New Delhi: Mumbai Indians are forced to miss out on Lasith Malinga, who is injured and may miss the entire IPL season 9 commencing from April 9. Mumbai Indians bowling coach Shane Bond said that the title holders have more than adequate replacements if the pacer is ruled out.
"If you look at last season when we were playing our best cricket, Malinga was bowling at his best, as well. He's been one of the great performers in world cricket with the new as well as the old ball. He will be definitely missed, but we have more than adequate replacements if he's ruled out," the former New Zealand bowler said.
Bond also lauded Ricky Ponting for recruiting good pace bowlers that can act as good cover for Malinga.
"The (franchise) owners and (head coach) Ricky (Ponting) have done a good job in recruiting a couple of fast bowlers in the side. So we have cover for him. If he arrives fit, he will surely fit into our squad. If he doesn't, we have good cover for him," he said.
Malinga has played a major role last year by taking 24 wickets in 15 games in MI's memorable come from behind run to the title for the second time. He had hurt his knee and was therefore unable to be the bowling spearhead for his country, Sri Lanka, in the recently concluded ICC World T20.
After Ponting, who had also confidently said that there were adequate replacements if Malinga is ruled out, Bond followed suit in putting his depth at Ponting's opinion.
Mumbai Indians start their campaign on Saturday in the opening encounter against Rising Pune Sueprgiants at þhe Wankhede.
(With PTI inputs)