Important to focus on a good start in final, says Rohit

Hyderabad: On Sunday at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium, the toughest challenge for Mumbai Indians will be to decipher the thoughts running in the mind of rival captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The calm demeanour of former India skipper, even during tense scenarios, can be intimidating for opponents.

But Mumbai is lucky to have Rohit Sharma as their leader. On the eve of the IPL 12 final, Rohit was a picture of poise at the pre-match press conference. His style of captaincy is marked with composure. The right-handed batsman felt the team that keeps its emotions in check will emerge champions.

The India opener spoke on his captaincy, Mumbai’s successful history in the league and more. Excerpts:

On his captaincy: My team and staff make my job easier. Looking at the conditions and the opponents, plans are laid out properly before games. I firmly believe in planning and strategising. I get what I want from my players and that’s helped me be a successful skipper. It helps for a captain when players understand their roles. 

On Mumbai’s consistency: We always focus on forming core group. Last year, after we failed to qualify, we immediately began scouting for players that could fit into our team culture. We made our goals for auction. We had an eye on domestic tournament across the world and found players who could deliver for us. Thankfully, most of them have responded well.

On workload management: We understand that the World Cup is around the corner and before the IPL began, we spoke to players to be open about how they are feeling about their fitness. In our team, Jasprit (Bumrah) and Hardik (Pandya) felt playing more games will keep them (get) in (a) good rhythm. The physios spoke to both of them and that’s the feedback we received. And it has worked for them. Both are in great form. In 2013, we played the IPL and then went on to win the Champions Trophy. So tournaments like these help players get into form.

On the rivalry with CSK: We might have beaten them thrice this tournament but in IPL it depends on who plays well on that particular day. Though they didn’t qualify, Rajasthan Royals beat us twice. So the head-to-head record doesn’t matter. In a final, more than the opposition, it’s important to focus on getting a good start, be it while bowling or batting. 

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