Bold decision-making key to Mumbai's success

Mumbai Indians team captain Rohit Sharma (left) and coach Mahela Jayawardene. AFP file photo

To be one of the most successful teams of IPL requires more than having the best set of players in the ranks. Mumbai Indians’ record is a case in point. They hold three trophies apart from a runner-up finish. On Sunday, here at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, they can script history by becoming the team with the most number of IPL crowns.  

Coach Mahela Jayawardene said transparency and good planning are the aspects that drove the team forward. The former Sri Lanka skipper said taking bold yet important decisions has helped them prevail in big games.

“Some decisions aren’t easy but we have taken them. Last year, Mayank (Markhande) was bowling well. But this time, we felt Rahul (Chahar) is in good rhythm. Lasith (Malinga) was injured last season but we thought he will be effective for us in this edition considering his experience. We felt he could be a good foil for Bumrah (Jasprit), especially in the death overs, where teams leak a lot of runs. We talk to players and be open about our decisions. And once we choose them, we back them to the hilt,” said Jayawardene at a press conference on the eve of their final against Chennai Super Kings here on Saturday.

Jayawardene felt Mumbai’s decision to invest wisely on domestic players has worked in their favour. “In a tournament like this, a good set of Indian players can build a strong core group. Mumbai has invested money on talented players and groomed them. We don’t just focus on the skills but also work on their mental set up, turning them into fearless cricketers. We encourage them to enjoy the challenges,” he offered. 

The 41-year-old heaped praise on Hardik Pandya. “Three years ago, Hardik was still finding his way. He was talented of course. But today, he is a player who has progressed well. We keep telling Hardik not to be too harsh on himself and we are happy to see things going well for him,” he explained.    

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