Being captain is not easy. While it has its perks, the perils aren’t far away. Ask David Miller. The Kings XI Punjab captaincy bogged him down to an extent that his form suffered and he eventually had to relinquish the post.
Mumbai Indians’ skipper Rohit Sharma has so far been immune to the pitfalls of the job and has improved with each day. It’s not easy to lead a team, but Rohit has revelled in the role.
On Sunday, his skills were on display once again as his quick thinking and smart bowling changes ensured Rising Pune Supergiants were restricted to 159 for five.
Calm and controlled
At one point, Supergiants were running away with the match with Steven Smith and Saurabh Tiwary helping them to 84 for one in eight overs before the innings fell apart.
Rohit kept calm and so did his bowlers. He expected them to bowl at one side of the wicket and that’s what they did.
With the bowlers delivering what he wanted, Rohit went about tightening the noose around the batsmen. He kept moving from cover to mid-wicket to long-off to slips, marshalling the field and making sure everyone was attentive.
His bowling changes in the middle overs clicked as well. He brought in Jasprit Bumrah in the 10th over. He had had a poor outing in the field, even dropping a sitter. The Gujarat bowler, however, got rid of the dangerous Smith to stifle the run rate.
Rohit’s main weapon in the middle overs was Harbhajan Singh, and he too bowled a tight line, not giving anything for the batsmen to hit.
While Rohit may not be as expressive as Virat Kohli, his calm demeanour helped Mumbai come back into the match.
The respect he commands in the dressing room means he doesn’t have to shove decisions down the throat of the players. Being the leader with the bat has added to his stature.
Take for instance the minor altercation between Harbhajan and Ambati Rayudu after the latter misfielded to concede a four. Rohit didn’t jump in, nor did he speak to them during the change of ends. It was left to the players to sort it out and get on with the job.
The only time he intervened was when his bowlers erred in line and length.