Ahead of his side’s clash against Delhi Capitals, MI’s coach Mahela Jayawardene has admitted that it is unfair to say you need batting wickets in the IPL at every venue. Jayawardene further insisted that the conditions in Chennai, and the pitch, has produced competitive wickets with close finishes.
Despite losing their first encounter at the venue, in Chennai, Mumbai Indians have made the fortress Chepauk their own, with back-to-back wins in the tournament. Combined with the batsmen peaking form, Mumbai have got the best out of Rahul Chahar in these conditions, which has helped them topple both KKR and SRH with ease.
While other sides who have played in Chennai have shown their surprise by the conditions on offer, Mumbai head coach Mahela Jayawardene admitted that it is unfair to call for batting wickets in the IPL. He further insisted that Chennai has produced competitive wickets, with all the games going down to the wire.
"Well I think it's unfair to say that you need batting wickets in IPL, why is the tournament interesting is because every venue is different which makes it evenly contesting. Yes the wickets are slightly on the slower side but we have still seen scores of 150 or 160 in the last few matches," said Jayawardene, reported Hindustan Times.
All of Mumbai’s clashes thus far have been low-scoring thrillers, with their only defeat coming at the hands of RCB, who chased the target down off the last ball of the match. Jayawardene also reckoned that, as a team, Mumbai have been ‘consistent’ with their approach to tackling these challenges.
"They are not unplayable wickets they (Chennai) are good competitive wickets. I think we have been consistent in our approach it is challenging but we have adapted pretty well. Sometimes we will make mistakes and that is part of the game."
Barring the one game, teams batting first have always won at the venue. However, the former Sri Lankan batsman stressed that he is pretty confident about his side’s chances of chasing a target at the venue, irrespective of the conditions, thanks to the batting unit.
"I am pretty confident that we can chase a target if we are asked to bowl first. We believe in that ability, it's not just Chennai but in any conditions, it's the same for us in Wankhede where it is easier to chase the totals down," said Jayawardene.
While Jayawardene reckoned that it is impossible to control the atmosphere, he felt that Mumbai have to be more concerned about controlling the controllables, which would allow them to win games irrespective of the conditions, starting with their mindset.
"We try and believe in ourselves that nothing is impossible but we can't control the atmosphere or conditions. We can control our mindset and I know if we have to chase something down this the batting line up which can achieve the target," he added.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya, who's had a rough start to the season, has not bowled a single ball in IPL 2021 to date, and was seen many a time under-arming throws owing to an apparent shoulder problem. Jayawardene claimed that Mumbai are not willing to risk Pandya, and added that he is not currently bowling to a shoulder niggle that's pestering him.
"We don't want to risk it, because it is important that we make sure that he (Hardik) is in a position to comfortably come in and bowl. So hopefully in the next few weeks, with a bit of work and all that, we might see him bowling," the MI coach said.
"It is not that we are deliberately trying to not bowl him, we would love to have him bowling, but as soon as the niggle is off and he is comfortable, we should be able to use that asset as well."