Our bowling unit was superb: Sharma

MI batsman says he’s glad with his team’s win over DC on tough batting track

By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Mumbai 30 April 2012
After dismissing the Deccan Chargers for just 100 runs, Mumbai Indians’ batsman Rohit Sharma could have been forgiven for sporting a smile while heading into the dressing room at the interval. But what followed that was not a laughing matter. Sharma had to tackle Dale Steyn’s fiery opening spell, and the right-hander somehow managed to deal with the DC pacer.

The stylish batsman showed great determination and spirit to play patiently and responsibly to almost see his side home. MI’s five-wicket win might not have been their biggest victory of the season, but it did “put two points on the board” as Sharma said after the match.

Just a day shy of his 25th birthday, Rohit Sharma gave himself and his team the perfect gift. His 42-run innings not only helped the Mumbai Indians get back to their winning ways, but also ensured that the team climbed up to third place in the league table.

Excerpts from an exclusive interview with Rohit Sharma:

Are you happy with your contribution in today’s game?

It’s always nice to get some runs and be on the winning side. But we were obviously disappointed the way we got home. We could have done much better. But anyway, two points on the board is really important, and we will take that. Our bowling unit was superb today.

How was it playing on this track today?

This wicket reminded me of the Ranji Trophy matches we have played here over the years. This wicket had some bounce and some seam movement. This was not an easy track to bat on. I am happy with the way I fought and finally got home.

Was Dale Steyn unplayable?

He was bowling well but was not unplayable. He was bowling fast and swinging the ball and he bowled the same against MI in Vizag also. We didn’t want to give him wickets and we were not trying to go for runs off him. We knew we can go after other bowlers once he is done with his spell.

Do you feel the pressure of convincing people despite performing on the field?

Cricket is such a game where you will be criticised and you should take that in a right spirit. The crowd, which comes to support you, always expects something out of you. I always take the criticism in the right spirit. It makes me feel happy when I see the crowd happy.

What are MI missing this year?

We haven’t played the way we should have. We have got a lot of potential in the team and both bowlers and batsmen have done well in patches. We haven’t done well consistently and we need to pick on that. And if we do so, things will definitely fall in place for us. I am sure the support staff is looking at it, and very soon our mistakes will be rectified and you will see a different MI.

It’s your birthday tomorrow; do you think this was the perfect birthday gift you could give to yourself?

Winning the game, for me, is more important than individual performance. I still would have been happy if I had gotten out early and we would have won. Anyway, I got some runs and we won, that makes me happy.
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