Mumbai Indians are the most successful franchise in the Indian Premier League with five titles to their name, and will be aiming to add another this year as Rohit Sharma’s men reached the playoffs last week. MI will take on the Lucknow Super Giants in the eliminator match of the league on Wednesday night in Chennai; the winner will then take on defending champions Gujarat Titans for a place in the final.
MI won all of their five titles under the captaincy of Rohit, lifting their first in 2013. Over the years, the franchise gave some of the biggest names to Indian cricket including Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, and more recently, Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. While Suryakumar also spend a significant period of his IPL career with Kolkata Knight Riders, he made his mark in the league with consistent performances for MI.
Earlier this month, Hardik – who now captains the Gujarat Titans – had made an interesting remark over Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings, and revealed why he associates himself more with the latter’s philosophy.
“There are two kinds of success (ways) you can get,” Pandya told Uthappa during an interviw on JioCinema. “One is get the best people possible, from A to B, which I felt MI had.. those years where we won.
“Or, have the best environment possible for you to win, which has been the CSK type where no matter who the players are, they find the comfort and the team get the best out of them.”
“That was more inspiring for me to get, not the best players, but the best environment,” Hardik said.
The comments from Hardik attracted many eyeballs and triggered debates on social media, particularly among the fans of both mentioned franchises. Now, Rohit Sharma, in an interview on the same platform, spoke about the notion that MI is a “team of superstars,” insisting that the franchise “creates” them.
“It’s going to be same story as (Jasprit) Bumrah, Hardik, and all these guys. That’s going to be the same story with boys like Tilak Varma and Nehal Wadhera,” Rohit said about the young duo, who has produced impressive performances for MI this season.
“You watch it in the next two years. Then people will say, ‘Arey, ye toh superstar team hai’ (This is a team of superstars). Arey ham bana rahe hain unko baithke idhar yaar, ham jaa rahe hain, hamaari team jaa rahi hai, dekh rahi hai inko (First of all, we are creating superstars here, man. Our team is discovering these guys, scouting them). These 2 guys are going to be big stars for us, and for India,” Rohit further said.
While Tilak Varma has scored 274 runs in 9 matches so far — at an impressive strike rate of 158 — Nehal Wadhera, who made his IPL debut this year, has scored 214 runs in 8 innings. He also scored two key half-centuries, and has a strike rate of 141 so far.