Rohit feared the worst when he hurt his thigh

Indian Premier League: MI skipper raring to go after long break

Rohit feared the worst when he hurt his thigh
Fit again after undergoing surgery to his thigh muscle that kept him out of cricket for five months, Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma said although it was frustrating he was keen to get back on the field now.

“It feels a long time, actually more than five months. I am looking forward to getting back on to the field. I missed a lot of games, but it’s part of any sportsman’s career when injury happens. I am not looking backwards and want to start the season on a high,” said Sharma at a media conference.

He conceded that he feared the worst when he heard a loud pop when taking a single in the ODI match against New Zealand at Vishakapatnam. Sharma missed the entire series against England and the four Test match rubber against Australia.

“To be honest I was scared; it’s something that had never happened. I heard a loud noise when taking the run. I got the MRI done but once days passed by we contacted a lot of doctors and spoke to (Indian team physio) Patrick Farhart as well. They all gave me confidence that it’s not a major problem and was a small injury. I went through it quite comfortably,” Sharma explained.

He did not agree that the injury was a setback to his career. “I am just 29. Five months missing cricket does not do any bad. These things will happen in future too. In your career you will miss games. It has happened before and now it does not come as a surprise. It’s important for me to stay strong and focus ahead. I am looking forward and there’s so much cricket coming up.”

The Mumbai-born player said it was frustrating to sit out during his rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and watch his Indian teammates take on strong opposition like Australia after getting injured during the ODI series against New Zealand.

“It was tough sitting in the hotel room and watching the team play. Yes, you have to go through it and I have done it many times. I was focusing on how quick I could get on the field. I give a lot of credit to NCA staff.

“When you have a big injury you tend to lose muscle strength. It was a big challenge to get it back and become lot stronger. Thankfully I am back on field and ready to play again,” he added.

Sharma, who took over captaincy reins from Australian Ricky Ponting after six games in 2013, was gung-ho about his team’s bowling attack this season comprising Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell McClenaghan from overseas and up and coming India’s limited overs specialist, Jasprit Bumrah.

“We might surprise a team or two with the kind of bowling attack. It’s a long tournament and we can’t think too far ahead. We have to break it into parts. We play five games in first 18 days here and I see it as an advantage.”

He conceded that in 2016 the team was not consistent enough to go all the way to retain the title which it won for the second time in 2015. “Last year we were not consistent enough. It’s a fast- paced tournament and we play every second or third day. We have to break into parts. We want to start well. Our first opposition is Pune and they have a pretty exciting squad with some new faces.”

He was happy to work with new coach and former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene who has taken over from Ponting.

“Mahela and (bowling coach) Shane Bond (of New Zealand) are working on their (Pune) line up. When we go on field we are not short on information. I am looking forward to work with Mahela who I have seen from the other side. He’s a legend. I am counting on his experience and knowledge. He will be able to guide us if we are in trouble.”

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