Rohit Sharma knew what Akash Madhwal will bring to the table after the departure of pace ace Jofra Archer. Successfully replacing the injured England pacer in MI’s star-studded lineup, Madhwal propelled the five-time winners to Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 on Wednesday. Repaying Rohit’s faith in the IPL 2023 playoffs, the right-arm pacer recorded magical figures of 5/5 to script Mumbai’s stunning win over Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Eliminator at the Chepauk.
Rohit, who is the most successful captain of IPL, can set a mouthwatering clash with arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by leading MI to a win over Gujarat Titans (GT) in Qualifier 2 on Friday. Two of the greatest captains in the history of the cash-rich league, Rohit and MS Dhoni have won nine IPL trophies as captains.
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Regarded as an all-time great in Indian cricket, Dhoni is known for his tactical nous. The former India skipper is often dubbed as the nation’s greatest captain in cricket. Giving a special mention to ‘Thala’ Dhoni, batting legend Sunil Gavaskar issued an interesting statement about Rohit Sharma’s captaincy ahead of the GT vs MI clash. Speaking to India Today after MI’s win over LSG, Gavaskar admitted that Rohit is still an underrated captain.
“Of course, he is underrated. The man has won five titles for Mumbai Indians. Let me give you an example. Maddhwal got Ayush Badoni, bowling over the wicket. He then went round the wicket to the left-hander Nicholas Pooran. Not a lot of bowlers necessarily do that because if they get their rhythm going bowling over the wicket, they will stick to over the wicket even it’s a left-hander. They will try to the ball away from the left-hander. But he went around the wicket and produced an absolute gem of a delivery and got the man out,” Gavaskar said.
“If that had been CSK and Dhoni was the captain. Everybody would have said ‘Dhoni plotted Nicholas Pooran’s dismissal. This is what happens to a great extent. There is also a little bit of hype, things sometimes work out,” Gavaskar added.
Gavaskar believes that Rohit should be given credit for assisting Madhwal, who equalled Anil Kumble’s staggering feat to demolish Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator at Chepauk. “What I am saying is Rohit Sharma did not get the credit for telling Madhwal to bowl around the wicket.”
The former India captain also highlighted Rohit’s decision to use Nehal Wadhera as an Impact Player in the first innings itself when MI could have easily gone for an extra bowler when they defending.
“The captaincy situation as well. Remember, Nehal Wadhera was used as an impact player batting first. Teams generally don’t use batters as Impact Player when they are batting first. But Rohit used Nehwal when MI were batting first against LSG. So please give him credit for that as well,” Gavaskar concluded.
Rohit’s MI will meet Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 2 at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.