Ricky Ponting is hopeful of Rohit Sharma doing well in playoffs of IPL 2017 © IANS
Ricky Ponting is hopeful of Rohit Sharma doing well in playoffs of IPL 2017 © IANS

As Mumbai Indians (MI) walk into Qualifier 1 against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) on Tuesday, team’s former coach Ricky Ponting hopes captain Rohit Sharma to shine in the crucial match to power MI to the final of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Ponting, under whom MI clinched their second IPL title, also mentioned the names of Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard and Mitchell McClenaghan as team’s key players ahead of the Wankhede fixture. He put his money on MI to reach this season’s final, with his other favourites being David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), who will compete with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Eliminator on Wednesday.

Ponting told cricket.com.au, “The one thing about Mumbai which is a real positive for them going into these semis is Rohit Sharma probably hasn’t had the best tournament just yet. There’s been little glimpses of some really good stuff but otherwise he’s been a little bit down. Knowing they’ve got someone like him that if he clicks with the rest of the guys playing the way they are, then they’re a formidable line-up.”

“They’ll have (Lasith) Malinga, (Mitchell) McClenaghan (and) Kieron Pollard has done really good things for them as well. Ambati Rayudu came into the side and made 60-odd not out and pretty much won the game (against KKR) for them. He’s an experienced played who’s been out with a groin injury for most of the season,” Ponting added.

MI were the first team of IPL 2017 to book a spot in the playoffs. Mumbai Indians won 10 of their 14 group stage matches and finished on top of the table.