MUMBAI: Having just completed a decade as the Mumbai Indians captain and set to celebrate his 36th birthday on Sunday, India skipper Rohit Sharma will look to rediscover his mojo and steer his team’s ship, currently in choppy waters, from the front when MI take on Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium.
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Interestingly, this will be the IPL’s landmark 1000th match.
Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar had said recently that India skipper Rohit should consider taking a short break from the IPL to keep himself fresh for the World Test Championship Final in June against Australia, but that possibility looks bleak in the immediate future. As of now, MI, languishing at the eighth spot on the table and reeling after back-to-back defeats at the hands of Punjab Kings and Gujarat Titans, desperately need their captain, currently enduring another ordinary IPL with 181 runs in seven matches@25. 85 and just one fifty, to find his best form soon.
“No, I don’t think he should take rest. That’s not my call to make. Obviously, we want Rohit playing, because he’s a very good player, and a leader as well. If it’s the best for Rohit, and he comes up to me and says that ‘you know, I need a bit of a break,’ then yes, we’ll address that, and I’ll consider that. He hasn’t done that. So, yes, at the moment, if he’s available to play, then he’ll play,” said MI coach Mark Boucher.
The former South African stumper, though, didn’t agree that his captain was going through a lean patch. “I think Rohit’s in good form. T20 cricket can sometimes be a risk because you are forced to play quite aggressively. You’ve probably seen he’s been quite aggressive in the way his approach has been, which can take consistency away from your game,” said Boucher on match eve.
It was on April 24, 2013, at the Eden Gardens against the Kolkata Knight Riders, that Rohit led MI for the first time. From thereon, a new era in the franchise began – Rohit went on to lead MI to a title that season, and then clinched the IPL crown four more times. However, in the last couple of years, both his IPL form and the team’s fortunes have dipped drastically. Meanwhile, in a big boost for MI English pacer Jofra Archer, who recently went to Belgium for a minor elbow surgery, will be available for Sunday’s match.
Focus on Jaiswal too
Standing on the cusp of a maiden India call-up after putting in impressive performances for the last couple of years, Yashasvi Jaiswal will look to produce another impactful innings.
Coming off scores of a sublime 43-ball 77 which helped RR down Chennai Super Kings on April 27 at Jaipur, RR’s highest run-getter, would love to churn out another blazing knock in a stadium which h as seen his rapid growth since his under-16 days.
Watch IPL: Misfiring Mumbai Indians face high-flying Rajasthan Royals