Hyderabad, May 12: Ahead of the IPL 2019 final against Chennai Super Kings here on Sunday, Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene said ability to take tough decisions has driven the side forward in this edition of the tournament. Jayawardene cited the examples of giving opportunities to leg-spinner Rahul Chahar ahead of fellow leggie Mayank Markande who had a sensational IPL 2018 and drafting veteran Lasith Malinga straight into playing 11 despite him being seemingly below his best.
"Some decisions aren't easy but we have taken them. Last year, Mayank Markhande was bowling well. But this time, we felt Rahul Chahar is in good rhythm. Lasith Malinga was injured last season but we thought he will be effective for us in this edition considering his experience. We felt he could be a good foil for Bumrah especially in the death overs, where teams leak a lot of runs. We talk to players and be open about our decisions. And once we choose them, we back them to the hilt," said Jayawardene.
Jayawardene also stressed on the importance building a core unit adding that their call to build it around Indian players have yielded good results.
"In a tournament like this, a good set of Indian players can build a strong core group. Mumbai has invested money on talented players and groomed them. We don't just focus on the skills but also work on their mental set up, turning them into fearless cricketers. We encourage them to enjoy the challenges," he said.
Hardik Pandya has been a brute force for Mumbai with the bat this season and Jayawardene was understandbly delighted. "Three years ago, Hardik was still finding his way. He was talented of course. But today, he is a player who has progressed well. We keep telling Hardik not to be too harsh on himself and we are happy to see things going well for him."
During this IPL, different players have donned the garb of match-winners for Mumbai and Jayawardene pointed out it as a reason for the team's success. "It takes pressure off the key players. We have had players creating opportunities to win matches. The opposition is also finding it difficult to plan and sometimes have no idea about how we approach a certain game, because different players step up everytime. So hopefully, we play one more game where we, as a team, can perform together in different aspects and help us cross the line," he said.