In terms of result, Rohit Sharma is undoubtedly the greatest captain in the history of the Indian Premier League (MI).
Having taken the leadership role in 2013, Rohit has led Mumbai Indians (MI) to five IPL titles, with the latest one coming earlier this month in UAE.
In an exclusive chat with PTI, Rohit recently spoke about his lasting association with MI, saying the five-time champions were not created overnight.
“Yeah, we have a (Kieron) Pollard, a Hardik (Pandya), (Jasprit) Bumrah but has anybody thought why this team is successful?” he asked.
“Lot of people, I hear say that can he (Rohit) do it with other teams? Firstly, why shall I need to do it with other teams? There is a certain way this franchise wants to go and same direction I want to go as well, both as a player and leader,” he explained.
“Did this team become good overnight? No. It’s just that this franchise doesn’t believe in chopping and changing. And every player, including Rohit Sharma, was available (2011) at auctions. Just that MI picked and believed in building a team.”
Trent Boult played an instrumental role in MI’s triumphant IPL 2020 campaign and Rohit said he was extremely proud that his franchise roped in the Kiwi pacer, who was released by Delhi Capitals before the auction.
“Trent Boult was with Delhi last year and before that with Sunrisers. We needed someone to provide wickets upfront and who could swing the ball,” the Mumbai skipper said.
“We strongly pursued him and got him from Capitals, something I am proud of.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been a testing year for everyone and Rohit said the MI franchise provided an environment that created memories of a lifetime while being locked in a bio-bubble.
“MI in a year where everything was uncertain, created a happy space for us. 80 days in a bio-bubble never felt claustrophobic. Every little aspect was taken care of and the preparation started in June in a bio-secure environment with all net bowlers and Indian players,” he said.
Talking about his leadership, Rohit said he prefers to give freedom to his players. He cited Suryakumar Yadav’s composure while dealing with India rejection as an example.
“We were sitting in our team room and I could feel he was dejected. But I didn’t go and speak to him. It was he who came up and said, ‘Don’t worry I will get over it and win the matches for MI’.
“And when he said that I also realised he is heading in right direction not only in terms of IPL but in his overall career. There are a lot of India games and his time will come.
“If you ask me, my philosophy is mind over matter and that’s what works for me.”
(With PTI inputs)