The Indian Premier League is a tournament where the Mumbai Indians have come to be a dominant force, that too under the reign of their captain, Rohit Sharma. Here we will look at the captaincy masterstrokes of Rohit Sharma, that make the Mumbai Indians the franchise they are today.
1. Giving Lasith Malinga the last over of IPL 2019 Final
The Mumbai Indians were on the verge of victory in the IPL 2019 Finals, but the wall of the Chennai Super Kings’ bottom order batsmen stood in between them and victory. And, it was then when Rohit Sharma showed why he is held in high regard by the cricketing fraternity as a limited-overs captain. In the death overs of the match, he arranged his bowlers’ spells such that the two of his best pacers, Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah were the ones bowling the last few overs of the match, with the former bowling the last over of the game if the needs be.
When the time came, it was Jasprit Bumrah bowling the 19th over of the CSK inning, and following him was the experienced Lasith Malinga. Rohit understood that no matter how talented Bumrah may be, the final over should be bowled by Malinga since he has a lot of experience behind his back. And, as history has it, Mumbai Indians got to a win in the match and it was made possible because of this decision, which is one of the many captaincy masterstrokes by Rohit Sharma.
2. Slotting in Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav in the team
Two of the most talented finds of the Indian Premier League, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have shot into the public eye because of their performances for the Mumbai Indians, which is led by Rohit Sharma. Their time with the franchise has not only been useful for them but also for the franchise, and staying around some of the biggest names in the cricketing world like Kieron Pollard and Rohit himself, must have surely given them some great insights into the world of cricket.
Their numbers over the years have been growing and have established them in the Indian Premier League and the Indian cricket team, as the names who are in talks always and are in consideration for the top spots. And they should thank Rohit, who recognised their abilities and stuck with the two and gave them a chance to develop as players.
3. Managing the team’s transition from old players to new
Rohit Sharma’s talent management abilities have been something that has been looked up to by the fans and the analysts of the game, and the way he has seen the Mumbai Indians through the various stages has been something that can aptly be described as one of the captaincy masterstrokes by Rohit Sharma. After the exit of some of the big names of the team, like Lasith Malinga, Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, and Harbhajan Singh to name a few, Rohit has ensured that he has their back up players ready.
Rohit has overseen many such transitions and to his credit, almost all of them have worked wonders and have gone in his and the side’s favour. The way he has brought in the Pandya brothers and utilised them after some of the bigger names left the team, has been a thing that is admirable.
4. Demoting himself in the batting order
It is no hidden fact that Rohit Sharma while playing for the Indian cricket team has proven to be one of the best openers to have played for the side. But the way he has changed his own batting position and style to suit that of the Mumbai Indians, ensuring better results for his IPL franchise, would surely make this decision of his count was one of the many captaincy masterstrokes by Rohit Sharma.
In the last few editions of the Indian Premier League, after he had moved down the order, his stats had seen a dip, and when questions were asked he said, ‘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.’ This shows how big a team player he is and to his and the team’s delight, his numbers have definitely shown improvements, and come this season, he would be all set to show what he is capable of even while not opening the batting.
5. Building a core for the Mumbai Indians
Rohit Sharma, since day 1 of his captaincy has made sure that he has a core built which can take the team forward in every way needed, even if others in the side see a slump in their form or are out of the tournament due to any given reason. Be it Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo, Harbhajan Singh and he himself making that core up, or newer names like Krunal and Hardik Pandya along with Jasprit Bumrah, Kieron Pollard and himself making up the core, the Mumbai Indians
This has helped him and the team management a lot over the years to make sure that he has a playing XI ready even the worst of times, and the playing XI that he has at his disposal is such that it is up and ready to win matches for the team against the toughest of oppositions in the Indian Premier League. And, the amount of success Rohit has enjoyed due to this, makes it a part of the captaincy masterstrokes by Rohit Sharma.