“Malinga is a champion, he has been doing it for many years for us. I was thinking of Hardik Pandya for the final over, but I wanted to back someone who has been in that situation for us before, and Malinga has been there many times,” Rohit said.
“I remember Mitchell Johnson defended 10 runs when we won here last time in 2017, so yes sometimes you go with instinct and sometimes you back the experienced players who have done it before.
“At that time, both teams were under pressure whether it is the bowler or batsman are both under pressure. But it could have gone either way to be honest. I have played with Shardul Thakur before and know where he wants to hit so we decided together (Malinga and me) that we would go for the slower ball option.”
After the first innings the pendulum swung towards CSK and it was clear Mumbai would need to put in a massive shift to get this through at the venue of their previous victorious campaign.
“We knew in the first half that this would be close game after we could not get the best total. We were all prepared for it. It was just about holding nerves at crucial times in the game.”
“Our bowling in particular was excellent, at different stages in the game, the bowlers put their hands up and brought us back.”
A fourth IPL title makes the Mumbai Indians the most successful team in the competition, with Chennai Super Kings one behind on three titles. Rohit said this achievement was possible only due to meticulous planning and studying the weaknesses of opponents.
“Throughout the tournament we played some good cricket which was the reason we qualified at the top. We planned to split the tournament into two parts and our plans fell into place for which we got the just rewards.”
“We study the teams and the players well and that helps us with our strategy and planning. We are very good at what we do here.
“Not only the oppositions, it is important to understand the venue and the conditions as that helps a lot of in the planning. I’m really happy that eventually we crossed the line victorious.”
With the IPL out of the way, the focus for Rohit Sharma now shifts to the World Cup and he said that the tournament has helped them prepare for the showpiece event.
“The IPL is a great platform for all our players to get into form before the World Cup, even though it is the T20 format it is good that our players are in form ahead of the World Cup,” Rohit signed off.
First Published: May 13, 2019, 9:10 AM IST