “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.
“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.
Sharma, who has also batted at Nos. 3 and 4 for Mumbai in the past, said he enjoys batting “at the top of the order” and would continue to do so, but the team would also keep the batting line-up flexible.
“I opened for the entire tournament last year and will continue to do that,” Sharma said. “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.”
Sharma and de Kock had opened in 15 of Mumbai’s 16 games last season as the team won the record fourth title. Their tally of 565 runs including five half-century stands at an average of 37.66 was behind only David Warner and Jonny Bairstow’s 791 for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Lynn, on the other hand, managed only 138 runs while opening for the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in CPL 2020. He averaged a mere 17.25 from nine innings, with a highest score of 34.
More to follow…