The Mumbai Indians will be entering this year’s IPL with a relatively new team, and as such will not benefit significantly from playing most of their matches close to home.
Mumbai Indians are set to play almost 80% of their league stage games in and around their home city, where they haven’t played since 2019.
With 11 of their 14 league matches in Indian Premier League 2022 across three venues in Mumbai, both captain Rohit Sharma and coach Mahela Jayawardene believe there will be no home advantage for the five-time IPL champions.
"It's a relatively new team, a lot of new guys have come in," Sharma told the media on Wednesday. "Seventy to 80% of the squad hasn't played in Bombay before. Only myself, Surya [Suryakumar Yadav], [Kieron] Pollard, Ishan [Kishan] and [Jasprit] Bumrah have played in Bombay, others have not played [that much]. So there is no such thing as an added advantage. We all are playing in Bombay after two years. In fact, the other franchises played in Bombay last year. We didn't get to play."
Jayawardene echoed that sentiment and added that it was, in fact, the opposition teams who had more experience of playing in Mumbai especially the first half of the last season when Mumbai Indians played their first seven matches at away venues.
"I don't even remember when last we played in Mumbai," Jayawardene said. "That was about two-and-half or three years ago. I think a lot of the other teams played here in the last season. And some of the guys who played for Mumbai over the last few years are now with other franchises. So they have that advantage if you look at it."
Both Sharma and Jayawardene would be the first to agree that Mumbai's task for the new season is cut out with their new squad.
"[Tymal] Mills, [Jaydev] Unadkat, and all those guys, yes, they're new to this franchise, but they're not new to this game," Rohit said.
"They have played this game for a number of years now, and they know exactly what needs to be done. Our role here will be critical as to how we give them the understanding of what they need to do for us in this team. Because they played for different franchises, different countries. So their role in those countries and those franchises will be different to what we want them to do here.
Jayawardene added “These guys have played the game for so many years, they do understand that aspect of playing for different franchises. This is very much work in progress, we are trying to understand what their strengths are, what they want to execute on the field, and we're trying to work with them on those aspects."
(ESPN Cric Info)