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MI strike bowler shares his secret behind a successful season
By Harsh Kalan
Kolkata 27 May 2013
In just his first season in the IPL, Mitchell Johnson made quite an impression on the opening batsmen who were left with the tough task of facing him. Generating pace, bounce and movement, the Mumbai Indians’ strike bowler made sure his probing deliveries left batters around the league clueless and got him 24 wickets – the joint highest for MI alongside Harbhajan Singh.
Johnson bowling with the intention of taking wickets up front ensured that MI were always in the contest, no matter how modest a total they were defending. This was evident in the final as well, when he bowled yet another testing first spell to pin down the strong Chennai Super Kings top order.
Here’s what the MI pacer had to say to IPLT20.com about his exploits this season.
On winning the title
This victory rates very highly. I am really proud of what the team has achieved this IPL – my first IPL. And to beat the Chennai Super Kings after being beaten by them in the Playoffs is amazing. So, this is a very proud moment and a very happy moment and I am sure we are going to celebrate really hard.
On his bowling strategy
All I was trying to do was try and get wickets up front. And on most occasions I could do it early on by swinging the ball. And in the final, it all counts. So, I am glad it happened again. It has been a great tournament for us. We have had a very good bowling unit with me being the strike bowler.
On MI going 3-0 at the Eden Gardens this year
I sort of said it to myself today, ‘We’ve got to try and think of it as a home ground.’ We have done well here. We are used to the wicket, and were pretty happy with playing the final here. I guess you could say it was like our second home ground.
We have done very well at home and we really like playing in Mumbai. But the crowd here was also very supportive and loud, and they got right into the game as well.
MI skipper talks about maiden, successful captaincy stint in IPL
By Harsh Kalan
Kolkata 27 May 2013
Rohit Sharma’s leadership was one of the cornerstones of Mumbai Indians’ successful IPL 2013 campaign. The stylish batsman was handed the captaincy in the early stages of the season, and far from buckling under pressure he managed to make the most of the opportunity on offer.
Along the way, the 26-year-old was ably guided and backed by experienced MI players, coaches and support staff. In an exclusive interview with IPLT20.com, Rohit Sharma speaks of how all the pieces fell in place for the IPL 2013 champions under his leadership.
On the finals and what it meant to him
The way we performed shows the character of the team. It was not an easy victory and I am really happy. I would like to thank each and everyone as we stuck it out. This is for the people of Mumbai who have been coming and supporting us over five years. And, of course, it’s also for the fans of Mumbai Indians across the globe.
On winning with his hometown team
It is simply amazing to win the IPL title with Mumbai, my hometown. I have no words to describe this feeling. I am happy because our owners are really passionate about this game and they wanted us to win. They helped us in all possible ways. I would like to dedicate this victory to them.
On stepping into the role of captain
It was tough when we changed our captain. It was not easy to come in suddenly to do the job. But I have really enjoyed this role since the moment Ricky stepped down and I was handed the captaincy. I knew the responsibility would fall on my shoulders since I was vice captain for two years.
On the backing he received from his seniors
The support from Ricky Ponting from beyond the boundary was superb. And it was not just Ricky Ponting, but everybody else as well. Right from John Wright to our masseur… they were really fantastic. I would like to mention Robin Singh as he has been working day in and day out with all of us. Anil Kumble was brilliant and so was our support staff. We just stuck together as a team, which is really important in this format.
On Sachin Tendulkar finally winning the elusive IPL title
Yes, this was the only trophy he did not have. Now he is happy. You could see how excited he was when we won. That shows what this win means to him.
On MI’s successful run at the Eden Gardens
We have always done well in Kolkata. We have had an outstanding record here over the last six years. Plus, the people of Kolkata are really amazing. They have been supporting us. Even when we play against KKR, we get some support.
On his own form this season
I am happy with my overall form, but I am a little bit disappointed with my performance in the Playoffs. But it happens sometimes. I was focusing on getting my team in shape for this challenge.