He might have come in as a late replacement for Lasith Malinga in the Mumbai Indians (MI) set-up for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, but James Pattinson has shown he belongs in the top domestic league as he has picked nine wickets from six games so far.
Speaking on the eve of MI’s game against Delhi Capitals, Pattinson said that it has been a great journey so far in this edition and he has tried to keep things simple and not complicate.
“First time I have played in the IPL. Was picked up by Kolkata in 2011 but didn’t play. It has been fantastic and Mumbai Indians have really welcomed me and looked after me. Happy to have played my part and hopefully keep winning games. Hopefully, we can keep the winning run going.
“I suppose it was obviously tough as we were coming down from a lockdown so didn’t have a lot of training pre-season. Luckily most of my training was done with white-ball in the pre-season that really helped although the conditions are different as it was seven degrees in Victoria and here it is 40. I think the biggest thing is to keep it simple and hit the top of the stumps,” he said.
Asked about filling the big boots of Malinga, he said: “Obviously disappointing for Malinga not to be able to come here this year. Awesome to be able to replace such a great player and coming in to replace one of the best T20 bowlers and the highest wicket-taker in the IPL is big shoes to fill. It is good to play my part. We have two really good white-ball bowlers in Jasprit (Bumrah) and Trent (Boult). Nice to play a backseat role and help them out as much as I can.”
Pattinson has in fact formed a great pair with Boult and Bumrah. While he has picked nine wickets, Bumrah has 11 and Boult has 10. The Australia speedster said that it has been a joy taking the field with the two smart operators.
“The greatest thing about the IPL is that you get opportunities that you wouldn’t experience without it. Get to open the bowling with someone who plays for another country and is one of the best bowlers in the world. It is a great experience and I pinch myself. Not just bowling with Trent, but also with Boom who is probably the best T20 bowler in the world.
“Really lucky to be bowling in great company and something I am relishing. The confidence they have rubs off on me. Still early in the tournament and there is still a long way to go. Need to keep the foot on the pedal and keep the pressure on,” he said.
Delhi on their part have had a great run and Pattinson made no bones about the fact that Mumbai will have to bowl well to restrict the batting powerhouse.
“The good thing about our bowling is that we have a combination of those who contain the run-rate and those who play attacking and take wickets. With a team like that (DC), it is sometimes hard to stop them. They have got a wonderful batting line-up so it should make for a really good game. It is all about trying to limit the damage on both sides of the wicket in T20 cricket. Set your fields and bowl accordingly and think ahead of the batter. Plan really well and try execute that. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,” he said.