New Delhi,UPDATED: May 25, 2023 21:06 IST
By India Today Sports Desk: Former India captain and legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday said he feels Rohit Sharma is an underrated captain in the Indian Premier League and doesn’t get as much credit for captaincy as MS Dhoni gets. Gavaskar said some of Rohit’s on-field decisions that bring success to Mumbai are spoken of enough, highlighting how the India captain plotted Lucknow Super Giants’ downfall in the IPL 2023 Eliminator.
Sunil Gavaskar lauded Mumbai Indians for believing in themselves despite a poor start to IPL 2023. MI lost 4 of their first 7 games and were reeling at the bottom half of the IPL 2023 points table but they bounced back to reach the playoffs with 5 wins in their next 7 matches.
On Wednesday in Chennai, Mumbai Indians hammered Lucknow Super Giants by 81 runs, successfully defending 182 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium. After Cameron Green and Suryakumar Yadav’s cameos, Mumbai rode on Akash Madhwal’s sensational 5-wicket haul to decimate Krunal Pandya-led LSG.
Mumbai Indians leapfrogged RCB to enter the playoffs and are within touching distance of reaching their 7th IPL final.
IPL 2023: Full Coverage | Points Table
Speaking to India Today, Sunil Gavaskar highlighted how Rohit Sharma used Akash Madhwal to dismiss Ayush Badoni and Nicholas Pooran in the same over of LSG’s chase, adding that the change in angle ‘suggested’ by the captain was not spoken in length.
“Of course, he is underrated. The man has won 5 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,” Gavaskar told.
“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, trying to leave te left-hander. But he went around the wicket and produced an absolute gem of a delivery and got the man out.
“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 extend. There is also a little bit of hype, things sometimes work out,” he added.
‘PLEASE GIVE HIM CREDIT’
Furthermore, Sunil Gavaskar said it was a good move to include Nehal Wadhera as an Impact Substitute in the first innings of the Eliminator against LSG, saying he has seen most teams batting first use a bowler as the Impact Player.
Nehal Wahdera hit a crucial 23 off just 12 balls, giving Mumbai the much-needed late impetus to help them post a winning total of 182.
“What I am saying is Rohit Sharma did not get the credit for telling Madhwal to bowl round the wicket,” Gavaskar said.
“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.”
Mumbai Indians will face Gujarat Titans in Qualifier 2 in Ahmedabad on Friday, May 26.