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IPL 2017: MI coach Mahela Jayawardene has 'healthy headache' ahead of Qualifier 1

Mumbai, May 16: Ahead of tonight's (May 16) Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 Qualifier 1, Mumbai Indians (MI) coach Mahela Jayawardene has admitted he has a "healthy headache".

IPL Special Site; Play-offs schedule; Qualifier 1 preview; Photos

MI face Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the opening game of the play-offs. The contest will be played at the Wankhede Stadium with MI having the home advantage.

Jayawardene (right) with Hardik Pandya

It is the battle between the top two sides after the league phase. MI were number one with 20 points followed by Pune with 18 points. Eliminator match will be between Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Bengaluru on May 17.

The winner of Qualifier 1 heads straight into the final (May 21) while the loser has another chance, with a match (Qualifer 2 in Bengaluru on May 19) against winner of Eliminator.

In their last league game against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Eden Gardens, MI rested several key players. The replacements did an excellent job to steer the team to a 9-run victory.

Harbhajan Singh, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McCleneghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Nitish Rana and Parthiv Patel were rested.

These players are expected to make the Playing XI for today's game but coach Jayawardene says he has a "healthy headache" over selection.

"The way the guys responded gives me a healthy headache. I just need to think about what the final line-up needs to be for the play-offs. But I am happy to be challenged in that way rather than us not having any options," the former Sri Lankan batsman said.

Jayawardene said it was good for the team to be playing at home and predicted a "good game".

"The entire squad is in very good spirits. They have been training really hard. It has been great so far. We just need to continue to do that and keep it simple.

"It is good to be playing (Qualifer 1) at our home venue even though it is not going to be a home game for us. I am sure the fans will come and support us. It is going to be a really good game. Pune is a very good side. And I am definitely looking forward to that challenge," he added.

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Story first published: Thursday, August 3, 2017, 7:49 [IST]
Other articles published on Aug 3, 2017