Rohit in no rush to get back into the thick of action

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Out of cricket for seven months, Rohit Sharma is in no rush to get a feel of the willow he hasn’t ‘lifted for the longest time’.

The Mumbai Indians captain, who will lead their defence of the IPL title, said there was ‘enough time’ for him and his MI charges to get into the groove. He said he would utilise the next one month to get into his stride and build on his strength, stamina and skills.

Speaking to news agency PTI, Rohit Sharma said, “Hopefully, the gym will open this week and I can start my indoor training sessions. Right now, due to the Mumbai monsoon, you can’t train outdoors. I am planning to write to the Mumbai Cricket Association (on using their indoor facilities).”

He said being away from the game for a long spell, it was imperative that he takes time to get into the thick of action.

“We have plenty of time in our hands… I will be taking it slow. I don’t think there’s any rush that I need to show. We have enough time. I’ll work on getting back to the ground slowly because the (current) temperature in Dubai is (around) 40 degrees. It’s not easy,” 

the India limited overs vice-captain said

Least important member

Putting the team before self is the hallmark of any good captain and Rohit, as should behove an able leader of men, said he considers himself the least important member of the team.

“I believe in a theory that when you are captain, you’re the least important person. Others become more important in the larger scheme of things. It works differently for different leaders but as far as I’m concerned, this theory works for me,”

Rohit Sharma said

For someone who has led Mumbai Indians (MI) to four IPL titles, the most by any captain in the franchise-based league, Rohit sure knew where he was coming from. 

And, going into the 13th edition of the tournament, he knows that the onus is not just on him but on all members of the squad to begin MI’s quest for a fifth crown in right earnest.

As a captain, his job would be to galvanise his charges, as he has done across four successful seasons, and make them play as a team.

His track record speaks volumes of his leadership skills, especially in the shortest format. And, that’s precisely what won him praise from southpaw and Chennai Super Kings rival Suresh Raina.

The CSK man said Rohit’s leadership reminded him of his skipper MS Dhoni’s cool, calm and calculated approach to the job. 

Dhoni one of a kind

However, not keen to be drawn into comparisons with the former India captain, Rohit Sharma, in response to Raina’s complimentary tweet, said, “MS Dhoni is one of a kind, nobody can be like him. I believe such comparisons should not be made.”

Quizzed on the uncanny similarity with MSD in the way he goes about his business as skipper, Rohit told PTI, “Not showing anger is not a conscious effort. That’s a natural instinct you have and you don’t try and be someone that you are not. Try and be yourself all the time.”

“You do get angry, lose temper at times but it’s important not to show it to your teammates. Hiding your emotion is the most crucial part,” said the batsman who has earned a moniker “the Hitman”.

Asked how he was feeling about himself ahead of the challenges that lie ahead, the Mumbai right-hander said, “It’s the longest gap I’ve ever had in my career without holding a bat. It will be a bit challenging. Unless I play, I will not know where I am and how I feel. But my body is completely fine.”

MI would sure hope Rohit Sharma’s bat makes that familiar sweet sound when it meets the ball and sends it soaring over the ropes as he gets down to business in the Emirates.

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