Mumbai Indians consigned Delhi Capitals to their fourth straight defeat of the year while opening their own account on the points table. Things looked far from comfortable for them in the beginning, but Rohit Sharma tactically operated his bowlers in the absence of Jofra Archer to ensure that Delhi were restricted to a sub-par total of 172 runs.
Further, it was also mentally satisfying for Mumbai Indians, who have found the proceedings tough to deal with in the last couple of years. Winning their first game would bolster their confidence even though some glaring issues have surfaced to put the five-time champions on the backfoot.
“Obviously, winning the game is the most important thing and it's a great feeling to cross the line. We've been working really, really hard and we had camps in Mumbai a couple of weeks before the tournament. To get the result feels really good, and we're going to cherish this,” Rohit Sharma said in the post-match presentation.
“We recently played a Test match here, and this pitch didn't look different to that and looked dry. So, I thought it was important to get the slower bowlers into the game quickly. We thought 173 was chaseable, and everyone put their hand up. When I went to bat, I wanted to make full use of the powerplay because as the game went on, I thought it would be tough with the couple of quality spinners they had,” the skipper added.
While Rohit Sharma has been one of the batting stalwarts in the history of the Indian Premier League, on a personal front, his batting performance has experienced a dip in the last six seasons. Since 2017, Rohit Sharma averages just 25.1 with the bat in the IPL. Throughout the six seasons, Rohit Sharma has not been able to maintain an average of more than 30 even in a single season, while his strike rate crossed the 130 mark only in one season (2018).
However, on Tuesday, the Indian skipper managed to put everything on the back burner and scored a fluent 65 runs. After forging a 71-run opening partnership with Ishan Kishan, he added 68 runs with Tilak Verma to show signs of his best form.
“We tried to create a partnership and good to see Tilak bat with that intent as well. We always knew it would be tough for the new batter to come and bat. As you said, we got a lot of young guys and it's all about giving them confidence and trust in their ability. We want to have a healthy atmosphere and we don't want to make drastic changes based on results,” Rohit added.