Although handicapped by the absence of its injured pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, who may miss the entire edition, IPL title holder Mumbai Indians is quite confident that there are others capable of stepping into the Sri Lankan’s shoes.
“Nothing changes, like in any injury; that is the depth of the squad. When it comes to the IPL, there are 16 players, so you cannot rely on one player,” said MI’s bowling coach Shane Bond on Friday, addressing Malinga’s injury-forced absence at least for the first half of the round-robin stage.
Malinga, who played a major role last year by taking 24 wickets in 15 games in MI’s memorable come-from-behind run to the title for the second time, has hurt his knee and was unable to play for Sri Lanka in the World T20 that concluded recently.
Bond hailed the improvement shown by young seam bowler Jasprit Bumrah since the last season when he had just come back from a serious knee injury.
“I think last year he (Bumrah) was coming into the matches after a serious knee injury; so we didn’t see the best of him. But, his development over the last year deserves big credit especially for the hard work he has put in,” said Bond whose career too was hit hard by injuries.
“I think the way he particularly bowled for India in the World T20, he has been one of the best bowlers for India,” he added.
Bond felt it was important to gauge the specifics of a particular playing arena and adapt accordingly.
“It is all batsman and conditions-specific. We play in a ground where batsmen hit hard, playing down the ground. You have grounds like Mohali which have big square boundaries.
“That is the key, summing up the pitch, conditions and batsmen, and being able to adapt to a certain plan, a certain ground and a certain player.
“There is a lot more technology in the game now, particularly in the analytical side. It is about working out where and whom the batsman wants to target at some point of the game and what bowlers you want to bowl to a particular batsman,” said Bond.
“There are the things behind the scenes to give us the best chance of winning. At the end of the day the bowlers have to soak in the pressure and bowl in the right areas.
“We know if we execute our skills well, we will be successful,” he added. (Courtesy The Hindu)