Table-toppers Mumbai Indians will have to do without their opening batsman Jos Buttler for the upcoming playoff matches of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League. The English star is set to join his England teammates as they get ready for the training camp in Spain next week in order to prepare for the One-Day International Series against South Africa and then the ICC Champions Trophy. The Three Lions will play a three-match ODI series along with two practice matches against the Proteas. The warm-up games will be played on the 19th and 21st of May while the series starts on 24th May. The Champions Trophy will begin on June 1.
The news was revealed by Mumbai Indians’ pace spearhead Mitchell McClenaghan ahead of his team’s clash against Kings XI Punjab on Thursday (May 11). Buttler was in superb form this season, scoring 272 runs in 10 matches at an astonishing strike-rate of over 153 but McClenaghan is confident that Lendl Simmons will live up to the expectations of replacing the Englishman.
“Buttler won’t be with us for the playoffs but he has a great season for us. We are pretty lucky that someone like Lendl (Simmons) comes in and takes Jos’s spot. Key is Lendl gets a couple of games under his belt, gets up to speed before the playoffs,” said the New Zealand pacer at the pre-match conference.
With 9 wins from 12 games, the two-time champions have already booked their place in the last four and McClenaghan has been played a key role in the whole journey. The New Zealand quick has consistently provided the breakthroughs for his team and is currently the leading wicket-taker for the Mumbai-based outfit with 17 scalps to his name in 12 matches.
Speaking about his role in the side, the left-arm pacer said:
“My role in the side is to go and take wickets. Be aggressive and try and get the key batsman out in the opposition, so it is important for me to do that and bowl lot of hard overs when the guys are in or going to hit in the end.”
McClenaghan feels bowlers have been more expensive in the ongoing season due to fearless batting by the youngsters.
“If you look across the board in this IPL, there are times people have gone for 40-plus and very good bowlers simply go for 50 or 60, that is unheard of.
“The frequency of that actually happening is far greater than the past season. It is just the way the game has changed, the equipment has changed, guys are playing with lot less fear, youngsters come in and swing from ball one. It is getting harder but you have to keep backing yourself and adapting as we always do,” McClenaghan said.