New Delhi: Delhi Daredevils' Sri Lankan batting import Mahela Jayawardene is relishing his role as an opener in the shorter from of the game, saying it gives him opportunities to go for the big shots at the start of an innings.
"Opening the innings gives me more opportunities to go for runs, hit boundaries during the powerplays, then try and control the situation," Jayawardene said after the Daredevils' convincing 37-run win against Mumbai Indians in an IPL match on Friday.
Jayawardene made a classy half century at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Friday. His promotion to the top has, however, left domestic talents like Naman Ojha down the order.
"It will be a healthy headache for the team management," the Sri Lankan said when asked how the batting order would look once Australian David Warner joins the team.
Jayawardene hailed the team for the winning run. "We would like to play like this. Credit to all the boys. Our closest (win) was against Deccan Chargers when KP single-handedly took us to win.
With the presence of hard-hitters like skipper Virender Sehwag, Kevin Pietersen and Ross Taylor in the squad, Jayawardene has been assigned the task to anchor the innings.
"We have an understanding among ourselves. Today I got into a rhythm but when Viru got his eye in, I tried to rotate the strike. When KP came in he took over."
The troika of Sehwag, Pietersen and Jayawardene sent the Mumbai bowlers on a leather hunt with each of them scoring contrasting fifties.
"We are a group of players and my job is to complement the likes of Viru, KP, Ross and Irfan. We are gelling pretty well."
While it didn't quite turn out to be a happy return for Mumbai Indians pace spearhead Lasith Malinga, Jayawardene felt the Sri Lankan bowled pretty well.
"Playing Malinga in the nets does help, but even playing him on the nets is not easy at times. We didn't let him get off to a good start today.
"He bowled to a very good line, don't think he was stiff. He gave 100 percent and the first over was very good, on any other day he could have taken wickets."