IPL 2017 Final: The Focus Is On Playing The Right Game: Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma and his side Mumbai Indians are just one win away from creating history. A win against Rising Pune Supergiant in the final of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League will make both Rohit Sharma and Mumbai Indians the first captain and team lift the title thrice. However,the task is not going to be a mean one for the two-time Indian Premier League champions even when they are up against a side which will be playing its maiden final.
The Mumbai-based outfit was one of the pre-tournament favourites and they have totally justified the tag by topping the table with 10 wins in 14 matches, blowing away almost every team that came their way. However, they are still trying to find a way to get the better of Rising Pune Supergiant. Both the teams have played thrice this season and the Pune-based outfit have come on top on every occasion. In the first match, Mumbai needed to defend 9 runs off the final three balls which was bowled by Kieron Pollard but Steve Smith hit two consecutive sixes to take Pune home. In the second meeting, the Rohit Sharma-led side needed to score 17 runs off the final over and with both Rohit and Hardik Pandya on the crease, it was an easy task. However, both departed in the first three balls and their team went on to lose the match by 3 runs.
In the last meeting that is the first qualifier, Pune recovered from a shaky start to post 162 for 4 before restricting the Mumbai Indians to 142 for 9 to comfortably win the match by 20 runs. Mumbai Indians will definitely be gunning for the glory but they will have to be at their best and will also have to overcome the psychological barrier against Pune to create history. Moreover, fatigue will be another factor that might quash their hopes. Pune are coming to the final after a full four-day rest while Mumbai had to play the second qualifier on May 19 to make it to the final.
But Rohit Sharma is not paying heed to all these factors and is just focussing on the one remaining game.
“The focus is on playing the right game,” Rohit said on the eve of the season finale. “I am not focussing too much on playing my third final [as captain]. It’s important for me that we play the cricket we are expected to play, to stay in that zone and continue to perform how we have been performing all season. It’s my responsibility as a captain to ensure we’re in that zone and focus on the job at hand.”
“It’s true we haven’t played well against Pune,” Rohit added. “They have been playing some really good cricket and it’s just that we haven’t been playing too well on those days. That’s the reason we lost those games. Tomorrow we’ve got to make sure we’re better and we play good cricket and focus on what we need to do. If all those things are looked after results will take care of themselves.
The Indian opener is hoping that change in venue will change his team’s fortune against Pune.
“Now we’re playing them in a neutral venue now. Conditions will be different for both teams. The aim is to avoid whatever mistakes we have done in the past against them. We can learn from the mistakes. Hopefully, we’ve learnt it and not repeat again tomorrow,” he said.
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