MI News: Rohit Sharma opines on Suryakumar Yadav's availability for season opener

Rohit Sharma, the captain of the Mumbai Indians, was seen giving up his fixed opener's slot to offer more balance to the team.

Suryakumar Yadav for Mumbai Indians (Courtesy: IPLt20.com)
By Shurti Banerjee | Mar 23, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Rohit Sharma, the captain of the Mumbai Indians, was seen giving up his fixed opener’s slot to offer more balance to the team. For years, he has shuffled himself in the top order until IPL 2019 arrived. In a World Cup year, Rohit Sharma opened the innings for Mumbai throughout the season and amassed 405 runs with two half-centuries. He scored 332 runs in 2020 while opening and they won the title as well.

However, Rohit amassed 381 runs in 2021 even though Mumbai Indians failed to reach the Playoffs. Ahead of the season, Rohit had given the hint that he would once again like to open the innings but stated that he was ready to bat anywhere as per the demands of the team. But, this time, with no Quinton de Kock in the squad, Rohit and Ishan Kishan are likely to open for Mumbai.

“I will open the batting. I’ve been doing that in the past so I’m looking forward to open with Ishan,” Rohit Sharma replied to a query from Hindustan Times. Head coach Mahela Jayawardena weighed in on the same by saying: “I think Rohit and Ishan is a good combination up top and Ishan is also a wicketkeeper, and there are very few who can bat in the top-three.”

Apart from him, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard are the only two players in the middle-order from previous editions as well. With no Pandya brothers, N Tilak Verma and Sanjay Yadav could play in the middle-order. However, their biggest issue at this point is the uncertainty over Suryakumar’s injury and his availability for their season opener against Delhi Capitals on Sunday as well.

However, Suryakumar Yadav has picked up a hairline fracture on his thumb during the third T20I against West Indies on February 22. The veteran has since been in rehab at the NCA in Bengaluru and as per the reports, Suryakumar is most likely to miss MI’s first match of the season. Rohit Sharma also opined on his availability of the batter, providing a huge update on where his fitness stands.

READ MORE: IPL 2022: Delhi Capitals expecting Anrich Nortje to be fit for the tournament

“Surya is at the NCA at the moment. He is recovering well. He will be here soon and yeah, I can’t give you his availability right now… whether he will be there to play the first game or not, but yeah, we are trying to get him here as soon as possible once we have the clearance from NCA,” Rohit added.

“Mills, Unadkat are new to the franchise, but they are not new to the game. They have played the game for a number of years now and they know what needs to be done. It’s just that our role will be critical as to how we give them the understanding of what they need to do for us as a team. They have played for different franchises and countries, where they had different roles. For us, that will be a challenge and we are working with these guys. We are trying to give them a role clarity as to what we are expecting from them and what sort of role they need to play here,” the captain further shared.

Rohit Sharma hopeful of a great season ahead

However, this time the entire season will play across four venues in Maharashtra and Mumbai are scheduled to play five matches at the Wankhede Stadium, but Rohit Sharma believes it won’t give MI any kind of edge over other teams as well.

“It’s a relatively new team. I don’t believe in added advantage because 70-80 per cent of the guys haven’t played in Mumbai before, so there’s no such thing as added advantage. Only myself, Surya, Pollard, Ishan and Bumrah have played in Mumbai a lot, others have not. We are playing here after two years. We have not played a single game in Mumbai. In fact, other franchises have played in Mumbai last year, we didn’t. So, no advantage…” Rohit again stated.

“It’s a format that we played in 2011. To be honest, nothing really changes in terms of planning. You have to play the opposition – some you will play only once or some twice. There are not too many changes that we need to make, it’s just that you will be playing certain teams only once, so you need to be prepared because there is no coming back. You need to plan well against those guys, ensure that your bases are covered,” Rohit Sharma concluded.

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