Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma was a relieved man after his team’s emphatic eight-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings at the MCA Stadium, Pune on Saturday.
Rohit himself stepped up to plate in a must-win situation for Mumbai. The MI captain scored a scintillating 56* off 33 balls (6 fours and 2 sixes) as the defending champions chased down CSK’s stiff target of 170 with 2 balls to spare. It was Mumbai’s second victory out of the seven matches that they have played in this year’s IPL thus far.
Speaking after the match, Sharma said: "Very much alive (in the IPL). Wanted this win desperately. Spoke to the boys that we didn't want to take any decisions for the team in desperation. Wanted to stay calm. We've played good cricket. But that finishing touch wasn't happening. Today we batted well, bowled well, fielded well. When you want to win games like this, all three departments have to come collectively. That's when you get results."
Rohit, who was adjudged Man of the Match for his unbeaten fifty, also hoped that the team would take some momentum from this win and carry on with a similar performance in the upcoming matches.
"If I look back at it, except the Sunrisers game where we batted poorly. Rest of the game we put on 190-plus. Even when we were defending, the bowlers nearly pulled it out for us. Hope we will continue from here on, this should give us momentum," he asserted.
Swashbuckling all-rounder Kieron Pollard was snubbed from MI’s playing XI last night at the expense of JP Duminy. Talking about Pollard’s exclusion, Rohit said it was a difficult decision before adding that there will be changes in the team going forward.
"Leaving out Pollard was tough, it was hard. He's done so many good things for us.He was ready to accept that, going forward I don't want to dismiss him completely. He'll still be a match-winner but we've go with whatever gives us a chance to win. JP had done well for us, as he's done for Delhi. I don't want to be dismissive of anyone. We may have a few surprise changes going forward, whatever gives us a chance to win," Sharma said.
Rohit also made it clear that as a captain he will have to understand the strengths of the unit and create a team balance.
"We saw how this tournament is, batting-dominated tournament. Few bowling teams like Sunrisers have defended low scores, but for me as captain, I need to understand what our strengths are. Guys are ready to miss out if team balance demands, we have a positive atmosphere in the dressing room, we still backed our team," Rohit Sharma concluded.