The last time the Indian Premier League (IPL) was played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Mumbai Indians did not have a good outing. It was a dismal performance which they’d to leave behind and focus on the next edition. This same poor past record in the UAE doesn’t favour them to win the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League which is to be staged in the UAE from September 19th.
A Haunting Past To Forget
The last time the IPL was played in the UAE was in 2014. Local general elections had led to the IPL shifting base to the Emirati country for it initial round of matches. And the memories of that edition will definitely come on to haunt the Mumbai Indians. Coincidentally, alike 2014, even this time around the Men in Blue will be starting off as the defending champions. In 2014, Mumbai Indians had lost all 5 of their opening games; a poor record thus far for any defending champion.
Left Past Behind And Moved On: Rohit Sharma
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma was keen to get started with business and claim his side have left the past behind and moved on; even going on to lift the title thrice thereafter. Talking over a video conference, Sharma said the record of the past is not a concern. What happened six years ago is overshadowed by the performances that followed thereafter. Infact, in spite of a poor start in 2014, the Mumbai Indians still managed to make it to the play-offs.
“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 Sharma said on Thursday.
“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.
“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,” he added.
“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,” said Rohit Sharma.
Season Opener: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings
IPL 2020 kicks off with a high octane game between defending champions Mumbai Indians and the Chennai Super Kings. The Dhoni-led side having suffered a couple of set-backs after two senior players (Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh) withdrew from the competition citing personal reasons, will look to fill in the void created by their absence. On the other hand, Mumbai Indians have their full-strength squad available and will looking to continue their recent dominance over the Super Kings.
So it’s time for the action to begin…sans the poor past record, the Mumbai Indians will be waiting to get out in the middle and get started with defending their crown.