IPL 2020: Rohit Sharma reveals why he thinks captain is the least important person
IPL 2020: Titles in 2015, 2017 and 2019 have ensured Rohit Sharma will go down in IPL history as one of the best captains ever. Being a captain means you are the most important member of the team in the books of many, but Rohit differs with this idea.Updated: Aug 05, 2020 20:54 IST
Mumbai Indians were one of the big boys of the Indian Premier League (IPL) at the time of its inception in 2008. A battery of international stars, big names in the back room staff and an army of cricket crazy fans behind the team. But things didn’t go as per plan for the team in blue as they made an underwhelming start.
With no title in the bag in 5 seasons and only one final appearance to show for their efforts, the fans and the management was getting restless for some success. Tables turned dramatically for the team in the 2013 season after a young Rohit Sharma was made captain of the team.
His calm demeanour and laid back style worked wonders as Mumbai went on to become champions for the first time in 2013. Since then it has almost been a ritual that Mumbai Indians become champions of IPL every alternate year.
Titles in 2015, 2017 and 2019 have ensured Rohit Sharma will go down in IPL history as one of the best captains ever. Being a captain means you are the most important member of the team in the books of many, but Rohit differs with this idea.
“I believe in a theory that when you are captain, you are the least important person. Others become more important in the larger scheme of things. It works differently for different leaders but as far as I am concerned, this theory works for me,” Rohit told PTI in an interview.
Suresh Raina recently compared Rohit to MS Dhoni interms of his ‘cool quotient’ but the Indian limited overs team vice-captain is quick to downplay those comparisons.
“Not showing anger is not a conscious effort...that’s a natural instinct that you have and you don’t try and be someone that you are not. Try and be yourself all the time,” he said.
“You do get angry, lose temper at times but it’s important not to show it to your teammates. Hiding your emotions is the most crucial part,” Rohit added.
He has consistently been in touch with MI’s core team of strategists on conference call discussing the details of the challenge ahead in the UAE, where the IPL will be held in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
“It’s a good environment to be in. It’s challenging but I love challenges and I want an environment like this. My mind has been relaxed for last five months...,” he said.
“...Your planning changes a lot. Pitches in Dubai are a bit on the slower side. The pitches are not so different from India but yes overhead conditions will be a big factor as you are not always used to playing in 40 degrees which can be a bit of a challenge,” he explained.
“As much as we sit and plan things here, it could completely change once we are there and check out the conditions and then think about ideal combinations,” he felt.
For him, it’s important that youngsters can look up to him and draw confidence.
“You need to give confidence to the younger players, some of them haven’t played the IPL before, don’t have international exposure. I need to make sure they are in the best zone, not pressurised by the moment and get those little performances from everyone,” he said.
Asked about some of the youngsters he is looking forward to seeing this year, the skipper made it clear that he never found naming favourites and comparisons healthy.
“When I was a 20-year-old, trust me I never liked comparisons. Know one thing, you should never pit two young guys against each other. They don’t feel good about it. “It’s important that everyone is treated the same and then it’s purely up to them as to what they do with their careers and how they take it forward,” the easygoing batsman, who has nearly 14,000 international runs, said.
Talking about time away from the game in a lockdown, Rohit spoke about how it helped him reflect on his life outside the rigours of 22 yards.
A life in which he is first and foremost a loving husband and a doting dad.
“I probably understood the importance of family more than ever before. Through the year, through your playing career, they sacrifice so much for you, you are home for a short time and always on the road,” he said.
“It was icing on the cake because my daughter (Samaira) is just growing up. It’s these years of her life that I don’t want to miss. The first step that she takes, the first words spoken.
“Spending so much time with her, playing with her, putting her to sleep, it was pure joy,” he concluded.
(With PTI inputs)