Indian opener Rohit Sharma on Friday told Australian opener David Warner during an Instagram live chat how former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting helped Mumbai Indians (MI) get back on track in IPL 2014 after five consecutive losses in Sharjah leg.
After losing the first five games, MI won seven of the remaining nine games and managed to reach the playoffs. Rohit-led MI needed to chase down 190 in 14.3 overs in their last league game against Rajasthan Royals (RR) to qualify for the playoffs which they did as Corey Anderson played a blinder of a knock scoring an unbeaten 44-ball 95.
“That was pretty tough, we were going through tough times. There was a lot of pressure from the spectators, people in Mumbai are quite passionate. Our owners are also very passionate, we were in Dubai for five games, we lost all those games. Luckily for me, I had Ponting around then, Ponting is an impactful person. He was always motivating the younger guys, he was only going to talk to younger guys, he was not worried about the senior guys,” Rohit said.
“His idea was to make sure that the young boys don’t drift away much, once we returned to India in 2014, things changed for us, he gave us a pep talk and we rallied around that,” the Mumbai batsman added.
During the live chat the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) skipper also recalled when Rohit took a hat-trick against MI playing for Deccan Chargers.
“I can’t believe that man, I seriously can’t believe that I took a hat-trick against MI while I was playing for Hyderabad (Deccan Chargers). I don’t even remember how i used to bowl then, I got a finger injury and after that I could not grip the ball properly and these days it’s better to stay away from bowling.”
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“If I think of it now, it’s quiet embarrassing that I took a hat-trick. They were decent batters as well, first one was JP Duminy, second one was Abhishek Nayar and third one was Harbhajan Singh (the original order being Nayar, Harbhajan and Duminy). I was pretty sure that he underestimated me, he just wanted to come and swing the bat, clean bowled,” Rohit Sharma recalled.