IPL 2024: MI coach Boucher says new captain will bring new perspective to the team

 In his second year as head coach at the Mumbai Indians, Mark Boucher will be working with a new captain in Hardik Pandya and has said he will be looking forward to the association as the all-rounder will bring his new perspective to the job.

With a new captain, some exciting new talent and the return of some senior players like seasoned pacer Jasprit Bumrah, Boucher feels he is looking forward to an exciting season during which MI will hopefully do their best and be competitive till the end.

Boucher will have Kieron Pollard as his new batting coach while Lasith Malinga returns as the bowling coach.

So, with so many changes, Boucher hopes that one more thing will change for Indians this season — they will win their first match in the IPL.

Mumbai Indians have not won their opening match in the IPL for the last many years and Boucher admitted they have been slow starters and hoped that they will make a good start when they open their campaign against Gujarat Titans at Ahmedabad on March 24.

“We’ve had a history of maybe not starting too well, so we’ve addressed that as well and we hope we found one or two things that we feel that we can do within the squad to make us more ready for that first game and hopefully get up to a good start,” Boucher said during Mumbai Indians’s pre-season press conference here on Monday.

“Not putting pressure on the players at all. If we get up to the normal start that we’ve had then so be it. That’s fine. We’ll just have to catch up a bit. But hopefully, the measures that we put in place over the last sort of week and a few days to come is going to put us in a very good space to start the competition nice and strong,” he added.

Asked how different it will be working with Hardik after a season with Rohit Sharma, the former South Africa wicketkeeper-batter said working with a captain brings its own set of challenges and he is looking forward to sharing the team’s responsibilities with Hardik.

“Last year had its challenges with regard to our injuries at the beginning of the season and obviously working under Ro (Rohit) was fantastic. I really enjoyed it. This year is a new challenge, working under a new captain as well. I’ve been a cricketer, I’ve played under different captains, I’ve played under different leadership coaches with different players.

“And as I said, it’s great for me to be able to be in the situation, to get different perspectives and challenge myself in different ways as well. So, I’ve got no doubt that Ro (Rohit) challenged me. Hardik is going to challenge me as well. I’m really looking forward to that challenge and hopefully, try to help him out as much as I can and get everyone going in the right direction ultimately, the reason why we are here is to try to win a trophy. So if we can do that, I’m going to support the captain as much as possible,” said Boucher.

He said that the new season brings in its own set of challenges which is always good for the team.

“Obviously, the dynamics have changed a bit, but with change, it brings new challenges, new perspectives, which is always good, and a little bit of freshness as well. We’ve got a new batch of players coming in as well and we are eager to learn and some of them, their first time, that they’re coming into the IPL as well.”

Asked about his focus areas before the start of IPL 2024, Boucher said he wants to focus on the moment — which is to get the team off to a good start, put it in the right direction and ensure role clarity in the team.

“So I think we are set up for a good season. Obviously, we want to start well and that’s where my focus is at the moment — going in the right direction, and giving different role clarity to different players,” said the head coach.

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