Rohit Sharma wanted James Pattinson as Lasith Malinga’s replacement: Mahela Jayawardene

James Pattinson has picked up nine wickets in seven matches by maintaining an economy of 8.25 in IPL 2020.

James Pattinson
James Pattinson. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

There was a lot of disappointment in the Mumbai Indians team when reports came out that star pacer Lasith Malinga will miss out on the tournament due to personal reasons. He is not only the highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL but has been of vital role in Mumbai’s victory four times in the T20 extravaganza. However, his replacement, James Pattinson, hasn’t disappointed Mumbai’s fans. He has paired well enough with Trent Boult and Jasprit Bumrah to turn their pace attacks into one of the strongest this season.

However, in the latest turn of developments, MI head coach Mahela Jayawardene told that Pattinson wasn’t the favoured choice in place of Malinga. But, skipper Rohit Sharma gave a nod for the Australian pacer, and he broke into the quad. Jayawardene said that there were many names in the discussion, but Pattinson was roped in only because Rohit insisted on him.

“I have to be honest, there were quite a few names that we discussed, but Rohit was the one who put his hand up and said Patto will be someone who will add value to the attack. Jimmy hasn’t let us down from the day he arrived. He adapted really well and formed a good partnership with Boulty (Trent Boult) and Boom (Jasprit Bumrah), and these three guys have been good, and so far it’s brilliant,” Jayawardene said in a virtual press conference as quoted by Hindustan Times.

James Pattinson in IPL 2020 so far

Talking about Pattinson’s journey in IPL so far, he has picked up nine wickets in seven matches by maintaining an economy of 8.25. The performance of Mumbai’s pace attack has been so laudable that it has compelled Jayawardene to go with their pace options despite pitches turning slow in UAE. Jayawardene still believes that pacers have a great role to play in the tournament irrespective of surfaces they are playing on.

“I cannot say that right now because the fast bowlers still have a bigger role to play in this competition – be it in the Powerplay, middle overs, and the backend,” added Mahela when asked about his strategy against Kolkata Knight Riders in the next game.

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