We want to play good cricket for Sachin: Rohit
Sachin Tendulkar is set to play in his last Champions League T20 tournament, and Mumbai Indians is going to do all it takes to win it for the veteran batsman.
"We know, perhaps, this is Sachin's last Twenty20 tournament and we want to play good cricket for him," Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma told newspersons, ahead of the team's campaign opener against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday.
Mumbai Indians coach John Wright was also all praise for Tendulkar, saying the little master always keeps things simple and youngsters must learn from him.
"I had seen him first as 16-year-old opponent, when India played New Zealand in a Test match, and later when I became India's coach in 2000," said Wright.
"I have seen him closely for years. I feel he has never changed his approach towards the game and this is one of the reasons for his huge success. The youngsters can learn from him.
"It is good to see that he has the same approach even now.
"He has kept things simple. He looks keen and fresh," he added.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
'It was a big challenge to lead a huge franchise'
Refusing to be dragged into the controversy over Tendulkar's 200th Test and his retirement, Rohit said, "I wish he does well in the CLT20; I don't know what happens in future."
Mumbai Indians won their maiden IPL title this season, but Rohit insisted that they will be starting from zero in the CLT20.
"It was a big challenge to lead a huge franchise and guide it to the title. We were struggling for past five years despite having the balance and potential. We played good cricket and to our potential, so we were successful.
"I enjoyed captaining a side full of big players and it was a big honour for me personally. But all that was a thing of past and now we have to face a new challenge," he said.
Image: Rohit Sharma
'Rajasthan Royals will be tough team to beat'
Rohit admitted that Rajasthan Royals will be tough to beat and Mumbai needs to play to their potential.
"We might be a bit rusty but so would be Rajasthan Royals, though they have home advantage. They have been successful at their own backyard. They are a good team and have qualified for this league. It would be a tough task but we will have to play up to our potential."
Stating that the team will be missing the services of Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, who opted out of the tournament due to personal reasons, Rohit said, "He is a match-winner with his deadly yorkers and big-hitting capacity. We will surely miss him, but we have the depth to cope with his absence."
Image: Rajasthan Royals team
'Chance for Johnson and Nile'
Wright too echoed the same sentiments, but said it would be a great opportunity for other pacers like Nathan Coulter Nile and Mitchell Johnson to make an impression.
"I see his absence as a chance for likes of Nile and Mitchell (Johnson). The Australians would have an ODI series shortly, so it should be a motivation for them," added Wright.
Image: Mitchell Johnson