Mumbai, April 8 (IANS) Rating Rohit Sharma’s leadership abilities highly, Mumbai Indians coach Ricky Ponting on Friday said he lets the talented India opener use his instincts.
Under Rohit’s captaincy, Mumbai have won the Indian Premier League (IPL) twice, the first of which came in 2013. This season they are the defending champions.
“Rohit is an excellent captain. He is very calm and a neutral sort of person which is vital for a leadership role. His emotions never get too high when the team is performing well and neither do they get too low when they are not performing, which is a great sign for a leader,” Ponting said.
“As a coach, my role is to make the captain’s job as easy as possible. I give him all the appropriate information that he needs, leading into a game and through the course of the game and then just let him use his instincts while he is on the field.”
The Mumbai Indians squad also includes youngsters Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah, who have made a mark in the cricketing world through their performances in the Asia Cup and the recently-concluded World Twenty20.
When asked about the duo, the former Australian captain said, “Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya are two very exciting young Indian players. Bumrah was coming out of an injury in the last season and therefore he wasn’t at his best, but to see him where he is now, is a matter of pride.”
“Hardik Pandya on the other hand, yes, he has represented India in the past couple of months, but he hasn’t had much opportunity with the bat as he would have liked. There is every chance that with us he would get more opportunity with the bat. He is an exceptional fielder and can give us a few overs with the ball too,” Ponting added.
“As a coach, to see this young Indian talent emerge and grow around the MI set-up is fantastic.”
The Wankhede Stadium — which serves as the home ground for the Mumbai Indians — has witnessed high scoring games in the recent past but Ponting feels they have the bowling unit to keep the opponents from amassing high totals here.
“The Wankhede has yielded a lot of runs in the recent past (229 and 230 during the WT20 match between South Africa and England). We know that defending runs can be a challenge on this ground, but we have done that in the last season,” he said.
“With the likes of Bumrah, (Mitchell) McClenaghan, (Tim) Southee and two quality spinners like Harbhajan Singh and J Suchith, I am sure, if the batters put up a good score on the board, our bowling group will be able to defend it.”