Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], May 5 (ANI): The Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene praised the team for sticking together in tough times, and added that the aim for the rest of IPL 2022 will be to enjoy cricket for the five-time champions.
Mumbai Indians notched their first win of IPL 2022, beating Rajasthan Royal by five wickets on April 30, and after a season where they came close to winning several games before earning their first points, head coach Mahela Jayawardene stated that the victory had brought a “very positive outlook” to the entire group.
“It was good to see that we managed to execute skills and at the same time finish the game off,” Jayawardene said of game against the Royals. “The bowling was pretty good… with the bat as well we were able to cross the line. We had the same opportunities through this season with the ball and the bat too, to try and finish games off, which we were not able to. So to get points on the table, cross the line, brings a very positive outlook to the entire group.”
They now face Gujarat Titans, who are at the top of the points table, at the Brabourne Stadium on May 6, although the head coach would have liked the team to get on the park sooner, to carry that winning momentum forward.
“Unfortunately, we had to wait for another four days before we could play another game,” Jayawardene said. “The focus has been good, we’ve had a couple of good chats. Looking forward to the next game, which is a tough one. Probably the in-form best team in the competition, and looking forward to that.”
“We just need to win matches, play some good cricket. It’s all about confidence. As players, as a group it’s been tough for us, there’s nothing to hide,” Jayawardene stated, looking ahead at the remainder of the season.
“We were not satisfied with our execution; we were not satisfied with the way we played. But everyone stuck together and worked harder. I can’t complain about the work ethic of the group. We’ve stayed together and believed in our ability. The rest of the season is going to be the same. Stick to our processes that we’ve always worked on, and make sure we win matches and go out and enjoy our cricket,” the Sri Lankan pointed.
Even though the points have not come, Mumbai Indians have continued to uncover fresh talent. Tilak Varma has been spectacular with the bat and Dewald Brevis has shown a glimpse of enormous potential. Against the Royals, mystery left-arm spinner Kumar Kartikeya was handed a debut and did exceptionally, while the young Hrithik Shokeen has also continued to be impressive.
“KK has been great, it’s a great story,” Jayawardene said. “He’s been with our support bowling group for four-five weeks working on his skills. When we had the opportunity to bring him in, we knew that he had the skills, it was about understanding his temperament out there in the big stage, and he looked like a pro. It’s great to see these kids coming through, and at the same time have that composure out there, against a very good batting line-up. He held his own and bowled brilliantly to execute the game-plan that he had, which he discussed with us.”
“Specially one of the brighter points for us this season has been the new guys who have come in putting their hands up and how they have performed. Lot of work to be done, but very excited,” he added. (ANI)