Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga is the latest to drop out of IPL 2020 due to personal reasons. The veteran cricketer is one of the main pillars for the franchise’s success over the past decade.
Meanwhile, Mumbai were swift to replace him with Australian pacer James Pattinson. Malinga will be unavailable to “be with family back home in Sri Lanka” during this crisis times.
“James is the right fit for us and adds to our pace attack options available at hand especially for the conditions we will play in this season,” MI owner Akash Ambani said.
“Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI’s strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith’s cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith’s need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time.”
He is the leading wicket taker in IPL history. Also, Malinga is the best bowler that Mumbai Indians ever saw. In fact, he bowled the famous last over in IPL final in the previous season. When Chennai Super Kings needed 9 runs in the final over, Malinga conceded just 7 runs and helped Mumbai win a fourth IPL trophy.
Mumbai Indians Favorites For IPL 2020
After an impressive IPL campaign last season, the record champions are looking to extend their tally to five this season. Despite losing Malinga, Mumbai are still one of the favorites for the title in UAE.
The team has already completed quarantine regulations. They are currently in bio bubble and have started team training last weekend. On the other hand, the addition of James Pattinson will definitely help the team over the course of the season.
Rohit Sharma is also looking to make history and become the first captain to win five IPL titles. They have a very strong batting lineup coupled with a good bowling unit. The team are also electric on the field as they look complete in all departments.
However, most of the cricketers have not played cricket in months. This could be a crucial factor for deciding champions in this edition. The team that adapts quickly into the conditions and does not show signs of rustiness will be the heavy favorites. IPL 2020 is due to begin on September 19 in UAE.