With Lasith Malinga pulling out due to personal reasons, the onus is on Jasprit Bumrah to take on the mantle.

At a time when Mumbai Indians appears to be on the lookout for a reliable death bowler in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the defending champion will be up against Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday, which has Andre Russell, the most destructive finisher in T20s.

Yet, Trent Boult, the left-arm pacer who made his MI debut against Chennai Super Kings on Saturday, appeared undeterred. In fact, Boult stressed that he looks forward to taking on the “big players” in the opposition.

“He (Russell) is one of the most destructive batsmen in the game and therein lies the challenge. That’s personally why I play the game, I like to take on the big players and look to take wickets.

“I’ll be looking forward to that challenge and I am sure I’ll face it at some stage in this tournament,” Boult said on Monday.

Onus on Bumrah

With Lasith Malinga pulling out due to personal reasons, the onus is on Jasprit Bumrah to take on the mantle. However, having recovered from a major injury and being woefully short of game-time reflected in Bumrah’s performance on Saturday.

But Boult was confident Bumrah will “bounce back” since he has been “working very hard the last couple of days to find that rhythm”.

Russell has enjoyed an upper hand against both Boult and Bumrah in their previous IPL encounters. The Knight Riders will thus be banking on the Caribbean to come good and help his team get its campaign off the blocks.

If Russell gets going, Mumbai Indians will indeed find it extremely difficult to record its maiden win in the UAE.

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