Sharma: 'Teamwork, intelligence key to IPL glory'

A visibly-elated Rohit Sharma credited unity, teamwork and intelligence as the key elements responsible for the team’s success as Mumbai Indians lifted the IPL trophy for the third time.

“Individual brilliance can win you a few games. But, what is required to win this championship are these things,” felt Rohit.   -  PTI

A visibly-elated Rohit Sharma credited unity, teamwork and intelligence as the key elements responsible for the team’s success as Mumbai Indians lifted the IPL trophy for the third time.

“Individual brilliance can win you a few games. But, what is required to win this championship are these things,” Rohit informed media after the title-triumph.

“All three titles are special for me for different reasons. If you look at the first two titles we won, we probably had one batsman in the top five [leading run-getters]. We didn't have [even] one batsman in the top-five this time which is a little bit sad, but that goes to show that different individuals have come up at different times and taken up responsibility. That is the hallmark of this team, especially this year,” the winning captain explained.

"We've never relied on one individual to win us the game. We got a few youngsters, a few inexperienced players and a few legends in our bowling unit. It was a combination of both, and we gelled quite nicely. We mixed it up nicely," he said.

Rohit admitted his side didn’t apply itself well when batting first and ending up with a meagre total of 129. “Our target was between 140 and 160. If we had tried to overreach to 180, then you could've been bowled out for 120," Rohit said. "So, our talk was that we try and make 140 so we may even get to 160 which on this wicket would've been a match-winning score, as you saw,” he added.

"When you are playing on a slow pitch, it's important to believe you can defend any target when you are fielding. So, when we came into the change room after our poor batting display, we spoke about the last game against KKR, one of the better batting units in the tournament. We bowled them out for 105. Why can't we do it here again? The guys knew the challenge and rose to the occasion,” Rohit revealed.

"But again, these things can happen, sometimes you are so nervous you try and overdo it. During the break we had after six overs (when Pune was batting), we just got together and asked everyone to be calm. You can't come and play your shots, it's such a slow wicket. We always had that belief that things can change anytime,” Rohit reasoned out

The Mumbai Indians stressed the importance of keeping up the pressure in order to stay in the hunt.

“A wicket here or things can change. When we defend a low target, it is important for the fielders to create the pressure. So, the message was clear. Be calm and don’t overdo things. That’s what exactly happened. We squeezed in and spinners came in and bowled those dot balls to make them play big shots. That's where they made mistakes," he explained.

"We always knew we had a great backup in Johnson for the injured Mitchell McClenaghan. A prove match-winner. He has done it for Australia and MI as well. He has been in this atmosphere before. I could happily rely on him when I needed the most,” the victorious captain pointed out.

“The last over was very crucial. We (with Johnson) discussed about not giving pace to Smith to play his strokes and it was a fantastic catch by Rayudu under pressure,” Rohit remarked.

“I feel that Malinga and Bumrah are the best death bowlers in this IPL. In fact, the ageing bowlers delivered when needed them to, bringing all their experience and credit should go to to Shane Bond too (bowling coach),” he said.

“Eventually, it was all about not just planning, but execution and I think we just did that to win the title,” Rohit remarked.

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