posted on 2019-05-06 22:46:58
posted by Sritama Panda
“What we have done well in this season is that we have responded well to the pressure situations. We won lot of the games because we handled the pressure really well," were Rohit Sharma’s words after they sealed a spot at the playoffs, on May 2nd. Mumbai Indians frontline pacer Jasprit Bumrah shined as they crushed the Sunrisers Hyderabad in a Super Over battle, the second such instance of the season.
There’s no doubt to Rohit Sharma’s statement as the two-time IPL champions, the Mumbai Indians have often emerged victorious out of tense situations time and again. And the story isn’t just about the ongoing season of the marquee T20 league. The elite team is more like a trendsetter and has handled pressure situations no less than the Chennai Super Kings in many IPL seasons. As much credit is given to CSK’s ‘Captain Cool’, even Mumbai’s Rohit Sharma deserves the same amount of applause.
An in fact, when we reflect on Sharma’s aforementioned statement, it’s something that also applies to him individually as a captain. It’s not just the team that “responds well to pressure situations”. It’s their captain that has made it possible. Like CSK’s overall character is defined by Dhoni’s composure, the Mumbai Indians are equally blessed with a level-headed captain like Rohit Sharma. In fact, since RCB displayed a dismal performance in the IPL under captain Virat Kohli, fans and experts have labelled Sharma as the better leader, when compared to Kohli.
As the Mumbai Indians visit Chepauk for the qualifier face-off against the defending champions, the Chennai Super Kings. Both captains have helped the consolidation of the batting line-up. Rohit Sharma might not be the team’s highest run-getter like MS Dhoni, but his awakening has been right on time. Also, they have amassed similar numbers. While Dhoni has scored 368 runs(at a gigantic average of 121.66), Rohit Sharma has 386 runs, which includes two fifties.
One of the two fifties came against CSK when the two teams met at Chepauk during the group stage of the season. Rohit’s 48-ball 67 that prompted the team to a dominant position.
As again, Rohit puts it as: “It is something we know about the IPL that the business end matters, we always come back well in the second half of this tournament. In all the three trophies that we’ve won, the boys have picked themselves up in the business end.” Much like his statement on “pressure situations”, even this comment on the Mumbai Indians applies to him as well.
Rohit sure arrived late to the party, but he was right on time. In MI’s last group stage fixture against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), their captain chiselled an unbeaten 55 to cruise his team through to a win and the top position at the IPL 2019 points table. His experience of delivering in pressure games and his experience is all that the Mumbai-based franchise will require to overhaul CSK for the third time in this season, on Tuesday.
Again, in his words, this time, on batsmanship: “To be honest as a batsman, there is nothing better than hitting a ball. People don’t expect a lot from my bowling, neither do I, but it feels nice,” he said. Rohit Sharma has often formed consolidating partnerships with Quinton de Kock, the highest run-getter of the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019, giving the team the right start. He's the kind of batsman that can exceed on the pitch and conditions that are thrown at him, and that will be key on a slow Chepauk track.
To read on MS Dhoni’s captaincy, click here: