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IPL 10: Mahela Jayawardene hoping to translate T20 expertise into his coaching book

Jayawardene has replaced the former Australia batting legend Ricky Ponting as the coach of Mumbai Indians

Mahela Jayawardene
Mahela Jayawardene. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene has been heavily praised by Mumbai Indians’ talent scout John Wright. Wright referred to Jayawardene as one who is “very contemporary, right up to date with T20 cricket”. Jayawardene has replaced the former Australia batting legend Ricky Ponting at the helm.

The 39-year-old cricketer had retired from all formats of the game post the 2014-15 season. He has then been seen participating in the various T20 leagues around the globe- including the Pakistan Super League and the Super Smash, which is New Zealand’s’ domestic T20 tournament.

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Jayawardene further added that playing in these tournaments gave him the exposure for coaching in the Indian Premier Leauge (IPL).

“I think playing around the world and in different conditions do help. But coaching is a different role altogether. I need to step back and let the players play and try and make sure the preparation is done, give them the freedom to go and express themselves.

Tactically, we will discuss a lot of things behind the scenes, we have got a great coaching staff to help them out, we will give them as many ammunition as possible to go out there and execute that,” said Jayawardene in the press conference ahead of the tenth season of IPL.

Jayawardene was also part of England’s T20 squad for the T20 World Cup in 2015-16 where he worked as the batting consultant for the Three Lions. Further, the Sri Lankan legend was happy on seeing Rohit Sharma on his side and not against his team, which he believed would have made things worse for him.

Even after retiring from the game at the International level, the former batsman still has a keen interest and a desire for the game. His unique ability to notice and absorb things around him will help him during his stint as the Head coach for the Mumbai team.

Mahela will be looking forward to working alongside the skipper Rohit Sharma, “I think Rohit is a very instinctive player, naturally gifted. He just goes with the flow and he creates his opportunities and I think that suits quite well when you are a T20 captain because you need to react to situations out there in the middle pretty quickly and probably try and stay a couple of overs ahead.”

“He has been captaining MI for the last four-five years and he is showing that. At a young age he has taken a bigger role and done that. It is important to have that versatility as well relaxed and calm demeanour. There are are a lot of things that happen, not just on the field, but a lot of things that happen around that as well, so to keep perspective and handle that so that is demands of a modern T20 captain these days.”

The Sri Lankan also is very grounded and calm when talking about his International career for the country- in regards to the ups’ and downs’ of the team. It will, however, be intriguing to see how the Sri Lankan manages to compose himself on the Mumbai Indians bench in a pulsating Tournament of this stature such as the IPL.

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