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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.
Pacer believes in Deccan Chargers’ ability to beat any team in IPL
By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Mumbai 30 April 2012
Cricket is a batsman’s game, they say. Well, not on Sunday; and certainly not on that seaming Wankhede wicket. With batsmen accustomed to bludgeoning the ball all over the park, it was refreshing to see Dale Steyn absolutely dominate the Mumbai Indians batsmen. The Deccan Chargers might not have a lot going for them in IPL 2012, but they certainly have the best fast bowler in world cricket in their ranks.
The 28-year-old speedster was on top of his game again as he breathed hope into the Chargers’ bowling attack right from the first ball. MI’s Richard Levi couldn’t save his stumps for the second time in the competition, but Steyn’s heroics couldn’t save DC from succumbing to their sixth loss of the season. The fiery pacer, although disappointed after DC’s five-wicket loss against MI, took out time for a brief chat with iplt20.com.
What led to the decision of Kumar Sangakkara being left out of the playing XI?
We thought this was a wicket, which was probably going to seam around a little bit, and it was Sanga’s decision to keep himself out. He felt that we should play an extra international seamer. That was a captain’s decision and we respect that; and it almost worked tonight. Do you think you didn’t get enough support from the other bowlers?
I don’t think so. I think we were 30 or may be 40 runs short. Your team lost despite your brilliant bowling performance. What’s your take on that?
I think that says a lot about the team. I don’t think we are a pushover team. I think we are a fantastic team. We were bowled out for 100 and still managed to take the game to the 19th over. We have lost a couple of games, but it’s not like we are losing by 10 wickets or getting thumped by 70 or 80 runs, if we are batting second. We can beat any team on any night. Unfortunately, this season we have been on the other side because of some unluckiness. What elements of your team would you like to change?
I don’t think we need to change. We just have to be 10 percent better at everything; that includes our batting, bowling and fielding. Otherwise, I think we are playing unbelievably well. The results might not say that, but we have just not been lucky enough every time we have lost. What are DC’s ambitions going ahead in the tournament?
We will still try to win. We participate in this tournament to win the matches and to win the tournament. How fantastic will it be if we win all our remaining games?
You seemed really happy when you got Richard Levi out today. You also got him out in the home fixture against MI. Do you think you have his number?
They were totally different deliveries. One was a yorker and this was a length ball. He is a good player and I don’t have his number. I just got the better off him today.