Under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians have displayed best of action in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and topped the points table to qualify for the season’s playoffs.
Despite having won highest 10 matches out of 14 in all, Mumbai seem to be under anxiety ahead of the first qualifier match against Rising Pune Siupergiant at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday.
“The way the guys responded gives me a healthy headache. I just need to think about what the final line-up needs to be for the play-offs. But I am happy to be challenged in that way rather than us not having any options,” Mumbai coach Mahela Jayawardene said as quoted by franchise’s official website.
The table-toppers’ core strength remain in their middle-order and all-round abilities. Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya and Nitish Rana are the batting pillars of the hosts, while Mitchell McClenaghan and Jasprit Bumrah are balancing the act with their impeccable bowling.
Jayawardene hailed the entire squad saying: “The entire squad is in very good spirits. They have been training really hard. It has been great so far. We just need to continue to do that and keep it simple.”
Former Sri Lankan batting legend is happy with the fact that two-time champions finished in top-two of the points table and hence, they will get two chances to make it to the final.
“It is good to be playing (Qualifer 1) at our home venue even though it is not going to be a home game for us. I am sure the fans will come and support us,” Jayawardene added.
Steve Smith-led Pune are coming from a roller coaster ride, having won nine and lost five matches so far in the season. Jayawardene didn’t shy to call them a "challenging side".
“It is going to be a really good game. Pune is a very good side. And I am definitely looking forward to that challenge,” he said.