Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians to their fifth IPL title with a convincing five-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2020 final on Tuesday in Dubai. Chasing 157, Rohit made 68 off 51 to make light work of the target.
Following the victory, Rohit credited his team for being switched on right from the start of the tournament till the very end.
“Pretty happy with how things went the entire season. We said at the start that we want to make winning a habit. Guys have been excellent, you couldn’t ask anything more. We were right on the money from Ball 1 and till today we didn’t look back," he said.
Rohit also gave a sneak peak into the Mumbai Indians’ think-tank, both in terms of strategy as a franchise and as a captain handling young players in big games.
“A lot of credit goes to the people who work behind the scene. We have to give credit to them as well. Our work starts much earlier than when the IPL starts. We analyse what went wrong the previous season and we make sure we fill in the gaps," he said.
“We have to find the right balance where you stay calm. I’m not someone who will run behind someone with a stick, I’ll give them confidence. In our squad, the batting order, we’ve kept rotating Krunal, Hardik and Pollard. They understand their roles and are ready for it. Similarly in the bowling department, today Rahul Chahar missed out but we tactically wanted Jayant. Those are the things you want to do in a big game. And for the guy missing out, you put an arm around and say you’ve not done anything wrong. Rahul took it on his chin.
“When you want to change your XI to make it better, you should be able to do that."
Rohit spoke highly of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, who had terrific seasons with the bat.
“Suryakumar and Ishan Kishan been absolutely brilliant. We made sure they get the freedom. Ishan is somebody you can’t cloud his judgment on the field, you just have to let him loose. Suryakumar you have seen through the season… he plays some unbelievable shot. The kind of form he was in, I should have sacrificed my wicket but he did it. I give him credit for that, it’s not easy. You have to keep motivating them, and they come out with such performances.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t have the fans at the stadium. Fans’ support mean a lot. Missed playing at Wankhede."
Mahela Jayawardene, the MI coach, said this was a tough year as they wanted to prove they can win in even years too.
“It was a tough tournament for us. Obviously the tag of champions, and then the fact that MI haven’t won in even years," he said. “What we’ve done over the years is being consistent with the preparations. This year has been a bit different due to the siatuon but we’ve tried to do the same thing. It’s been in Mumbai’s DNA for a long time - the six hitting ability.
“What we’ve tried to bring it get the touch play as well, the strike rotation and keeping the tempo. Credit to the management for all the work as well. It’s all about helping their preparation. Making sure they understand their roles, try and give them little work to do in the middle. Not just Rohit, but everyone’s been doing their work. This group has been fantastic. They’ve worked really hard off season and through the season, and shown great commitment."