Rohit Sharma is looking forward to another successful stint as Mumbai Indians skipper © IANS
Rohit Sharma is looking forward to another successful stint as Mumbai Indians skipper © IANS

India‘s one off explosive top-order batsman, Rohit Sharma, who is also the skipper for the Mumbai Indians (MI), has excelled with his team, leading them to their second Champions League T20 title win 2013 and also helped Mumbai Indians qualify for the play-offs, last season from an almost impossible situation.

With just three days to go for the cash-rich league to set the cricket-crazy nation singing to its tunes again, Rohit believes that the valuable inputs, leading to some new recruits in the squad would be of great help to the team in pursuit for their second IPL title.

He also hopes of Shane Bond, shining as a bowling coach for his team as he did for New Zealand. “Bondy has been with the New Zealand team for the past two years. When he used to play, he was a hardworking cricketer and he used to understand his bowling really well. So his presence on the field with all these young bowlers in our team will be really good, and I am sure they will get plenty to learn from him. And I hope what he did with the New Zealand cricket team in terms of bowling he can do it here as well,” he said in an interview to iplt20.com.

The likes of Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun and Josh Hazlewood could turn the tables for the opponent batting lineup. “We have a great bowling line-up. Vinay Kumar and Abhimanyu Mithun are seasoned campaigners. And the past two years they have been winning the Ranji Trophy and everything so they are obviously on a high and they know what they are doing. It’s important to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and they know that. I am sure they will bring a lot of things to the table for us when it comes to bowling. They have a lot of experience. They have played in the IPL and played international crickets as well so they know [what needs to be done],” he said.

“Josh Hazlewood he has been good for Australia this summer and the kind of confidence he has right now will bring a lot of success to us I hope,” he added.

He is also looking forward to exlosive opener, Aaron Finch, who could well be a nightmare to the bowlers. “His experience of playing in the IPL and also for Australia, he’s been good. He is one of the key members of the Australian ODI cricket and he has done lot of good for the Australian team, and I feel he is a great addition. He is an explosive player and he loves playing his shots and Wankhede will definitely suit his batting. So that was the idea of getting him. Coming off from such a high now [of winning the ICC Cricket World Cup] the confidence will be with him so we want to make full use of that,” he said.

On being asked his success as an opener and on if he would love to try out batting on a different position this time around, he said, “That needs to be figured out. I am going to sit down and see what the best combination [for the team] is. Whatever I am going to do, I am going to do in the team’s interest. I am going to try and do whatever suits the team. But definitely, [since] I have been opening for the past two years, I would like to continue. We will see. Once we go to Kolkata [for the first match of the season] and see the wicket, we will decide.”

According to the interview, he is also looking forward to a fun-filled and exciting new season of the league and finish on top. “I have had a great two years so I just want to continue what I have been doing and as a team also we want to have a lot of success. Whether it’s Mumbai Indians or as the Indian team, wherever we go and play we want to be successful. The team is good. We have got good young bunch of cricketers. The drive to become a better team is there, so I hope we just continue,” he said.

On being asked about how to adjust oneself with new players in such a short period of time and play as teammates after playing a number of matches against each other while on international duty, he said, “We don’t have much time to know each other so we have to make full use of whatever time we have. You do that by having a lot of get-together sessions, you get along in the team room, have casual dinners where you get to see everyone and most importantly, you talk. And as a captain it’s my responsibility to go and talk to everyone and make them comfortable. Because the guys who are new in the team, they might just feel uncomfortable, it’s natural. It has happened to me before to a lot of other players as well. So it’s important for a captain to just go and talk and get to know them.”

“Every person has a character, so it’s important to give them liberty, make them feel at home so that they can express themselves. That’s how you get to know them. Once the person expresses themselves [freely] the people who are watching see the person for who they are and will know them better,” he added.

“With captaincy, a great deal of responsibility has come on my shoulders and I am loving each and every moment of it. It has made me a better player and my decision making has been good over the last couple of years which is what you enjoy. You want to grow as a cricketer. I feel with the captaincy lot of things have come into my game. I have matured as a person and I understand things well. I am glad captaincy has come my way and I have responded well,” he said on being asked about his role and view as a skipper.

Asked about sharing the same dressing room with Australia’s one off greatest captains, Ricky Ponting as a coach, he said, He has been amazing. He came into the team in year before last as a captain. He dropped himself and then he took over as a mentor and he took over the team. His presence in the dressing room will be really important. He brings so much experience to the table, of winning World Cups. He knows how to win big tournaments. IPL is a big tournament and his inputs, his thoughts will be really crucial for us.”