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Rohit Sharma: I wanted to be clear in mind before playing the longer format

Having been rested for the limited-overs series, the Indian opener has been sweating it out here. The four-match Test series is scheduled to begin from 17th December 2020.

Rohit spoke in detail about his hamstring injury and the events that have transpired  He was further quoted as saying by the Indian Express about Mumbai Indians' strategy in IPL as well as Suryakumar Yadav's great character despite not making it to the national squad.

I could take the field in the IPL since it's the shortest format

Rohit who sustained a hamstring injury during the middle of the tournament made his return in the last league game against SRH. He even went on to score a match-winning half-century in the final.

"I was constantly communicating with BCCI and Mumbai Indians. I told them that I can take the field since it is the shortest format and I will be able to manage the situation quite nicely. Once I made my mind clear, it was all about focussing on what I needed to do.”

"Once the injury happened, all I did was to figure out what I can do in the next 10 days, whether I will be able to play or not. But every day, the degree of hamstring injury was changing. The way it was responding was changing, so I was feeling quite confident that I could play and that is the communication that I had with MI at that point. I told them that I think I will be okay to play just before the play-offs. If there is any discomfort, I won’t be playing the playoffs.”

I wanted to be clear in mind before playing the longer format

Currently training at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore, Rohit asserted that he wanted to be match ready ahead of the challenge in red-ball cricket. The back-to-back limited over games wouldn't have helped his case in preparing well to sustain the longer format.

“Hamstring is feeling fine. Just started the process of getting it nice and strong. Before I play the longer format, I needed to be clear in mind that no stone is left unturned. That’s probably the reason, I’m at the NCA.”

“Tere is still some work that needs to be done on my hamstring. That’s why I didn’t go to Australia for the white-ball leg as there are back-to-back games. Around six games in 11 days. So I thought if I get to work on my body for 25 days, I can probably go and play the Test matches. So it was an easy decision for me and I don’t know why it became so complicated for others."

MI picked and believed in building a team

Mumbai Indians have a great team set up at the moment but it has been a result of years of hard work by the management. Rohit highlighted the same and remarked that he and the team wanted to steer in a certain direction.

“We have a (Kieron) Pollard, a Hardik (Pandya), (Jasprit) Bumrah but has anybody thought why this team is successful? A lot of people, I hear say that can he (Rohit) do it with other teams? Firstly, why shall I need to do it with other teams? There is a certain way this franchise wants to go and the same direction I want to go as well, both as a player and leader"

“Did this team become good overnight? No. It’s just that this franchise doesn’t believe in chopping and changing. And every player, including Rohit Sharma, was available (2011) at auctions. Just that MI picked and believed in building a team.”

We strongly pursued Boult and got him

Ahead of last year's auction, MI managed to acquire Trent Boult from Delhi Capitals. The move worked wonders as the left-arm pacer ended up picking 25 wickets this season. Rohit was quite happy with the transfer.

“Trent Boult was with Delhi last year and before that with Sunrisers. We needed someone to provide wickets upfront and who could swing the ball. We strongly pursued him and got him from Capitals, something I am proud of.”

Mumbai Indians created a happy space for us

Despite the pandemic, Rohit was glad about the training facilities and the overall arrangements by the MI management. He lavished praise on them for creating a bio-secure environment for all the players.

“MI in a year where everything was uncertain, created a happy space for us. 80 days in a bio-bubble never felt claustrophobic. Every little aspect was taken care of and the preparation started in June in a bio-secure environment with all net bowlers and Indian players"

Surya's time will come

Suryakumar Yadav has displayed sensational form in the recent past. Rohit stated that he was disappointed after not getting a call-up from the national team. However, he vowed to continue producing those big performances.

“We were sitting in our team room and I could feel he was dejected. But I didn’t go and speak to him. It was he who came up and said, ‘Don’t worry I will get over it and win the matches for MI'. And when he said that I also realized he is heading in the right direction not only in terms of IPL but in his overall career. There are a lot of India games and his time will come."

“If you ask me, my philosophy is mind over matter and that’s what works for me.”