Defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) are all set to start their IPL 2020 campaign in the tournament opener against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Abu Dhabi on Saturday (September 19).
Ahead of the first match, skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Mahela Jayawardene faced the media in a virtual press conference, wherein they were asked MI’s poor record in UAE.
In reply, Rohit, however, downplayed it saying that past performances don’t matter.
In 2014, the first phase of IPL was held in UAE because of the general elections in India and MI had failed to win any of their matches in the desert country.
“We have only 2-3 players from that squad. I am not too fussed about it. Yes, we didn’t have a great experience (in 2014). But the team is completely different now, the thought process and everything is different,” Rohit said on Thursday (September 17).
“We are talking about 6 years, it’s a lot of time and I think we did well after coming back from the UAE to India,” he added.
Mumbai Indians have dominated CSK over the years, boasting a 17-11 head-to-head record. Given that MI have their base in Abu Dhabi, Rohit seemed confident of a positive start to the campaign.
“As I said, understanding the conditions and the pitches here will be very, very crucial and we are giving a lot of thought and emphasis on that.
“Eventually, the pitches here are going to play a huge part, to understand that and adapt quickly and play to your potential and to play according to what has been asked of is very very crucial.
“I think the past performances will not play any part, this time around as I said it’s only 2-3 players who were part of that squad. Myself, Pollard and Bumrah, he played only 1 game that year, besides both of us, none of these guys were part of the 2014 squad.
“The team is different, the thought process is different, the staff is different and we are looking forward to a great IPL this year. We want to put out a great performance, we want to start well, so focus and the planning has been on that,” Sharma said.
(Inputs from Hindustan Times)