Mumbai Indians’ title-winning captain Rohit Sharma has said that Sachin Tendulkar’s Indian Premier League retirement came as a shock to the team.
“The news of Sachin Paaji’s exit was shocking to all of us. We didn’t know at all that he was going to announce his retirement after the final,” revealed Rohit, whose team outplayed two-time champions Chennai Super Kings at the Eden Gardens on Sunday night.
Tendulkar figured in all the six editions of the Twenty20 extravaganza after making a solitary T20 international appearance for India in Johannesburg in 2006. It can be recalled, India won that game in a limited overs series which was highly forgettable for Rahul Dravid’s Indians.
“We will miss him,” said Rohit of his senior pro, who couldn’t be part of the Mumbai Indians team towards the end of the tournament due to a hand injury. “I hope he will continue in some capacity and share his exclusive experience and thoughts in future for Mumbai Indians,” said Rohit.
Second IPL title for Rohit
The young batting stalwart was also a part of the Deccan Chargers team that won the 2009 edition of the IPL in South Africa. Rohit scored 24 off 23 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore way back then, but on Sunday, he was back in the pavilion for only two — caught and bowled by Albie Morkel.
Spinner Pragyan Ojha is the other Mumbai Indians player who was part of Deccan Chargers’ winning outfit in 2009.
Rohit took over as captain when Ricky Ponting had to be left out after a poor sting of scores. The India ODI player said he had no problems in taking on responsibility. “I knew that some time I’d get the captaincy and I was prepared for that. I was vice-captain of the team in the past, so I knew how to handle pressure situations,” he said.
And what did captaincy do for this cricketing education? “I’m feeling much more mature as a cricketer and human being. When you get some responsibility on your head and shoulders, you think positively and learn a lot,” he said.
Rohit hailed the contribution of the spinners in his team’s triumph but didn’t underplay the role of the middle order. “We had a good combination of senior players and young guns. The spinners played a crucial role in our victory, but our middle order’s contribution was the recipe for our victory. As for Kieron Pollard, he is special. He was committed to the task of doing something special this season and he did it.”