Former Indian pace bowler and director of cricket operations of Mumbai Indians Zaheer Khan opened up on the most significant reason behind the franchise’s unprecedented success so far. Zaheer Khan revealed that Rohit Sharma’s ability to bring the best out of any player while not putting them under pressure has worked entirely in their favour.
The Mumbai Indians will take the field once more in the upcoming season as the defending champions.
Rohit Sharma succeeded Ricky Ponting as the captain in the 2013 IPL season as the latter kept him out of the line-up due to poor form. It was Ponting, who backed the 33-year-old than as a leader and indeed proved to be a masterstroke.
The franchise has lifted the trophy four times so far, including in 2013 which was their first. While Rohit has been a talisman, their squad is also tailormade for T20 cricket with different candidates putting their hands up.
Zaheer Khan engaged in a Q&A session on Twitter and answered Rohit’s best qualities as a leader. The former left-arm seamer stated that the list remains quite long; however, the most significant one is the calmness and the relaxed aura Rohit Sharma has imbibed around him. Zaheer added that he is an intense and serious thinker of the game.
“Well, the list is very long but for me what stands out is the quality which he has having that relaxed aura around him. Yet he is a very intense thinker and a very serious thinker of the game,” Zaheer stated in a Q&A session on Twitter on Mumbai Indians’ official page.
The 41-year old further said that his tactical calls under pressure, which often turns out to be successful, is a testament to his composure. Hence, Zaheer Khan believes the right-handed batsman brings out the best from every player in his armoury.
“That really shows when he makes those tactical calls on the field in pressure situations of the match and his teammates also really believe in him. So I think that quality I will put right up to bring out the best out of each and every teammate,” the Maharashtra-born bowler claimed.
Zaheer Khan confident of Mumbai Indians having an all-rounded squad:
The former World Cup-winner, who also played for Mumbai Indians confidently stated that they have all their bases covered and the squad is compatible with the conditions in the UAE. While he admits that the pitches might be slightly different, Zaheer Khan backs the players to acclimatise to the decks well.
“Generally, the preference is given to the home conditions and the squads are selected accordingly. But the squads are generally well-rounded and so is the case with our squad.
“The MI squad is picked on the basis of covering all angles and the requirements of the conditions. So yes we will have to adapt to the conditions here and adapt quickly but we do have a squad which is all-rounded,” he added.