After speed ace Jofra Archer left, Rohit Sharma was aware of what Akash Madhwal would bring to the table. In the star-studded lineup of MI, Madhwal successfully filled in for the injured England pacer, advancing the five-time champions to Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. The right-arm bowler produced miraculous figures of 5/5 to direct Mumbai’s shocking victory against Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the Eliminator at the Chepauk, repaying Rohit for his confidence in the IPL 2023 playoffs.
If Rohit, the most successful captain in IPL history, can lead MI to a victory against Gujarat Titans (GT) in Qualifier 2 on Friday, it would set up an exciting matchup with Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Rohit and MS Dhoni, two of the most successful captains in the well funded league’s history, have each led their teams to nine IPL championships.
Dhoni, a legendary player in Indian cricket, is renowned for his tactical prowess. The former captain of India is often referred to be cricketing America’s finest captain. Prior to the GT versus MI match, batting icon Sunil Gavaskar made an intriguing comment regarding Rohit Sharma’s leadership, specifically mentioning “Thala” Dhoni. Gavaskar said that Rohit is still an underestimated skipper in an interview with India Today after MI’s victory against LSG.
He is undoubtedly undervalued. For the Mumbai Indians, he has five championships. I’ll use one as an illustration. Ayush Badoni was caught by Maddhwal’s over-the-wicket bowling. He then turned around and approached Nicholas Pooran, a left-hander. Not many bowlers really do it because once they get their rhythm, they stay to bowling over the wicket even when the batsman is left-handed. They will attempt to move the left-handed player’s ball. But he ran around the wicket and produced a ball that was an absolute masterpiece, getting the guy out,” Gavaskar added.
“If CSK had been involved and Dhoni had served as captain. Everyone would have said that Dhoni planned the firing of Nicholas Pooran. This mostly describes what occurs. There is obviously some hype, but things do sometimes pan out, Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar thinks that Rohit deserves praise for helping Madhwal achieve the incredible achievement of destroying the Lucknow Super Giants in the Eliminator in Chepauk, matching Anil Kumble’s record-breaking performance. “What I’m saying is that Madhwal didn’t get the credit for being told to bowl around the wicket,” said Rohit Sharma.
The former India captain also emphasised Rohit’s selection of Nehal Wadhera as an Impact Player in the first innings alone, even though MI could have easily added an additional bowler to their defence.
“There’s also the captaincy problem. Keep in mind that Nehal Wadhera batted first and was utilised as an impact player. When batting first, teams often don’t employ their hitters as Impact Players. But when MI batted first against LSG, Rohit used Nehwal. Please acknowledge him for it as well, Gavaskar said.
In Qualifier 2, Gujarat Titans and Rohit’s MI will square off at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.