Rohit Sharma is now officially the most successful player in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after winning his fifth title and leading Mumbai Indians to their record fourth on Sunday. The Mumbai side defeated Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by a run in the final of the T20 extravaganza at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday.
The Indian vice-captain failed to deliver a with the bat but Mumbai’s Kieron Pollard top-scored for the side with his unbeaten 41-run knock while opener Quinton de Kock scored 29 to propel the men in blue to a challenging 149/8 in 20 overs. After Shane Watson’s magnificent knock of 80 (59 balls) lashed out with 8 boundaries and 4 maximums, Malinga, who had gone for 20 in his previous over, gave away only 7 in the final over of the season to seal a sensational victory for the ‘men in blue and gold’.
Rohit also became the only skipper in IPL history to lead their side to four titles. Harbhajan Singh and Ambati Raidu are other players to win four titles, they are second on the list after the Mumbai Indians skipper, who has five.
The 32-year-old first won the title with Deccan Chargers in 2009. Later in 2013, Rohit led Mumbai Indians to their first league title. He repeated the feat in the years of 2015, 2017 and 2019.
As a captain, Sharma made some vital decisions, especially with his bowling changes and fielding, aiding his side to see the match through after capitalising on his expertise from the tournament.
Speaking to the presser at the post-match presentation ceremony, Rohit said: “I was thinking of Hardik (Pandya) for the final over, but I wanted to back someone who has been in that situation for us before, and Malinga has been there many times.”
Meanwhile, reflecting on the IPL 2019 campaign, Rohit said: “Throughout the tournament, we played some good cricket which was the reason we qualified at the top.”
“We planned to split the tournament into two parts, everything we did as a team, we got the rewards for them. We have a squad of 25 players, everyone came in at some stage and did the job; the support-staff as well. Our bowling, in particular, was excellent. At different stages in the game, the bowlers put their hands up and brought us back. Every bowler who got an opportunity put their hands up, took the responsibility and that’s why we got the rewards for it,” he added.