Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma’s poor run in the IPL finally came to an end on Sunday as he scored a fine 29-ball 40 to lead his side from the front en route to their maiden victory over Gujarat Lions. (MI vs GL HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD)
Sharma, who had aggregated just nine runs in the four matches so far, struck three boundaries and a six as he stitched a 68-run partnership with Kieron Pollard to steer his side scale the 177-run target.
At the post-match press conference, a vividly relaxed Sharma expressed his satisfaction, stating: “It’s good to get some runs. I’ve been let down at the start of the tournament. That is not the standard I expect out of myself. But what has gone has gone. I’m not thinking too much about it.”
Surprisingly, Sharma had fallen to spinners in all the four matches. On being asked what went wrong for a player of his calibre to get dismissed on the cheap so often, Sharma said: “It was just a simple mistake I guess. I was trying to play with the spin, which is what we’ve been taught but these guys have been playing googlies.
“So I had to play against it. I mean, the first ball you don’t play against the spin, so… That is something which I was supposed to do out there but I didn’t. I went back to the drawing board and decided to play it straight and not in the ‘V’. I know it sounds stupid to not play in the ‘V’ but that’s how it is now. I mean these days games have changed so much, well, luckily they had only one spinner.”
He also stated that he would like to stick to his current batting position given it gives his side a perfect balance besides giving Nitish Rana a fixed number to help him build his momentum. Rana’s half-century was instrumental to Mumbai’s chase on Sunday as it provided a perfect platform for the likes of Pollard and Sharma to free their arms coming lower down the order.
“I would love to open but then (you have to think) certain things from the team’s perspective. I mean with me batting at three, four it gives the right balance. If the team requires me to open, I will go and open also,” he said.
“And I’m not going to change too much of the batting as well as the guy at No. 3 (Rana) just got the Orange cap. I don’t want to change his position. He’s a fearless cricketer. He likes to take on the bowlers straightaway so I guess the No 3 is the ideal position for him.”