On the cusp of his fifth IPL title, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma didn’t deny that his team have a “slight psychological advantage” going into Tuesday’s final against Delhi Capitals but refused to dwell on emphatic wins of past.
Mumbai Indians have steamrolled Capitals in their previous three meetings during the season, winning the first leg by five wickets, return leg by nine wickets and the first qualifier by 57 runs.
“There will be a psychological advantage a little bit, yes, but again what we have seen with IPL is every day is a fresh day, every day is a new pressure and every game is a new game.
“So you can’t think too much about what has happened in the past,” Rohit said on Monday.
On the eve of the final, the skipper, though, didn’t deny that any win gives a team extra confidence.
“To be honest, we can’t think about that we have played these guys before and we have beaten them. We just need to think that they are a new opponent and what will we do as a team against that opponent,” said one of IPL’s greatest performers.
“It is that simple for us and we keep doing right things on the field, I am sure we will have the fifth one in the bag.”
‘Boult looking fine, is a great asset to team’
Trent Boult picked up a groin niggle during the first qualifier but the skipper is confident that one of his primary performers will be available for the match that matters the most.
“Trent looks pretty good. He is going to have a session today with all of us and we will see how he goes, he pulled up pretty well in last few days, so fingers crossed and hopefully he plays,” the skipper said.
On a different note, Rohit spoke about how Mumbai Indians have been able to build a solid core team over the years with players like Kieron Pollard, Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal — Ishan Kishan, Rahul Chahar along with someone like Boult.
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) November 10, 2020
“It’s a no brainer that (Boult) he is the best bowler with the new ball, when it comes to swinging the ball back into the batsman and luckily for us we got him traded from Delhi and he has not disappointed anyone of us,” Rohit said, reminding what Capitals are losing out on.
“Looking at the squad, the strength, the balance of this team, you know I cannot point out anything (weakness) to be honest,” the skipper said.
“…And it’s not a rocket science, we have worked really hard for this, balance this players, all this players were available to all the teams,” he said.
He lauded the Mumbai Indians management for identifying the right players and investing in them.
“Let me tell you that, you know right from No 1 Quinton De Kock to No 11 Jasprit Bumrah, all these players were available for all the squads, but we invested in them at the start and we had faith in them.”
“A lot of credit goes to Mumbai Indians team management, the scout, they have done a great job with all these guys making sure they get that comfort, they get that backing, otherwise it is not possible, it is not possible to have squad like that,” he said.
So what would he have done had he captained a side against a team like Mumbai Indians?
“Firstly, it is never going to happen, I am never going to go in the opposition camp, and captain the other team against MI,” India’s white-ball vice-captain said, making his priorities clear.
Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma also expressed optimism about having the services of Trent Boult, who had sustained a groin injury, in the IPL final against Delhi Capitals.
When the two sides had met in the first qualifier, Boult had walked off the field after bowling two overs. MI had won that match comfortably.
Asked about his fitness status, Rohit said on the eve of the final, “Trent looks pretty good, he is going to have a session today with all of us and we will see how he goes, he pulled up pretty well in the last few days, so fingers crossed and hopefully he plays.”
Rohit also said that Boult is the best in the business with the new ball and that the swing bowler hasn’t disappointed anyone in the Mumbai team.
“Yeah, we always wanted somebody who can bowl with the new ball and get those wickets for us in the powerplay.
“And we looked across the world and obviously Trent, it’s a no brainer that he is the best bowler with the new ball, when it comes to swinging the ball back into the batsman and to a left-hander, taking the ball away from them, he is the best in the business.”
Overall, Boult has been the third highest wicket-taker this season with 22 scalps to his name and only behind Jasprit Bumrah (27 wickets) and Delhi Capitals pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada (29).
“We always wanted him (Boult) in the squad and luckily for us we got him traded from Delhi.
“He has not disappointed anyone of us, he has just come and done the job for us with the new ball and also in the middle, he has bowled pretty well in the middle and also at the back end few times, he has bowled pretty well.
“So he is a great asset to have in the squad and I just hope he can do it one more time for us,” Rohit said.
‘Hardik is not comfortable bowling at the moment’
Dubai, Nov 9 (PTI) Premier all-rounder Hardik Pandya is still not comfortable enough to bowl, his Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma said on Monday, days before the Indian team sets off on the marquee tour of Australia.
On the eve of their IPL final against Delhi Capitals, Rohit made it clear that Hardik, who has not bowled through the 13th edition of the lucrative event, is still not up to the mark when it comes to fitness.
“He is not comfortable at the moment to bowl you know, and we have left all the decision on him,” Rohit said.
The Indian limited-overs vice captain, who is eyeing an unprecedented fifth IPL silverware, said his swashbuckling all-rounder has “got some niggle going”.
“… If he feels comfortable he will be happy to bowl, but at the moment, he is not feeling comfortable, he has got some niggle going.
“So I mean it would have been great to have him bowl but, throughout the season, we have given him that cushion of being in that comfort zone and making sure that he takes care of his body and he has done that really well.”
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