Thursday, 17 Sep, 5.00 pm Orissa POST

Lasith Malinga is just not comparable, he is irreplaceable: Rohit Sharma

Abu Dhabi: Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma conceded Thursday that the 'incomparable' Lasith Malinga will be missed. Lasith Malinga has opted out of this year's IPL for personal reasons. Rohit stated that Malinga is irreplaceable' because of his 'unbelievable' past performances for MI.

Highest wicket-taker in IPL

The 37-year-old Malinga is IPL's highest wicket-taker with 170 scalps to his credit. His absence will be major blow to the four-time champions. MI will take on the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in this season's lung-opener here September 19 here.

'Simply irreplaceable'

'I don't think it is easy to come and fill his boots. He has been a match-winner for MI. I have said it many times, whenever we sort of find ourselves in trouble, Malinga was the one to bail us out from that. He is unbelievable,' Rohit said in a pre-season online press conference.

'His experience will be missed. What he did with MI is unbelievable and it is unfortunate that he is not a part of the team this year. We have got likes - (James) Pattinson, Dhawal Kulkarni and Mohsin (Khan). These are the names that we are looking to replace Malinga with. But obviously what Malinga did for Mumbai, it is not just comparable,' he added.

Rohit will open

Rohit said he will continue to open the innings. 'I opened the entire tournament last year. I will continue to do that. Again I keep all the options open, whatever the team want, happy to do that,' Rohit said.

'Even when I play for India, message from my side to the management has always been the same. It has been 'do not close any doors' and keep all options open. I will do the same here as well for Mumbai Indians,' Rohit added.

Adjusting to conditions

India's white-ball vice-captain also felt that correct reading of conditions would be crucial to his team's fortunes. 'The challenge for us will be to adapt to these conditions here. None of us are used to these conditions. This is because not a lot of cricketers from our group have played here,' Rohit pointed out.

'I think mentally it is about going out there and understanding what the pitch is doing. Based on that, you need to plan your game - whether it is your batting or bowling. So we have had a good chat around the group about that,' elaborated the MI skipper.

Rohit said the team's past performances in the UAE in 2014 won't matter now.

'…eventually the pitches here are going to play a big part. We have to understand that and adapt quickly and play to our potential. Play according to what is being asked of is very crucial here. The past performance would not play a part this time around,' stressed Rohit.

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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Dailyhunt. Publisher: Orissa Post