Rohit played a mature innings: Gibbs

MI batsman says Sharma and he had decided to remain positive during their partnership

By Akshay Manwani
Kolkata 12 May 2012
As Rohit Sharma produced arguably the best innings of DLF IPL 2012 with a classy knock of 109*, Herschelle Gibbs had the best seat on the house. Gibbs, who played with Sharma earlier when both batsmen were part of the Deccan Chargers, shared an unbeaten 167-run stand with Rohit that powered Mumbai Indians to a 27-run win against the Kolkata Knight Riders. caught up with Gibbs, who was playing his first game of the tournament for MI, for an exclusive chat at the end of the game.

The partnership between you and Rohit laid the foundation for your win.

Yes. Rohit played a very mature innings. Obviously, we needed somebody to help him through the whole innings. Unfortunately, we lost Sach [Sachin Tendulkar] early on. At the same time, we wanted to be positive, make use of the first six overs and to target the right areas to go for boundaries. We did that quite well today and the running between the wickets was good. I think this is one of the better knocks I have seen on a wicket that is slow and difficult to score on.

Did you have a target in mind when you opted to bat first?

We knew big scores were possible here and somebody had to get going up front. We played good shots today, we targeted the right areas and it paid off today. I have batted with Rohit before, so the running between the wickets was also good and that was the key to the partnership. It was just about good intensity all around and some good shots.

KKR’s two spinners bowled well. Did you, therefore, deliberately target their pacers?

As the partnership grows, you realise which bowlers you can target. Sometimes you have to absorb a little bit of pressure to exert a bit of pressure. There was a stage for about three or four overs where we just picked off the ones, especially against one seamer. Then, as we just kept going, I just watched Rohit pull the trigger and tee off. It was a very mature innings from him.

This win helps create a bit of a gap between you and some of the other teams competing for a playoff spot. But can you afford to relax?

No, no. There is no place for complacency. There are five teams that are pushing quite hard and you can’t afford to be complacent. Obviously, you want to try to find the best combination for whatever surface you play on. We are still not 100 percent as far as that is concerned. We haven’t played consistently good cricket, but we are still in the mix. That’s important, and we need to start peeking soon.

This was your first game of the tournament. Are you hoping to end the competition on a high?

[Laughs] I have waited for a long time for this. It has not been easy. I have worked quite hard on my fitness over the last five weeks. It’s always a bit frustrating having to watch because most of my career I have played more than I have watched. I just wanted to be mentally ready for when this opportunity came and today it was good.
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