Anil Kumble reveals how Rohit Sharma was made MI captain: 'Still remember when we walked into his room' | Crickit

Anil Kumble reveals how Rohit Sharma was made MI captain: 'Still remember when we walked into his room'

Apr 24, 2024 10:26 PM IST

Anil Kumble was mentor of Mumbai Indians in 2013 and was part of the group that made the decision to make Rohit Sharma captain of the team.

Rohit Sharma was the most succesfull captain in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) until MS Dhoni equalled his record by leading Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to the title last year. Rohit's MI won the IPL five times in seven years between 2013 and 2020 and the franchise never won the title before he was skipper. It is hence fair to say that the MI's decision to make Rohit their captain has become one of the most significant events in the history of the league and yet, it happened quite suddenly during the 2013 season without much fanfare.

Rohit Sharma took over as MI captain six games into the 2013 season(PTI)
Rohit Sharma took over as MI captain six games into the 2013 season(PTI)

Spin great Anil Kumble, who was mentor of MI that season, revealed that Rohit had no hesitation in taking over six games into the season when he and head coach John Wright approached the then 25-year-old with the role. Kumble said that the original plan was to bring an ageing former Australia captain Ricky Ponting as MI's captain so as to galvanise them to the title but that didn't work as MI lost three of their first six games of the season.

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“The entire plan was to get Ricky in as captain. There was a bit of a concern about he would go in the T20 format since he was at the back end of his career. Great player, a legend, but towards the back end there is always concern,” Kumble told India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in a chat on Youtube.

“For me it was important that someone who has won a World Cup (captains the team). The team in Mumbai had everything. All it needed was someone who has been there, done that, which is why we chose Ricky at the auction and made him captain. But once the first few games didn't go well, there was pressure to make a change.”

The MI squad at the time had the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh and Mitchell Johnson, all of whom were senior to Rohit. "Ricky was kind of to step aside and that is when we decided that we will go for Rohit. What was very evident when John Wright and I walked into his room in Kolkata, we were playing KKR, he was extremely confident.

“There was no hesitation when we asked him if he was ready to captain, despite all these big names being a part of the team. That stood out. That is what you want. If there is no hesitation when you ask for the first time if you are ready to take the responsibility, that gives it all and Rohit was very clear that he was ready to take over.” MI won that match by five wickets. They went on to lose just three more matches that season, beating Chennai Super Kings in the final by 23 runs and thus clinching their maiden IPL title.

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