What’s the story?
Having led the Mumbai Indians to an unprecedented third IPL title, Rohit Sharma seems to be on cloud nine at the moment. Hailing the consistency and never-say-die attitude of his team members, the 30-year-old credited the side’s victory in the 2017 edition to the intense preparation that originated at the start of the season.
At the end of the pulsating final, Rohit said, “All three titles are special. All three titles – like the first one in 2013 (and) 2015 against the same opposition (CSK) that we played in 2013. I personally feel it is how you prepare at the start of the tournament, getting your combinations right and going on to the field. That's the most critical part of winning the tournament. Individual brilliance can win you a few games, but what is required to win this championship is team unity, team work and intelligence.”
When asked if he is aspiring to become India’s T20I captain in the coming future, the elegant right-hander quipped, “That's thinking too far ahead. I don't think too far ahead. When the opportunity comes, it comes. I will grab it with both hands.”
Since India’s early days in the 20-over format until the end of last year, MS Dhoni took on the captaincy duties. After the wicket-keeper batsman stepped down from the role, Virat Kohli succeeded him at the helm of affairs.
The heart of the matter
After scoring just 129 runs in the title clash at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, Mumbai looked gone for all money as Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) got off to a solid start. However, the death-bowling efforts of Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson turned the game on its head.
With the pressure of the final creeping in, RPS were found wanting during the business stages of the clash. Even though skipper Steven Smith fought valiantly till the last over, his counterpart Rohit marshalled Mumbai’s troops remarkably and eked out a tense one-run victory. The hard-fought triumph enabled them to add to their collection of IPL trophies.
Rohit’s focus will soon shift to the upcoming edition of the Champions Trophy where defending champions India will rely on his dynamic presence at the top of the order. Ahead of the tournament, Kohli’s troops have warm-up matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh on the 28th and 30th respectively.
Despite having to reply to a tricky question, Rohit tackled the situation smartly by providing an earnest answer. It is imperative for any successful team to possess quite a few leadership options in order to form a group of experienced players within the setup. In that regard, India certainly appear to be on the right track.Published 22 May 2017, 21:22 IST