Malinga’s absence is an opportunity for others to come forward: Rohit

ABU DHABI, September 23 (EANES): The absence of Lasith Malinga, captain of the Mumbai Indians team, is an opportunity for others to escalate, according to Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma. The 37-year-old Malinga was disqualified for this season and in his absence MI relied on James Pattinson and Jasprit Bumrah to fulfill the death of the IPL season opener against the Chennai Super Kings.

It didn’t work out for them and they ended up losing the match by five wickets. “What happened in the past is in the past,” Rohit said after the knockout on Wednesday before the MI match against the Kolkata Knight Riders. “There are some areas that we need to correct. We hope we do not make those mistakes.”

The match marks the 150th match of West Indies captain Kieron Pollard with the MI shirt. Rohit said, “Having a player like Pollard on the team is always great. He’s a big player for us, and we hope he goes out and enjoys his game, as he always does.”

“Malinga is like Pollard, he was a tremendous player for us. It was a pity that he was unable to do so for personal reasons. This gives others a chance. We need to enjoy cricket as a team.”

KKR captain Dinesh Karthik chose to play first, despite the teams first winning three of the four matches played in the season so far. “We’ll play first. We saw the first game, there was some dew, so we want to take advantage of it. Really proud to start the tournament today. We got (Ewen) Morgan, (Pat) Cummins, (Andre) Russell and (Sunil) Narain. I think they’re looking forward. Really to that. We’re also looking at it for the youth, “Karthik said.

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