Rohit Sharma has been Mumbai Indian’s marquee player and one of the highest-paid players to date. He has been with them since 2011 after he moved out of Deccan Chargers. He joined Mumbai Indians as a batsman but soon took over the captaincy reigns. He was given the captaincy of Mumbai Indians mid-way in the 2013 season.
Ricky Ponting was their captain at the start of the tournament but soon his form dropped. On the 33rd match of the tournament, Kolkata took on Mumbai Indians. The date was April 24, 2013, and this was the first time Rohit Sharma took over the captaincy duties. MI went on to win the match as well as the cup this year. Sharma has led MI to lift the cup 5 times.
KKR won the toss and batted first. Mumbai was chasing and they won the match comfortably by 5 wickets.
We look at the playing eleven of Mumbai Indians that took the field against KKR in Sharma’s first match as captain:
The West Indian big-hitter was their opener and as he had done earlier, he took MI off on a rollicking start. Chasing 159, Smith scored a 45 ball 62 which consisted of 5 big sixes. He played an important role as the opener and also steadied the ship with middle-order batsmen.
Sharma had the privilege of captaincy his idol in his first match as the captain. Any team which has Tendulkar in its line-up is more assured about its performance. Tendulkar was their opener with Smith. Unfortunately, he could not contribute much in the match and got out cheaply for 2 runs.
Another vital player for MI in their middle order was Dinesh Karthik. He invariably saved the team in precarious situations and played handy cameos. However, he too got out cheaply for 7 runs.
Sharma came out to bat at 4 when MI had lost Tendulkar and Karthik cheaply. He stitched a beautiful partnership with Smith and directed MI towards an inevitable win. He scored a solid 34 runs in the winning cause.
The other West Indian in the squad who had an important role to play was Pollard. His role was to be the final aggressor and enforcer and he played that role wonderfully. He hit a match-winning 33 and bowled two overs giving 14 runs.
Rayudu came to bat at 6 and was in the middle to end the match. It did go to the last two balls but Rayudu held his nerve to end the match to secure a win for MI. He scored 13 runs from 8 balls.
Harbhajan had a tough day on the pitch with the ball where he went for 35 runs in his two overs and could not pick a single wicket. However, he redeemed himself when he helped MI tide over the line by coming in and scoring a six in the final moments of the match.
The absolute wild card for any captain is the ferocious pacer in the team and Johnson played this role for Sharma. He bowled economically and just gave 26 runs in his 4 overs and picked up two important wickets of Yusuf Pathan and Eoin Morgan.
The legend of MI did his usual business for the team. He bowled his fast and pinpoint yorkers. In his 4 overs, he gave just 25 runs and picked two solid wickets including the one of threatening Manoj Tiwary.
The left-arm spinner was of tremendous value to MI. he stopped the flow of runs and created pressure. He did his job spectacularly by giving only 21 runs in 4 overs and picking 2 wickets.
Chahal was still a youngster at that time and it was one his first few matches. He did go for a few runs but that did not hinder MI’s chances much. Off his 4 overs, he went for 34 without much luck in the wickets column.