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Had faith in experience, says Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma

Mumbai Indians ride high after unprecedented success

By TT Bureau in Calcutta

  • Published 14.05.19, 3:51 AM
  • Updated 14.05.19, 3:51 AM
Mumbai Indians players travel atop an open bus during a celebration procession after winning the IPL 2019 trophy by defeating Chennai Super Kings, in Mumbai, Monday, May 13, 2019.
Mumbai Indians players travel atop an open bus during a celebration procession after winning the IPL 2019 trophy by defeating Chennai Super Kings, in Mumbai, Monday, May 13, 2019. (PTI)

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma lavished praises on Lasith Malinga and was all for experience before the final over of IPL XII’s decider was bowled.

Chennai Super Kings required nine for victory and the title, but the senior Sri Lanka speedster bowled a superb final over, taking a wicket off the last ball that helped Mumbai Indians win by one run and secure their fourth IPL title.

For Rohit, the most important thing was going with experience as he remembered the occasion when had handed the ball over to Mitchell Johnson during the 2017 summit clash.

In the 2017 final, the former Australia pace spearhead defended 11 runs in the decisive over to pull-off a one-run victory for Mumbai Indians against the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant. It was that deja vu moment for captain Rohit.

“I clearly remember when we won in 2017, it was Mitchell who bowled that last over and defended only 10 runs. So yes, sometimes you’ve got to go with only instincts, while sometimes you’ve also got to go a little backward and think what these experienced players have done and what they bring to the table,” Rohit said.

“It was the thought when I went with Mitchell, because he had been in that situation. He was an experienced bowler, a leading bowler then. And even today, Malinga has been one of the finest T20 players that we’ve seen.

“We knew he could give us a chance of winning the game. With nine runs required off the last over, anything can happen. But you’ve got to back experience and that’s what we did,” the skipper stressed.

Rohit, also India’s limited-overs vice-captain, even became the first player to win five IPL titles with one of them coming with the defunct Deccan Chargers back in 2009. For him, every IPL crown has been a special one.

“Oh, I forgot that (title with Deccan Chargers). Yeah, it is five. It’s so tough to take one out of the five. You see, IPL is a very tough tournament to win. So, I am not going to pick one, because all those victories, all those finals that we won were difficult to achieve.

“One with DC and four with MI, we’ve had exceptional seasons. I can’t really pick one because every season has its own challenge. For me, all five, I will cherish and remember, and not pick one,” he said.

Recalling that final over, Rohit said he was well aware of Shardul Thakur’s range of shots as he wanted Malinga to bowl a slower delivery, which turned out to be a masterstroke. Rohit had kept the on-side open to lure Shardul and then Malinga’s slow in-dipper tailed in to wrap Shardul plumb in front.

Having played a first-class cricket for Mumbai with Shardul, Rohit knew how to bring about the player’s downfall. 

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