In what comes as great news for the Mumbai Indian fans, Sri Lankan pace bowler Lasith Malinga has reportedly joined the squad at Mumbai onFriday.
Cricinfo revealed that the pacer, who missed the opening two games of the Mumbai franchise is now a part of the squad at Wankhede.
Ricky Ponting, the coach of the Mumbai outfit even before the start of the tournament already revealed that Malinga will join the squad at this stage but also revealed that he will not take part in any of Mumbai’s games at least for the first half of the season.
He revealed that the Sri Lankan international who is out with a knee injury moved to Mumbai to have his fitness assessed.
“I believe he will be joining us after the first couple of games to have his fitness assessed.”
“Right now it’s unlikely he will take part in the first half of the tournament anyway,” Ponting added.
The 32-year old, who is currently the highest all time wicket taker in the IPL picked up a knee injury in November and has been out of action ever since.
He took the role of a captain for his national team in the Asia Cup but managed just one game in Bangladesh.
He later stepped down from the role for the WorldT20 where Sri Lanka were knocked out of the group stage and with his injury concerns, he will not be available for Rohit Sharma’s team for atleast another couple of weeks according to reports.
In his absence, MI started the campaign poorly with a loss against the Rising Pune Supergiants in the first match of the competition.
The batting line-up failed miserably in that game but it came to the party in their second outing as they chased down a mammoth target of 187 with relative ease.
Skipper Rohit Sharma’s whirlwind 84* was enough to see of the Knight Riders on the night.
But they showed signs of missing Malinga in the second game. Tim Southee, who is preferred in his absence went for more than 10 runs an over in his 4 and was left wanting after assuming the role of a strike bowler in the line-up.
His team-mate Mitchell McCleneghan and Indian rising star Jasprit Bumrah shared the new ball and did fairly well against the Kolkata franchise.
Maligna, when comes back, will add a bit of dynamism to this bowling line-up and will improve the confidence in the dressing room.
Even at 32, Malinga is fairly quick and still deadly accurate. He will still pose problems to the best of the batsmen in the world and his absence will surely test any team even one of Mumbai Indians’ caliber.
It will be interesting to see when MI can call the superstar back into action but when he does, he will surely take Mumbai closer to a place in the play-offs.