IPL: Rohit Sharma opens up on Ricky Ponting's influence on his career
- Rohit Sharma has suggested that Ricky Ponting has had a major influence on his career through his time at Mumbai Indians.
- Rohit Sharma has also revealed that the former Australia skipper was always there for him during his time at Mumbai Indians.
Indian cricket team vice-captain Rohit Sharma spoke about the influence that former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting had on him and the Mumbai Indians team during his spell with the franchise. Rohit Sharma was live on Instagram with national teammate Ravichandran Ashwin to reminisce about the 2013 India-Australia match when the former scored his first ODI double century.
Ricky Ponting’s influence on Rohit Sharma began from the time they first played together in the Australian legend’s first season after being bought by the Mumbai Indians.
“Being with him and how he handled the team in the first six games, or even before that. He was the first one to arrive in India, much before any other domestic player also. You can imagine his passion, you can imagine his energy. He wanted to feel the team, he wanted to come and understand each and everybody,” Rohit Sharma said.
'Ricky Ponting was always there for me': Rohit Sharma
The elegant opener was particularly impressed with his former IPL captain’s man-management skills and the ability to bring out the best in his teammates. Rohit Sharma elaborated on a bonding session under Ponting’s captaincy, where the team was divided into groups of four, and the Mumbai batsman was with the three-time World Cup winner and two young domestic players.
“Imagine… Ponting was in my group and there were two youngsters from domestic cricket. Now, Ponting is telling them - ‘I’ve watched your video, you look solid man. You can go way up. If you handle the pressure, you will reach where you want to. So imagine what the youngster would feel,” Rohit Sharma said.
When Ricky Ponting stepped down as captain, Rohit Sharma took over and has not looked back since. Adding four IPL titles to his first title with Deccan Chargers made him the most successful captain in the league ahead of MS Dhoni.
While there was a lot of talk about who would replace the two-time World Cup-winning captain at the helm with Dinesh Karthik in the running as well, Ponting eventually let Rohit Sharma know that he would be leading the team going forward.
“There was debate about Dinesh Karthik being part of the team and some people thought they could go to Dinesh. But eventually Ponting called me up and he said - ‘We want you to take the team ahead from here and I know you’ve got solid game sense and all that, and you will do a good job’. So it started from there,” Rohit Sharma told Ashwin.
“He became player-cum-coach after that and he was always there to help me. He always stood in front (to take responsibility) if there was any issue or whatever,” Rohit Sharma added.
Mumbai Indians are one of the favourites to win IPL 2020 and make it a record-breaking five titles for Rohit Sharma as captain and six titles, overall. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen the IPL suspended indefinitely, and it remains to be seen if the glamorous tournament will take place this year at all.