Explosive Australian batsman Lynn and young, tall paceman from South Africa Jansen have been handed their debut MI caps for the much-anticipated fixture against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
MI skipper Rohit Sharma confirmed Lynn and Jansen’s inclusion after losing the toss and being asked by RCB captain Virat Kohli to bat first on a traditionally slow Chepauk track.
Chris Lynn, Marco Jansen Make Mumbai Indians (MI) debut Versus RCB in IPL 2021 opener
Lynn is renowned for his attacking batsmanship in T20 cricket. The right-hand batsman had joined the MI set-up ahead of IPL 2020 but didn’t get a match last season in UAE. He got the opportunity to make his debut for the five-time champions as their first-choice opening batsman Quinton de Kock remains under isolation and is yet to finish the mandatory seven-day quarantine since arriving in India earlier this week.
Lynn, who was once an integral member of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), has an impressive overall IPL record to his name. The 30-year-old has scored 1,314 runs in his 42 matches in the league at a strike-rate of 140.78 while averaging 34.57. Lynn will be determined to make his rare chance count in the MI colours before De Kock is reinstated in the team from the next match on following Tuesday (April 12) in Chennai against KKR.
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For Jansen, the 20-year-old fast-bowler from South Africa, life changed when MI bought him at the IPL 2021 auction for his base prize of INR 20 lakhs. The youngster has only played ten previous T20 matches in his career with six wickets and an economy rate of 7.80, but it is understood, he had been on MI’s radar for a while.
Head coach Mahela Jayawardene revealed that they kept monitoring Jansen for about three years before making a bid for him at the IPL auction. In an interview with the Hindustan Times, the former Sri Lanka captain had cited Jansen’s example to stress how the MI team management doesn’t make instant decisions and that the franchise has a proper scouting team in place to assist the think-tank’s choices.
“We have a group of individuals who work throughout the year, watching games, spotting players. Not only locally but we do have the same kind of network overseas as well. And it’s not just instant decision-making. Marco Jansen (South African left-arm pacer) is a classic example. We have monitored him for the last three years,” Jayawardene said.
“Then he was a 17-18 year old. We kept monitoring him and picked him the same time he was picked for South Africa (Test squad for Pakistan in January). I don’t think there are secrets to scouting. It’s just pure hard work and finding the right people who have the ability to pick talent. You have to trust their instincts and their hard work needs to be acknowledged. It’s a process. For me, it’s brilliant to have that input coming in, knowing that they are turning each and every stone to find this talent. We monitor them and when we decide we need to invest in them, we go ahead and do that.”
Jansen was the beneficiary of MI’s other big change from the playing XI that took part in the IPL 2020 final against Delhi Capitals (DC) on November 10 last year. He replaced Australia pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile in the side that lifted the coveted crown in Dubai.