UAE do not hold very happy memories for Mumbai Indians. The last time the IPL was held in the gulf country, Mumbai Indians had returned home empty handed. A part of the tournament in 2014 was held in UAE due to the general elections in India.
The Rohit Sharma-led side had played five games in UAE and had lost all of them. Incidentally, they were the defending champions back then too as they failed to defend their title although they had made it to the playoffs after winning 7 of the 9 games in India. So will the past come back to haunt the record four-time IPL champions?
Well, captain Rohit Sharma has dismissed concerns over ‘past performances’, saying his side is not fussed about how things went in IPL 2014. Speaking to the press via video conference from Abu Dhabi, Rohit Sharma said 6 years is a long time and Mumbai have a completely different mindset now.
“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.
Rohit Sharma, who has led Mumbai Indians to a record four IPL titles, further said that pitches will play a big role in the upcoming tournament and playing according to the condition will be ‘very, very crucial’.
“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.
IPL 2020 is scheduled to start on September 19 in Abu Dhabi. Mumbai Indians will open their title defence against last year’s finalists Chennai Super Kings in a mouth-watering title-decider.