Chennai, May 25 (IANS) After entering Qualifier 2 of IPL 2023 with a thumping 81-run victory over Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Eliminator clash, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma expressed happiness over overcoming various obstacles to get what the five-time champions had set out to achieve after finishing at the bottom last year.
Despite pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and Australia pacer Jhye Richardson being unavailable for the entire season, followed by Jofra Archer returning home after playing five games due to a recurring elbow injury, and Tilak Varma out for a few league games due to a hamstring injury, Mumbai easily managed to overcome the challenge from Lucknow and will now face Gujarat Titans in the Qualifier 2 in Ahmedabad on Friday.
“I definitely thought about it. That’s what we’ve done over the years. People don’t expect us to do certain things but we come out of all obstacles and managed our way through to get what we want.”
“Honestly, at the start of the season, of course, we knew that we had a lot of work to do compared to what happened in the last season. But we managed our work through it, we scrambled through it. Yes, it was a scrappy one but I would take that any day,” said Rohit after the match ended.
Rohit also credited Mumbai’s scouting team for bringing players like Nehal Wadhera and Akash Madhwal, who finished with a sensational 5/5 against Lucknow, into the side, while adding that his role is to make the newcomers feel good and be clear about their role in the set-up.
“First and foremost, it’s important to make them feel special, make them feel part of the team. They play a lot of domestic cricket but this is a different ballgame with so many people here, a lot of pressure as well. My job as a skipper is to make sure that they feel comfortable on the ground.”
“When they are about to execute with the bat or ball, our job — myself and the coaching staff – is to make sure that they’re comfortable and very clear in their roles about what they have to do for their team. As long as you make it very clear for them, that’s all (they) want.”
Rohit also praised Madhwal, the Uttarakhand pacer, for his five-fer breaking the b’ck of Lucknow’s chase and getting the tide tu’ned in Mumbai’s favour. “He was part of the season last year as a support bowler, but he didn’t get to play. We knew what he had.”
“Once Jofra was gone, we needed someone to bowl at the backend. Having seen him enough I was confident that he can get the job done for us. (He has a) a lot of skills, a good attitude, and a lot of character as well. So that was very pleasing to see about him.”
Rohit signed off by being pleased with the entire unit clicking well to get a victory in the tricky conditions of Chennai. “We knew coming to Chennai it’s not going to be one man who will take us through; it’s going to be the whole unit who needs to come to the party and deliver at different points of time.”
“At Wankhede, you know you need one or two individuals to step up and take the game through, but when you play on a pitch like this, conditions like these, you need everyone to come together and that’s what we spoke about before coming to this game.”