Former India captain Anil Kumble, who served as a mentor of Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2013 season, has revealed that the then newly-appointed captain of the team Rohit Sharma was not afraid to say what he had to say, used to reached out to the experience players but took his own decisions.
Bringing home the trophy five times for Mumbai Indians, Rohit is the most successful captain ever in the history of the TATA IPL. A prolific run-getter as well, Sharma has been around since the inaugural edition, having represented the Deccan Chargers in the first three seasons.
Since then, he has been an integral part of the Mumbai set up and will look to win them a historic sixth title as he leads the team in the 2023 edition. "He was not afraid to say what he had to say.
He had plenty of experience around him and he reached out to them as well but then but took his own decisions. That's what you want from a captain," said Kumble on JioCinema's Insiders Preview show.
The 52-year old Kumble also spoke about Rohit leading a new team in 2017. "2017 was a new team and the kind of captaincy we saw from him in terms of defending low scores, that's when your true leadership comes out," he said.
Meanwhile, former India pacer Zaheer Khan emphasised on how a captain's role is the most important. "The captain's role is of utmost importance, the way he is thinking and taking decisions in crucial stages in a cool manner and the right decisions, and if it doesn't go your way, how he is handling the situation.
It is a long tournament and every game's performance can have an impact in the next game," Zaheer said. "Rohit has the ability and personality to absorb pressure very well.
The way he communicates in a cool way, not just with players but also in press conferences, I think that is his biggest strength," he added. Mumbai Indians have enjoyed tremendous success under Rohit's leadership.
That doesn't mean he is any less lethal with the bat. Kumble, however, wants to see Sharma bat at number four. "Especially with the current MI team, you need that experience in the middle order.
There are some wonderful batters that MI possess, but I think someone like Rohit Sharma in the middle, controlling seven to fifteen overs is extremely critical," the former spinner said.
On the other hand, Aakash Chopra broke down the impact Rohit has while batting. "When Rohit is batting, he does it beautifully and he'll keep doing it. He's doing it for India, for the Mumbai Indians.
When he bats, he's in a different league altogether," said Chopra before posing an interesting question for Mumbai's batting strategy this season. "As a result of that, people keep debating what's best for Rohit.
What is the place where you can get the best out of Rohit? He can open and easily score a century over 20 overs. The question arises, what's best for Mumbai? As Anil bhai said, he may be more useful to the team batting at number four. It's a toss-up between what's best for Rohit and what's best for Mumbai."