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Prajakta Pawar in Mumbai 14 May 2013 - 03:54am IST

Wright lauds Pollard's innings, Rohit's captaincy

MI coach calls win over SRH ‘magic’; expects tough game against RR

‘Magic!’ was the word coach John Wright used to describe the improbable win that Kieron Pollard helped pull off through his blistering knock to take the Mumbai Indians to the top of the points table.

Chasing 179 the hosts were in a precarious position with Sachin Tendulkar retiring hurt and losing Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu in quick succession. But, fireworks from Pollard and Rohit Sharma holding up one end helped the home team turn the match on its head against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium.

Wright was full of praise for the brilliant innings by the West Indies cricketer as MI registered their seventh straight victory on their home turf. The coach also showered appreciation on Sharma and his leadership ability while speaking to IPLT20.com after the win.

Excerpts from the interview:

On Pollard and the victory

What an amazing feat of hitting. I have never seen anything like that before. It was amazing and people all over the world watched that.

On whether they were anxious when Sachin Tendulkar retired hurt and Dinesh Karthik got out

We were always up against it in a run chase. And they got those wickets immediately after Sachin retired so we didn’t look like we were going to be winning the game but then that’s what a player like Pollard can do. That’s special. In this league you see some amazing cricket and that was an amazing innings.

On Rohit Sharma’s innings in the game

He has done it with the bat right through this tournament. He has stepped into the captaincy role and he looks the part. It is very early days yet but I think he is going to be a very good leader.

On the decision of making Rohit Sharma the captain


We wanted to play two fast bowlers, they were to be overseas, so obviously (Mitchell) Johnson and (Lasith) Malinga. It was a tough decision and we got to Kolkata where we talked through with Ricky (Ponting) and he was part of that decision making process and he has done a fantastic job with his leadership off the field. He is of like our club captain. We all contribute in our various ways but Rohit has of taken to the job. He seems to be suited and the responsibility sits well with him and that shows through his performances with the bat and some of the decision making on the field. It is one of those things, in IPL things change very quickly. Flexibility is important.

On choosing Rohit Sharma to lead

It was a joint decision but I think still waters run deep and he lives in Mumbai. It is an obvious advantage to have a home captain, someone who lives in the city. I think the fans identify with it and that is important and so we have someone from Mumbai leading Mumbai Indians which I think is pretty appropriate.

On winning all seven games at home so far


It has been our bowling. We have won a lot of tosses, batted first, put pressure on the opposition and been aggressive with the ball. Monday was bit different and it took a piece of magic really to win chasing but hopefully we will learn from today’s game and be stronger in couple of day’s time. That is a big game for us because if we are interested in finishing at No. 1 or 2 we know that, that is an important match.

On Dale Steyn’s penultimate over

Our batters had the situation under control. I thought we played that pretty well. They got five runs off that over which left it down to the last over. Unbelievably we got to the last two overs with the need of a run-a-ball. We wanted to be looking at getting just six or seven runs in the last over and without a new batter having to go out there and the situation was handled beautifully.

On Dale Steyn’s bowling in the game

He is a beautiful bowler to watch. His lines are good. He has got good pace. He is a big factor for South Africa and No. 1 in the Test standings. He is a good combination with the other two bowlers in SA. He is world class.

On the next match against Rajasthan Royals and what would be the plans knowing Rahul Dravid as closely as he does

I think Rahul is very well researched and very well organised along with Paddy Upton and their group. They have been playing really intelligent cricket. I don’t think it is any accident that they are where they are. I think they have shown great flexibility during this tournament and the way they have picked their team and made various changes to their batting order, they play smart cricket. They beat us fair and square the last time we were in Rajasthan and we would like to turn the table but we know it will be a tough match. We have got a lot of respect for them.

On three teams with 20 points each, with only the run rate separating them

Run-rate is important and I think it was always going to be a factor in this tournament. It was going to come to this situation at some stage. We will try and keep it as healthy as possible.

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