Mumbai Indians' director of cricket Zaheer Khan has reserved the highest praise for skipper Rohit Sharma's captaincy skills. He pointed out how the right-handed batter has contributed significantly to the success of the franchise over the years. Speaking to Sportstar, Khan suggested that Sharma as captain is very approachable and devotes his time to all the players in the team. He reckoned that under the 34-year-old's guidance, Mumbai Indians could nurture several individuals for leadership roles.
“Rohit is a player’s captain. He’s been phenomenal for Mumbai Indians over the years as a player and a leader. The fact that he dedicates personal time to each individual and is very approachable, makes him a role model and a standout leader.
"We have always been a team which promotes and gives freedom to youngsters. With Rohit’s experience and attitude, I believe we will have a lot of individuals who would be groomed as leaders in their own respective ways.”
Meanwhile, the franchise had retained the likes of Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Suryakumar Yadav and Kieron Pollard ahead of last month's IPL 2022 mega auction. Khan mentioned that while they have kept their core players, they have also recruited a number of exciting players for this year's cash-rich league.
“We are very happy with the team. As always, we have created a strong and competitive squad. A big auction also gives you the chance to plan ahead and work on balancing short and long-term goals as a team. We have managed to retain the core of the squad. And with the exciting buys, created a fine mix between experience and youth.”
MI had an underwhelming campaign last year as they failed to make it to the all-important playoffs. They finished fifth in the points table after the league stages and will be keen to stage a turnaround in the latest edition.
"I believe all teams start with a clean slate" - Zaheer Khan
The 70 leagues matches of IPL 2022 will be played across four venues in Mumbai and Pune. Khan feels that as the 10 sides are scheduled to play matches at all the designated stadiums, not playing all their games at Wankhede will not be a disadvantage for them.
“Yes, Mumbai has been our home but it’s not that we’re playing all our matches at Wankhede. If you see, all teams are playing relatively the same amount of matches at all venues. So, I don’t think there would be any advantage or disadvantage for any team,” Zaheer said, “I believe all teams start with a clean slate.”
The Rohit Sharma-led side will take on Delhi Capitals in their opening contest of the season at the the Brabourne-CCI Stadium in Mumbai on March 27. They are in Group A alongside Delhi Capitals (DC), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Rajasthan Royals (RR).