Former Sri Lankan batsman Mahela Jayawardene who is the current coach of defending champions Mumbai Indians has downplayed the favourites tag for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Rohit Sharma-led Indians is the only team in the IPL to have won the cash-rich league thrice and all of them under the leadership of Rohit Sharma.
Indians will open their campaign against the returning Chennai Super Kings. The Chennai-based franchise is returning after serving a two-year ban along with Rajasthan Royals.
Mumbai have lost the core of their squad after leaving out both Lasith Malinga and Harbhajan Singh in the two-day mega IPL auction. Harbhajan will play for CSK after representing Mumbai Indians in the first ten editions.
Mahela Jayawardene, who is the current coach of Mumbai based franchise says they do not want to be tagged favourites in the 11th edition of the IPL.
Jayawardene has also donned the blue jersey in his playing days said that he wants to start from scratch.
He said, “We are going to start from scratch. We are proud to be the defending champions, but we don’t see ourselves as favourites.”
“As a team We see ourselves as equally good and striving to be better than the others. We will take it one game at a time.” he added.
“The combinations have changed after the (mega players’) auction in all franchises. Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab – all these teams have gone in with new players which we have to be aware of, mindful of,” He maintained.
Mumbai will play their first match against Chennai on 7th April at the Wankhede stadium.
The legendary Sri Lankan batsman believes that it is important to maintain the core of the team.
“It was important for us to maintain the core. We have invested in a group of players, looking at the future. It’s about gelling together. Mali (Malinga) is here with us helping the young group. Harbhajan is with CSK. That’s the way the game evolves and the next generation takes over. That’s the reality we have to be ready for.”
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