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David and Green settle into 'really flexible' roles after taking Mumbai Indians to their first win

"Knowing how much confidence I got out of that game, I think it will be even more so for Cam," David says of the win over Delhi Capitals

Matt Roller
Matt Roller
Tim David and Cameron Green posed for a photo under the floodlights at Delhi's Feroz Shah Kotla on Monday night after dragging Mumbai Indians over the line to secure their first win of IPL 2023. David posted it on Instagram with a self-effacing caption: "If you need 5 off 6, we are your men."
It was not a pretty finish, but their unbeaten fifth-wicket partnership worth 30 in 3.1 overs proved just enough to deny Anrich Nortje, who bowled a series of searing yorkers, to clinch Mumbai Indians' first points of the season. More pertinently, ahead of Sunday afternoon's fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders, it served as a significant confidence boost for a team that fell to heavy defeats in their first two games.
"Chasing and trying to finish off the game the other night was tough," David said on Saturday evening, after netting at the Wankhede Stadium. "They bowled a really good last couple of overs in tough batting conditions, so it was great to have that partnership with Greeny and get us over the line. For me, knowing how much confidence I got out of that game, I think it will be even more so for Cam."
Mumbai made a conscious effort to get Green, their INR 17.5 crore (A$ 3.2m approx.) auction purchase, involved in Monday's game early on, throwing him the ball for the third over of Capitals' innings. He went wicketless, finishing with 0 for 30 in his three overs, and was then deployed in a new role with the bat as he shuffled down to No. 6 after starting the season at No. 3.
It appears that his role is likely to remain flexible throughout the season. "It actually wasn't planned," David said of his compatriot's role change. "The way we feel like, we line up, we're just going to go with whoever is best matched for that situation at the time.
"We feel like we've got a really powerful middle order along with obviously the top-order guys who are settled. It's something that we've spoken about as a team: we're just going to be really flexible, and we're all prepared to play our role for the team."
"It's his first couple of games in the IPL. It can be different, it can be eye-opening, those first few games coming in as a well-regarded international player"
Tim David on Cameron Green
David and Green attended the same prestigious school, Scotch College, in Perth's western suburbs (albeit three years apart) and have played together professionally before: first for Perth Scorchers in the BBL; more recently in Australia's T20I team.
Now, they are team-mates in Mumbai, tasked with restoring the IPL's most successful franchise to past glories after winning the wooden spoon last year. Green spent Saturday's net session muscling straight sixes towards the Wankhede's press box, and David suggested his eight-ball cameo against Capitals would help him - and Mumbai Indians - going forward.
"It's his first couple of games in the IPL," David said. "It can be different, it can be eye-opening, those first few games coming in as a well-regarded international player. It's awesome for him, and I know we're all looking forward to seeing what he can do over this season for us.
"We're very confident that when we play our best, we're going to score big scores. We've got power right through the order. We're excited, because we know that we've got seven or eight guys that throughout the course of the season can play match-winning knocks."

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98