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IPL 2019: Fortunate to have a good team and support staff, says Rohit Sharma

He feels that he is fortunate to be leading a team that covers all bases and has everything to excel in the T20 format.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Hyderabad: Four finals, four titles. Rohit Sharma reclaimed the tag of the most successful captain in the IPL when CSK fell one run short of Mumbai Indians’ total in the Grand Finale of IPL 2019. In seven seasons as captain, Rohit has achieved the maximum success by any captain. However, he doesn’t want to take all of the credit for being the leader who has achieved great success in these years.

He feels that he is fortunate to be leading a team that covers all bases and has everything to excel in the T20 format. Rohit also admitted that he is lucky to have an experienced support staff that helps him in planning things. The vice-captain of India’s limited-overs teams has often highlighted the importance of data and match-ups.

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“I am fortunate enough to have a team like that. We do believe in each other’s ability and that is very important. We believe in planning the strategies and luckily for me, I have a staff around me which is good at doing that. I am a firm believer of planning,” the victorious MI skipper said after the match.

“Whatever game you play, you have to go with a plan and have some sort of strategies around the opposition. You need to be little dynamic, you need to be different in terms of what you want to achieve on the field.” Rohit added.

Explaining the strategies part, the 32-year-old described a situation in the last league match against KKR as an example. Lasith Malinga dismissed Andre Russell caught behind for nought by coming round wicket and firing in a short ball at waist height.

“Malinga never bowled round the wicket to any batsman. But against KKR, he bowled to Andre Russell and got him out. That was sheer planning as we went through his (Russell) videos to see what movements he creates when he bats. We thought Malinga bowling bouncer from around the wicket will be ideal to Russell,” he further added.

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I and Malinga decided to bowl slower one

One of the reasons for MI’s success in the crunch moments of the final was backing their decisions. After Lasith Malinga went for plenty in his first three overs, Rohit went with Krunal Pandya for the 18th over considering Hardik Pandya’s poor outings at death. Krunal couldn’t make a difference as he was hit for a hat-trick of sixes by Shane Watson. The equation came down to nine from last over and Rohit settled with the experience of Malinga.

The Sri Lankan came around the wicket this time to make it tough for the batsmen. He bowled the first five balls at 140+ and conceded seven runs. Rohit explained that they wanted to take a wicket and close the game on the final delivery rather than playing for a Super Over. Having played with Shardul Thakur and understanding his abilities, Rohit and Malinga decided to go with a slower one which in the end helped Mumbai Indians sneak in a 1-run victory.

“We didn’t want to take it to the Super Over. We thought we could take a wicket and finish it off there. It could’ve gone either way. But the idea was to get the batsman out. I know Shardul really well. He plays for Mumbai and I’ve known him for a long, long time. So I kind of understand where he wants to hit,” said Rohit.

“So me and Malinga decided together that we’ll go for that slower option because knowing Shardul, he would try to play a big shot and there might be a chance that he might just hit it up. At that point, what you decide is very very crucial. You have to be brave and make those crucial decisions,” he concluded.

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